Punk isn’t dead, but it is very self-conscious these days. Yet, if you are prepared to seek them out, there are plenty of bands doing it the right way: Write some songs. Get in the van. Play some shows Get in the van again. Record some songs. Live your life. Write more songs. Make the songs mean something. Make them honest. Make them count.
The Arteries are that band, the Swansea boys have built a great live reputation and have grown from the ground up, slow and steady, no fucking about. Little surprise then that from the discordant opening seconds of their new Restless EP to its very final moments, the five-piece feel focussed and bristling with the piss and vinegar we have come to expect from them.
South By Southwest is a wonderful place where Foo Fighters play on the patio of a bar and Kvelertak play five shows in three days and we see them all by dumb luck. While the big picture says SXSW is about bands for radio, the underground says it’s all about metal. That’s why the pizza shop on 6th St is called Hoek’s Death Metal Pizza and has a dozen metal bands playing in its backyard every day. There are also some excellent bands flying over to Austin from the UK. Here’s a rundown of the seven that we could find.
The Porcupine Tree mastermind is determined to make it as a solo artist, with emphasis on both the “solo” and the “artist”. With the first two headline gigs in London being held at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, this is a grandiose upgrade forSteven Wilson. Even his mother was in attendance – in the Royal Box. Class.
Occasionally a band pops out and they have zero profile but has something about them – something that’s going to make a few people take note, at least. Nero Di Marte are one of them. Having previously been called Murder Theory, the Italian quartet changed their name upon signing to Prosthetic. They also changed their style slightly, rounding off the techy edges found on their old material in favour of a slightly more palatable sound.
From: Birmingham, UK
Lazy equation: (Electric Wizard - all the bloody incense) x dependable Midlands misery.
Thrash Hits verdict: You might remember last year we put on the album launch show for Future Ruins, the debut album from History of the Hawk who then…well, they went and split up. Which was a bit of a bummer. Still, Nathan Coyle, former frontman of HOTH, has wasted no time in getting on with the business of a new band: Opium Lord. And unlike the scratchy, punky snot of HOTH, Opium Lord are all about getting slow, dark, and menacing…
The vocals of Jon Desmond are a constant strength; his anguish and anxieties are palpable, creating a claustrophobic and harrowing atmosphere throughout. His spoken-word confessions on short interlude piece ‘Stories Of Madness, Of Violence’ beckon you into the deepest recesses of his mind, exploring his failures and exposing his faults backed by a sombre, blues-drenched guitar line. ‘Raised’ finds the band breaking down the barriers further into experimentation, incorporating glockenspiels and a warbling female [haha, sorry Tom] vocal in the style of ‘Knife Party’ or ’Great Gig In The Sky’, closing out proceedings in the typically devastating style this EP has demonstrated.
“It’s too hard to say what the album’s about and that’s why it’s called Sempiternal, which means ever-lasting journey and that’s why our logo is called The Flower Of Life. That’s sacred geometry and it basically represents everything that goes on in the universe.”
In our exclusive new interview with Oli Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon, the bossman of Drop Dead talks us through some of the concepts behind their forthcoming new album, Semptiternal. Click here to read the interview in full.
So Fall Out Boy are back. We sent Tom Doyle to queued up in Camden behind hundreds of teenage girls and dozens of confused Eskimo Callboy fans (their show was originally set to be at The Underworld) to see Pete Wentz, Patrick Stump, Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley strut their stuff again.
The album begins with a bass so low in the register it’s equatable to “brown noise”, and ‘Bathroom Laughter”s frantic riff kicks in, drums crashing and guitars screeching under vocalist Matt Korvette’s anguished wails. Following up 2009′s sublime King Of Jeans seemed an impossible task, but the band have taken to the task like a duck to water by compromising absolutely nothing.‘Vain In Costume’ wraps the capillary-bursting aggression of My War-era Black Flag in a layer of glorious noise, following on from the snarling ‘Romanticize Me’, a number that could teach those considered at the forefront of raw punk rock, namely The Bronx and Fucked Up, a thing or two.