Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Falls of Rauros - Believe in No Coming Shore

Falls of Rauros - Believe in No Coming Shore (2014)

Not all black metal has to be restricted to bedroom recordings and isolated woods.

Believe in No Coming Shores by the Northeast gods of metal, Falls of Rauros has been a long time coming. Recorded between 2012 and 2013, these 10 tracks make a brutal black metal ice storm of an album that, like Butcher Boy's Rhubarb single, has been crafted from hours and hours of practice and ear-shattering shows. If you like both powerful and woods-inspired atmospheric metal, this is not an album to sleep on.

Listening to Falls of Rauros online is not the same as listening to them up close and personal. I'm not saying these recordings aren't amazing, because they truly are, I'm saying that this is music meant to be lived - meant to be witnessed. Yes, I bet Believe in No Coming Shores sounds even more amazing on vinyl and you should definitely pick it up if you ever see it in your local record store (wink, wink), but to get the full experience of Falls of Rauros is to actually see these guys perform. I'm not an expert at anything really, but I have gone to quite a few shows in my short time here on earth and I have never heard a band play my ears off the way Falls do. These dudes know how to play loud and passionate walls upon walls of metal, trust me.

P.S. The shredding in Spectral Eye will make any big guy in a leather jacket weep - NFT guarantee.

Official Site

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bastro - Diablo Guapo

Bastro - Diablo Guapo (1989)

Bastro was a late 80's/early 90's post-hardcore band from the hot-spot for experimental hardcore music, Washington, DC. The band was started by David Grubbs who previously lived in another hot-spot for experimental hardcore music at the time, Louisville, Kentucky where he was the first singer and guitarist for Squirrel Bait. With Grubbs' experience and the eventual addition of John McEntire (a percussion major at the time) replacing a drum machine, Bastro became a somewhat short-lived but incredibly skilled hardcore band.

Bastro took their early post-hardcore sound and gave it a twist by adding piano and horns to create the sounds of their 1989 release, Diablo Guapo ~ Handsome Devil. Diablo Guapo today would probably be described more like noise rock or math rock with its many time signatures and twisted guitar sounds not always heard in punk music at the time. Back in '89 though, I would imagine they were considered more of hardcore band with too many ideas and not enough problems.

Similar sounds/acts: Squirrel Bait, early Slint, Bitch Magnet, Sweep the Leg Johnny, Rodan, Uzeda, Shellac, Tortoise, Evergreen, and all the other bands McEntire and Grubbs went on to create music in.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Butcher Boy - Rhubarb

Butcher Boy - Rhubarb (2014)

If there's one band this year that deserves your attention it's Portland, Maine's own Butcher Boy. No strangers to this site, Butcher Boy are Maine's leading brand for music groups with no easy label. If there's one tag that can be at least included with a bunch of other sub-genre words like post, freak, or doom - it's folk. But of course Butcher Boy are all of those things and none of those things at the same time.

It's been a little while since Butcher Boy has released anything physically, but their constant appearances at shows and festivals these past two years have made it incredibly easy for anyone to hear what they are up to. From Shoreless Sea released in 2012 to last year's small Rhubarb single, Butcher Boy have found the mystical gel through the power of repetition and are using it to their advantage like no other. They might play pretty much the same songs they did a year ago i.e. Cousin, Empty Ocean, and New Home, but they have mutated them into incredible masterpieces the more and more they are played.

It feels like I saw Butcher Boy 20 times in 2014, but every time, whether it was at the Space Gallery, on an island, at a farm, or in the park I was left out of breathe and completely inspired. That being said, the best advise Bassist Travis Mencher could give to an audience is to make your own creative music. Not only because Butcher Boy never has a song left for encore but also because that's what music should do to you and what Maine needs - more creative music.

I highly recommend picking this up if you get the chance because it rules (of course) and it supposedly glows in the dark! I didn't get a chance to grab a copy yet but I will as soon as they get back from their small tour


Thursday, January 8, 2015

NFT's Most Interesting Releases of 2014

A little late but 2015 can wait! Here's some stuff from last year you may not have heard.

Idylls - Prayer For Terrene

Prayer For Terrene is an off the walls and almost John Zorn-esque hardcore album from Australia's Idylls. The album includes two tracks that were rerecorded from Idylls' 2013 release Indian Circle, but it's hard to notice them without looking at the titles as the tracks have been polished up and sound much fuller. After all, this album did take Kurt Ballou and a whole engineering team to get the noise that is Prayer For Terrene just right. All in all, this album is sure to open your eyes as much as it does pry open your ears. It's certainly not for everyone but if you are a fan of overly aggressive and noisy hardcore this is a trip worth taking.


Dog / Big Neck Police - Split

From my notes it looks like New York for one reason or another was putting out bands that were catching my attention the most in 2014. While I had heard about Big Neck Police through blogs like Gimme Tinnitus, I actually heard the other half of this album, Dog, through word of mouth. When I went looking for a band with such a simple name, I came up empty-handed. Luckily, I just checked back in with Big Neck Police in November and found this incredibly interesting split with both cats... err, I mean dogs. These two bands almost sound more like they belong in the Washington, DC Dischord days with the way they use their guitars like little knives guarding obscure vocals.

Big Neck Police's side:
Dog's side:

Facebook (BNP)
Last.fm (BNP)
Last.fm (Dog)

Family Planning - John Wayne Frankenstein

Some more obscure music... this time from my home state of Maine. Family Planning is Billy Carr's full band now featuring Jesse Heasly on bass and Peter McLaughlin on every inch of the drum kit he could find. What makes John Wayne Frankenstein so interesting to me is how eerily addictive I find Carr's vocals. Reminding me of the mysteries that were my cousin's house or how to eat with my mouth closed, this album brings me back memories I haven't thought up in years.

John Wayne Frankenstein was one of a few albums from Portland that was released on Peter McLaughlin's very cool new record label, Pretty Purgatory. Check out that label and the "pledge" system that goes along with it!


Salem's Pot - ..Lurar ut dig på prärien

While Salem's Pot wasn't the only Sabbath worshiping band to release lengthy epics this year - I'm looking at a you, Pallbearer - Salem's Pot are, as you can probably guess from the name, a bit more on the psychedelic side. With that advantage and the obvious influence of early doom music, Salem Pot probably make the most interesting Sabbath-inspired music today.


Jizue - Shiori

If you were like me this year the most Jazz you listened to was that jazz-drum-solo Birdman soundtrack. I did however listen to Jizue of Japan's new release Shiori, which might not have been straight jazz, but included everything from jazzy math rock to coffee house pop to math rap. Some of what Jizue might sound like Mouse on the Keys at first as it's heavily piano-driven math rock, but where Mouse on the Keys tends to be a bit stomp-y, Jizue is much more light on their feet (ex. "Wind"). Still, Jizue are not playing around, this is not feathery or lightweight music by any stretch of the imagination.

Shiori features Shing02 (who rapped on the Samurai Champloo intro by Nujabes) and Ikkyu Nakajima (from Tricot).


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

NFT's Favorite Songs of 2014!

Room for one more?

101. Enabler - New Life
100. Riff Raff - Aquaberry Dolphin (feat. Mac Miller)
99. Locktender - The Piazza
98. Homeboy Sandman - Fat Belly
97. Criminal Instinct - Fever
96. Bad History Month - Staring at My Hands
95. Father - Look at Wrist (feat. I LOVE MAKONNEN & Key)
94. Bastions - Empty Vessel
93. Vulture Shit - I Love My Job
92. Kite Party - Halflife
91. Cara Neir - To Sprout from Decay
90. Dungeon Kids - Wife Out
89. Single Mothers - Marbles
88. Chance the Rapper - Wonderful Everyday (Arthur's Theme cover) [ft. The Social Experiment]
87. You Blew It! - Award of the Year Award
86. Baths - Ocean Death
85. RATKING - So Sick Stories (feat. King Krule)
84. Krieg - Circling the Drain 
83. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - High (feat. Danny Brown)
82. Adebisi Shank - Chaos Emeralds
81. Cold World - Hell's Direction (feat. Kool G Rap)
80. RVIVR - Goodbyes
79.  Solids - Over the Sirens 
78. The Body - Manic Fire
77. Attic Abasement - Talk
76. Ab-Soul - God's Reign (feat. SZA)
75. Cunninlynguists - Strange Universe (feat. Del the Funk Homosapien)
74. Kal Marks - It Was a Very Hard Year
73. Roomrunner - Slow
72. Sun Club - Cheeba Swiftkick
71. Idylls - Lied To
70. Go Yama - Kiki's Delivery Bump Truck
69. Never Relaxed - Safety Net
68. My Fictions - Wake Anxious
67. Grass is Green - Vacation 2.0
66. Lil B - Fuck KD (Kevin Durant Diss)
65. La Dispute - Woman (Reading)
64. Dog - Living stone on the cave of the vapor
63. Big Ups - Rash
62. Totorro - Chevalier Bulltoe
61. Radiator Hospital - Cut Your Bangs
60. Future Islands - Seasons (Waiting For You) [BADBADNOTGOOD Reinterpretation]
59. Tombs - Severed Lives
58. Zammuto - Hegemony
57. Cruel Hand - Monument Square People 
56. Speedy Ortiz - Everything's Bigger
55. Psymun - Blind (feat. Spooky Black & Bobby Raps)
54. Thou - Into the Marshlands
53. Hive Bent - Fedora
52. Saintseneca - Happy Alone (bonus: Fed Up With Hunger)
51. Tobacco - Eruption (Gonna Get My Hair Cut at the End of the Summer)
50. Special Explosion - Clotheslined
49. Kool & Kass - C.R.E.A.M.
48. Rosetta - Soot
47. Jerkagram - Olee-Wah
46. Earth - Torn by the Fox of the Crescent Moon
45. Ted Nguyent - My Body is the Temple of Doom
44. Helms Alee - Dangling Modifiers 
43. Falls of Rauros - Spectral Eyes
42. Buck 65 - Love Will Fuck You Up
41. Krill - Peanut Butter
40. Goat - The Light Within
39. Kool A.D. - Hickory (feat. Talib Kweli & Boots Riley)
38. Demonbrother - Journey to the End of the Night
37. Salem's Pot - Dr. Death
36. Hail Mary Mallon - 4AM
35. UltraMantis Black - Biomonster DNA
34. At the Gates - At War With Reality
33. The Caution Children - Psalms
32. Baptists - Dissembler 
31. Code Orange - Slowburn
30. Lovechild - Perfectionist (Perfectionism)
29. Angel Du$t - Let it Rot
28. Owls - The Lion...
27. SZA - Childs Play (feat. Chance the Rapper)
26. Open Mike Eagle - Doug Stamper (feat. Hannibal Buress)  (bonus: Informations)
25. Wreck and Reference - Stranger, Fill This Hole in Me
24. Run the Jewels - Blockbuster Night Part 1
23. 100 Onces - Boreder Patrol
22. Serengeti - No Beginner
21. Trace Mountains - Buttery Sprouts
20. Eyehategod - Parish Motel Sickness
19. Busdriver - Ego Death (ft. Aesop Rock & Danny Brown) (bonus: Eat Rich)
18. Soft Power - LVL UP
17. Protomartyr - Scum, Rise!
16. Mayor Creep - Bike Lane
15. Bearcubbin' - High School Field Trip to Murder Island
14. Flying Lotus - Dead Man's Tetris (feat. Captain Murphy & Snoop Dogg)
13. Tigers Jaw - Slow Come On
12. Sangharsha - Dharaap
11. Mantar - The Berserker's Path
10. Shellac - Riding Bikes
9. Butcher Boy - New Home
8. SLOTHS - Breadcrumb Trail (Slint cover)
7. ScHoolBoy Q - Man of the Year
6. Milo - You Are Go(o)d to Me
5. Swans - Bring the Sun/Toussaint L'Ouverture
4. Have a Nice Life - Cropsey
3. Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra - What We Loved Was Not Enough
2. Yautja - Faith Resigned
1. Spooky Black - Without U

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

NFT's Got You Covered - Favorite Covers of 2014!

Some covers from 2014!

Invalids - Lemmings from I Guess this is Growing Up (Volume 1)

Every wondered what it would be like if Blink 182 jumped into the twinkle daddy game in 2014? Well, Pete Davis AKA Invalids has the answer in his virtuoso-has-nothing-on-me cover of "Lemmings" from Cheshire Cat (1996).

Pharmakon - Bang Bang from Bestial Burden (bonus track)

I first heard Nancy Sinatra's original after witnessing it in Kill Bill Vol. 1 when I was too young to really appreciate either. This version by Sacred Bones noisemaker Margaret Chardiet definitely would have fit right in with Tarantino's revengesploitation fetish.

You Blew It! - Surf Wax America from You Blue It!

Not as different as the Blink 182 cover above, but this Blue Album Weezer cover is a very fun rework of a song that gets barely any recognition. Props to You Blew It! for making a song that could easily fit in a future Tony Hawk game (I can wish) as well.

The Body & Thou - Terrible Lie (live from Gilead Fest)

While I will never actually know what this song sounded like (recordings were destroyed by the sheer power and heaviness of this performance and only a Youtube video surfaced), I'm gonna have to go with this video over the original by Nine Inch Nails.

These Arms Are Snakes - Energy Drink And The Long Walk Home from Sex Beat

The original is actually less synth-y than this final recording ever made by post hardcore legends, These Arms Are Snakes. This track was originally going to be released on a Split with another band that came about after Botch's breakup, Minus the Bear, but it never saw the light of day. The aforementioned original is by Lost Sounds, a band featuring Alicja Trout and Jay Reatard.

Black Math Horseman - All Apologies from In Utero: In Tribute

This Record Store Day Nirvana tribute was another release that took years to finally materialize. While it also includes a never-before-released track by These Arms Are Snakes (covering "Heart-Shaped Box"), I have to give praise to the now-defunct Black Math Horseman for their re-imaged apocalyptic doom cover of "All Apologies". I also have a very soft spot for dueling female/male vocals.

Chance the Rapper - Wonderful Everyday (Arthur Theme) [ft. The Social Experiment]

This is not your everyday cover of Arthur's Theme song by Ziggy Marley. I might elaborate on this more later when I talk about my favorite albums of the year but something about listening to a lot of reggae music including the original Arthur's Theme went from being a playful joke to really getting me through some bummer summer moments. This song might not be reggae or even a straight-forward cover, but it still has that uber-positive message to it. Plus, it's sung by Chance the Rapper, someone who is never always positive-sounding (see his next single: "No Better Blues").

Graves at Sea - Orchid/Lord of this World from This Place is Poison

There's people that say they like metal and don't listen to Black Sabbath in 2014. I Know, I've read it online. Luckily for you, I got the memo and wanted to remind you that it's still cool to listen to Black Sabbath - including their 1971 release Master of Reality. Once you are done listening to Master of Reality check out this incredible two-part sludge cover of "Orchid" and "Lord of this World" by Graves at Sea.

SLOTHS - Breadcrumb Trail from Casa de Diversion Covers Vol. 3

Portland, Oregon's SLOTHS could not have released this Slint cover at a better time. Along with Slint's documentary entitled Breadcrumb Trail released this year, the grown-up kids from Kentucky decided to get back together and have a real reunion tour. I can't say I have been to too many reunion shows in my day, but I wasn't gonna miss this one. SLOTHS incredible rendition of "Breadcrumb Trail" will forever remind me of finishing a day of finals in Northern Maine to my lone trek through Boston traffic for the perfect parking spot. The Show? Well, Slint will remind me of that...


Have you heard Primus's re-imagination of the Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory soundtrack? I had not until I watched this fan-made sync-up of the classic 1971 movie with Primus and the Fungi Ensemble's Willy Wonka renditions:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Honorly Mentions

As I begin to make my year-end lists (a favorite pass-time of mine), I always end up finding a lot of cool stuff that I either forgot about throughout the year or just completely missed my chance to post them. So, instead of just forgetting about them again, I call them honorly mentions (a play on yearly and honorable I guess) and share 'em like this:

Pink Richard - Volume 1 (2014)

Pink Richard is the side project of Jesse Gertz of the Portland electronic (now three-piece) band, Leveret. It's not too much of a stray away from the indie pop gems on Infinity released in 2012, but these stripped down acoustic visions are definitely a separate entity. A little folky, a little poppy, a little singer songwriter-y - a little Pink Richard.

There's a neat drum solo somewhere in there, too:

P.S. If you buy this (very snazzy looking) tape you get 7 separate mp3's rather than the streamable one track deal above.


Rosetta - Flies to Flame (2014)

After hearing Rosetta's 2013 release, The Anaesthete, I thought we would be getting a lot more hardcore and even less atmosphere on their next effort. Then Rosetta released Flies to Flame  last month and my predictions were all off. No, they didn't go full post rock or anything, but they brought back the atmospheric undertones that was the hooked that fished me in several years ago. Plus, this release still has the intensity that The Anaesthete was bursting at the seams with, but it's spread out again and takes its time getting there. It's vintage Rosetta.

 I'm not saying I didn't like The Anaesthete, it was one of my top albums of last year for sure, but it's almost non-canon Rosetta once you start to listen to this EP.

It's all apples and oranges in the end, and it's all good.


Bearmace - Aim Low (2014)

Bearmace are a noisy almost violent punk rock band from Montreal. The lo-fi recordings of Aim Low, released at the very beginning of 2014, really echoes the recordings of early hardcore and powerviolence. Don't let Bearmace's retro approach fool you though, this is apparently meant to be played on vinyl.

Maybe I'm just out of touch, but this sure sounds like something I would find on cassette in my friend's cooler-older-brother's room when I was 13. Too bad that scenario never existed...


Thou - Heathen (2014)

Thou play thick doomed-out metal that demands attention. Heathen is no different. Not only is this 10 track banger a major pain on my neck, it also demands me to sit down and listen to it over and over again or else I have not listened correctly. With that being said, I think Thou's Heathen has incredible listening mileage and will be an album I try to listen to a lot in 2015. It's certainly not a one listen and it's in the bag kind of album, especially not with an incredibly brutal 14 minute opener begging to be familiarized. This kicks my ass the more and more I listen to it.

  \m/ A punch in the face never felt so good \m/