Monday, March 31, 2008
I don't have a story to go along with this, but I wish I was at this show. I still feel American Nightmare were the best hardcore band of the 2000's and this set is another testament to that. The sound quality is board quality and their set is comprised mostly of songs offBackground Music.
American Nightmare - Live at CBGB - 1/22/02
I don't know why Starflyer 59 doesn't get more discussion, but for some reason they seem to have slipped under the radar. Perhaps people overlook them because the driving force behind the band, Jason Martin, is openly Christian or because they're on a label known for putting out abysmal Nu-Emo and bad metalcore, but whatever it is, they are certainly worthy of more attention than they seem to get. On their 6th record, Leave Here a Stranger, Starflyer 59 fully conceptualized their laid back, dreamy brand of pop music. They shed the dense noise and feedback of their first two records Silver and Gold and replaced it with much lighter, sunnier textures laid against Martin's airy, soothing vocals. Every song on here is essential to the whole of this underrated dream-pop record.
Starflyer 59 - Leave Here a Stranger
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Before our year and a half hiatus, my band Down Like the Rest wrote a handful of songs that were originally going to be on a 12" our friend Dan was going to release. However, with everyone in the bands schedules being what they were, we opted not do the record and put the band on hold for a little while. In September of 2007 we decided to rerecord what we had and release it informally as an EP for those who might be interested. I'm pleased with how everything turned out and I'm glad we finally have quality versions of these songs. Musically, it's fast, dark hardcore along the lines of Cursed, Damnation ad, 108 and so on. Check it out.
Down Like the Rest - The Barely Breathing EP
Sunday, March 2, 2008
For all intents and purposes, I missed the boat on Ink & Dagger. Though I was around and actively attending shows during their existance, I didn't really "get" them until much later in my life. They were a little too weird, a little too chaotic, a little too 'dark.' I always listened to a broad range of music, but when I was 16 and it came to hardcore I either wanted Side By Side or All Out War and the theme of vampires, use of corpse paint, off-key singing and weird angular guitar riffs did not factor into either of those sub-categories. However, as I aged my appreciation for Ink & Dagger grew and I respect their honesty and creativity far more than what a lot of hardcore bands of that era did. They were vibrant and approached things with punk ideals, but took chances that most hardcore bands didn't for whatever reason.
On their final LP before vocalist Sean McCabe's untimely death, Ink & Dagger pushed themselves further away from their already untraditional take on hardcore into a blend of dream-pop, psych and noise only charted by San Diego experimentalists Antioch Arrow. The off-kilter riffs and McCabe's frantic singing style are still firmly intact, but much of what comprised their previous records is absent or subdued and replaced by waves of distortion and layers of delay, reverb and drum machine. It's a complex effort and though it was probably not widely heralded by those in the punk/hardcore community to begin with, I think it has aged quite well in the 8 years since it's release.
Ink & Dagger - s/t