I found a new job last week so after three months of unemployment and tight budgets I was finally ready to splash out some money on records to congratulate myself. I hadn’t been to the record store in quite some time so I had a lot to catch up to, although I wasn’t really following who released what over the past half year. This is what I found today.
A Storm Of Light “And We Wept The Black Ocean Within” 2xLP
I had seen A Storm Of Light at the Neurosis show in August and I also listened to their record before but I never had a chance to buy a copy. This is a real beauty. The cover is wonderful as it is not some black and white fuzzy picture but a very colourful and distinct work with lots of details on it. The gatefold sleeve only adds to my excitement. As for the music it’s what you expect from a band which features Josh Graham on vocals and guitars (and visuals). There’s no real surprise when you listen to it and I think because of the vocals this band is rather low on the list of Mr Grahams works which include Red Sparowes or Battle Of Mice to name but a few, but I like to dive into such music and listen to it for hours and hours and the maritime atmosphere of the cover only increases this impression.
Me First & The Gimme Gimmes “Have Another Ball” LP (+CD)
Now there is absolutely no reason to buy a record like this when you are alyways on the hunt for the newest shit and don’t like bands who repeat themselves. Wrong band here. When you pick up a record by the Gimmes you know what you can expect and you won’t be disappointed. I admit I am a freak for cover versions and those guys are my absolute heroes. This is a collection from the time when their first record “Have A Ball” came out and they released an enormous amount of two-track 7″s. This record is the b-sides of those 7″s. Of course I own a few of those Singles (and I am still hunting for some others) but I just can’t pass on this. It’s always fun to listen to their music (or at least to their renditions of famous pop songs). Recently it seems that Fat Wreck tries to become even more customer friendly as this record includes a CD version as well. I also found something like that with the new LP of No Use For A Name.
Tombs “self-titled” LP
Tombs is yet another band the aforementioned Josh Graham has connections to and – believe it or not – you can definetely hear that from the music they play. This one follows the footsteps of all the bands that came before them and it delivers the sound I really dig at the moment. Slow grinding hard hitting metal influenced rock music, very atmospheric. And I always like to say that the band tries to create landscapes before the listener’s eyes with the sound the make on their record. I wonder if they also use visual effects during their live shows just as Neurosis, Red Sparowes and A Storm Of Light. It would make some sort of sense. So, yeah, there is really no surprise on this one, as it sounds slightly like the old stuff Neurosis used to do, a little rougher, a slightly harder edge than the songs they do today. I think I even sense some sort of hardcore influence in the way the vocals are recorded, but that might as well be just me and me faulty hearing. So if you dig sound like this this one’s something for you.
This Will Destroy You “self-titled” 2xLP
Now whoever had the idea for this cover should at least be punished with listening to stupid German holiday techno nonstop for one week. Give me a break, will ya? What the hell is this?! This looks like some kid who is just staring to learn the basics of Photoshop and tries to make a cover for his or her father’s coverband, who plays songs of all those country heroes of the 60’s and 70’s at class reunions or other horrible occasions no one with a clear mind wants to be at. Or one of those terrible 80’s metal bands, does anyone remember those record covers? The lightning says it all. What’s even worse is that I fear that people will just not recognize how beautiful the music is which is hidden behind this crime. Brilliant instrumental tracks in the vein of Explosions In The Sky with a little bit more punch. I really love this band since I seen them play live in Cologne a few months ago and I am really looking forward to their next concert. My oh my, I still can’t get over the cover sleeve…
Torche “self-titled” LP
Doom, doom, doom. Alright, this is slow, but it’s a lot more rocking than other bands from this genre. Seems like Torche deliver a whole variety of hard ‘n’ heavy sounds, sometimes it’s just pure slow mosh, sometimes it can even get highly melodic with fine and clear guitar leads. To me this record is somewhere in between Cave-In‘s “Antenna” masterpiece and the slow and heavy sounds of bands like Pelican (with whom they will play a show in Cologne in October). It’s not something I will be able to listen to nonstop for a long time but this record has the feeling as if I can put it on my record player any time and enjoy it just as I am doing it right now while listening to it.
The Gaslight Anthem “Senor & The Queen” 10″
I had this one for quite some time now but somehow it slipped under my radar for a review so I will write something about it now. I bought this at their show in Cologne in June and therefore this was new stuff for me as I didn’t know the new record back then. Let’s face it, it’s what you’d expect from the Jersey boys. Great rock ‘n’ roll influenced punkrock which lets you dream of youth, first kisses, freedom and all the stuff you did when you were young. The ever apparent comparison to the boss, Bruce Springsteen won’t be missing here as I have to say again that these guys really sound like a punkrock version of this rock dinosaur. I’d really like to see them perform at least one damn Boss song once. But they are such a shy bunch, I guess I will have to wait forever. Four tracks on this little gem and titles like “Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts” live up to their promise. Great band, great songs, great record, must have!
Deny Everything “Speaking Treason EP” 7″
Cologne’s best dancers released this wonderful piece of music with a bang a few months ago and now I finally find the time to write a few lines about it. Ever since they burst out onto the German hardcore and punkrock scene it seems there’s nothing that can stop these guys from pushing forward. Highspeed hardcore tracks with lots of punkrocking melodies and pissed yet melodic vocals with great and thoughful lyrics. What else can you with for? There is absolutely no need to look for bands from the states when you have great acts like this one right in front of you doorstep. And with bands like Cobretti or Kingdom following in their footsteps and groups like Hit & Run shows setting up wonderful gigs the future of Cologne’s scene surely looks a little bit brighter than it did a few years ago. I wonder if I will ever be disappointed by a record Deny Everything put out? At the moment I can’t imagine something like that happening. Seven brilliant songs on this one