Tuesday, December 29, 2015

NFT's Favorite Songs of 2015

Music is dead. Smash all your Apple products and invest in a dope dirt bike or speed boat.

101. Beyond Alive - Death Grips
100. Debt - Night Life
99. Water - Yowler
98. Ritual in Light - Guerilla Toss
97. How's it feel? - Trash Compactor
96. The Sickest Fuck of Them All - The I.L.Y's
95. Handmade Flaws - Spylacopa
94. New Year's Eve - Jon, the Archivist
93. Cream On Chrome - Ratatat
92. Pitch Black ft. Rome Fortune - Toro y Moi
91. Ideal World - Girlpool
90. Powerful Man - Hop Along
89. Not Right - Big Neck Police
88. Wheel - Stolen Jars
87. Soft Focus - Doubting Thomas Cruise Control
86. .38 Airweight - Doomtree
85. Settler - Vattnet Viskar
84. Cardboard Armor - Bearded Youth Quest
83. Have Fun Tomorrow from Ozzy / Stella - Gnarwhal
82. Turned Into Data - Stone Tools
81. The Gift - Kowloon Walled City
80. Corrective Measure - Corrective Measure
79. Failure Breeds Failure - Foundation
78. I Remember - Bully
77. Through Our Hands - Line of Sight
76. Hamper - Mouth Washington
75. Roadside Cross - Loma Prieta
74. Walk, Cycle, or Take Transit Like Jehu - Needs
73. Confidante - Youth Funeral
72. Raising the Skate - Speedy Ortiz
71. Frozen Tundra - Bobby Raps & Corbin
70. Society's Rule - Stick Together
69. Municipal Geography - Pneu (bonus: Hinges)
68. Splende - O
67. Thanks For Nothing - Guppy
66. Devil - Blazing Eye
65. A Desert of Human - Toe
64. Via - KYOTY
63. Poser Disposer - Clay Davis
62. Alright - Kendrick Lamar
61. Dinner Alone - STATS
60. It G Ma (ft. A$AP FERG, Father, Dumbfoundead, Waka Flocka Flame) - Keith Ape
59. Boneyard - Gravel
58. Alchemy in the Subyear - Dragged Into Sunlight & Gnaw Their Tongues
57. 'Til Our Ears Bleed - The Saddest Landscape
56. L'Amour Au Temps De La Peste - Potence
55. Exchange - Dying
54. The Legend of Chavo Guerrero - The Mountain Goats
53. Processional - Weedeater (bonus: Bow Down)
52. Swallowing Light and Sweating Diamonds - Giraffes? Giraffes!
51. God's On Vacation - Black Tusk
50. Shake - Bellyache
49. Canal St. - A$AP Rocky ft. Bones
48. Outcast Stomp - G.L.O.S.S.
47. Drunk Tank - Drug Church
46. Tony West Pt. 2 - Duck. Little Brother, Duck!
45. Torturer - Krill
44. The Maw - Blank
43. Transgression - Axis
42. The Hills - The Weeknd
41. Sun Bleached - Dogs on Acid
40. Processed - Yautja
39. Descent - Funerary
38. Frances Quinlan Will Have Her Revenge On Philadelphia - The Superweaks
37. Oscillator - Leveret
36. Low Beams - Touche Amore & Self Defense Family
35. Why Does it Shake? - Protomartyr
34. When I Was Done Dying - Dan Deacon
33. Celebrity Reduction Prayer - Open Mike Eagle (bonus: Dark Comedy Late Show)
32. De Qualche Parte, Nel Momento - Øjne
31. The Metal East - Lightning Bolt  (bonus: Runaway Train)
30. Never Worth Your Name - The Body & Krieg
29. Your Life in France - Ceremony
28. A Good Life - Cult Leader
27. New Alhambra - Elvis Depressedly
26. Limousine - GDP
25. I've Been Bored - Superheaven
24. Wolfman - The Front Bottoms (bonus: West Virginia)
23. the outstanding debt - grafted, i am
22. Dead Actors - KEN Mode
21. Beyond the Realms of Dreams, That Fleeting Shade Under the Corpus of Vanity - Thou & The Body (bonus: The Devils of Trust Steal the Soul of the Free )
20. Dolor (Part 1) - Fórn
19. Mookie Island - Sea Monkey See
18. Washerwoman - Bosse-de-Nage
17. Perpetrator - Red Death
16. Much - Busdriver
15. Flirting With a Cop - So Stressed
14. Mr. Fish - Pile
13. Re: Animist - Milo
12. Slaves Beyond Death- Black Breath
11. Out of Rage - Turnstile
10. Satan - Brother/Ghost
9. Hypernight - Title Fight
8. Brainbuster - Soda Bomb
7. Doomsday (ft. Siren) - WebsterX
6. Your Sweetness - Adventures (bonus: Absolution, Warmth Requited)
5. Red Roulette - Dirty Dishes
4. Vernon (ft. Vernon) - Show Me The Body
3. Law of the Land - Harm's Way
2. Lavender Chunk (ft. Hemlock Ernst) - Scallops Hotel
1. Bench - Spraynard

Thursday, December 3, 2015

NFT's Got You Covered - Favorite Covers of 2015!

Back from hiatus because I love lists and I can't resist talking about my favorite things of the year. So, to get the boulder that is list season rolling, here are some of my favorite cover songs of 2015!

Hot Chip - Dancing in the Dark from Dancing in the Dark EP

If you are like me, then you probably only know Hot Chip from the wacky music video for their 2010 single, "I Feel Better". Well, now I also know that they also do a pretty nerdy synthed-up version of "Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen. This cover of one of my favorite Boss jams includes an Everything is Terrible-esque music video and a sprinkling of LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends" towards the end. A lot of this cover plus the music video seems overplayed at times but I still enjoy it for what it is; tacky.

Tigers Jaw - In Between Days/Kevin Devine - Lovesong from Devinyl Splits No. 3

Two sincere Cure covers.

Girlpool - Cut Your Bangs from Chinatown

This cover of Radiator Hospital's "Cut Your Bangs" from last year frequently came on while I rode to work on my new bike this summer. Every time I was completely floored by how genuine it was. I personally like both tracks equally but I can't help but think that this version here is a bit more accessible to folks who can't stomach Radiator Hospital's unique vocals. Hell, I'm already seeing videos of people covering this version titled "Me covering Girpool's cover of Radiator Hospital". 

Somebody Kill Me Please - LVL UP from Faux Real II

Faux Real is a compilation of cover songs curated by Father/Daughter Records. The covers are that of fictional bands and singers from TV/films such as The Rutles, Sadgasm from the Simpsons, and The Blowholes from The Adventures of Pete and Pete. My favorite one of the batch this year comes from LVL UP and their rendition of "Somebody Kill Me" via the Wedding Singer. The original sung by Adam Sandler's character had been listening to a lot of The Cure at the time.

Tiny Rick (Let Me Out) - Sorority Noise from Tiny Rick (Rick and Morty Cover)

Another cover from pop culture. Didn't listen to a lot of Sorority Noise this year and I wished I watched more Rick and Morty. Smash this link to listen to the original.

Thou - Even in His Youth from Whatever Nevermind

Another year, another Nirvana tribute album. Out of this year's covers of Nevermind curated by Robotic Empire, I had to narrow it down to the bonus tracks by Thou, especially "Even in His Youth", as my favorites of the pack.

Went with because even with Thou's own signature mutilation, there is still some poppiness that bleeds out from time to time. Well, maybe not "pop" per se, but it does have a little groove to it for a Thou track.

Spazzin' to the Oldies - A Tribute to Spazz 

Probably my favorite tribute album this year, Spazzin' to the Oldies is a 26 song nail gun full of grindcore nails to the face. This is a tribute album for the one and only Spazz. Spazzin' to the Oldies features some damn good grindcore/powerviolence/spastic metal acts from today such as Purge, Godhole, God's America, Brainshit, Chinsniffer and OSK (to name a few that I recognize). If I had to pick a favorite here, I would have to go with OSK's cover of "Spazz vs. Mother Nature" because it includes the banjo outre (no mouth harp, though, but I'll still give credit where it's due).

Old Witch - Gallows from Keeper Split

Old Witch's interpretation of CocoRosie's macabre tale, "Gallows" is definitely my favorite kind of cover song. While there were plenty of true-to-the-original covers I heard this year on and off the internet, I always love a good rework of a song from a different genre or a song given new life. Isn't the whole point of a cover putting your own spin on someone else's work? Isn't playing a song exactly the way it was intended Karaoke?

I'm starting to digress here for a sec but I honestly wish I could list Weekend Nacho's cover of "Tired of Sex" by Weezer. Yes, Weekend Nachos covered Weezer this year. No, it was not the most violent retelling of Pinkerton's #1 hit known to mankind. Instead it was strictly "Tired of Sex" performed as Weekend Nachos playing Weezer. Well hey, there's also "In the Garage", maybe they were just joking around and this is the Weekend Nachos cover I was expecting. Nope. Whistling and all, it's a great cover, but it's no Weekend Nachos cover. Then again, maybe my opinion will change once I get a grip. Maybe I'm just mad they didn't cover "El Scorcho".

Honorary Mentions:

Screaming Females covering T. Swift's "Shake it Off" for the AV Club
Ironlung with Wizard of Ozz covering B. Sabbath's "Electric Funeral"
Leftover Crack covering B. Raum's "Left Legs"
Corrective Measure covering A. Front's "Discriminate Me" (gotta rep Maine Hardcore)
Holy Filth covering M. Otorhead's "Iron Fist" (gotta rep Maine Metal)
And a thanks to any bands that I saw this year cover stuff... a heard a lot of it and it was pretty good most of the time.

Also, I'm sure I missed something very dope.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Duck. Little Brother, Duck! & Malegoat Split

Duck, Little Brother, Duck! / Malegoat - Split (2015)

So it goes, this is Portland, Oregon's math punks - Duck. Little Brother, Duck!'s swan song. Together with Tokyo's emotional young men group, Malegoat, DLBD! give us one last taste of their incredibly busy and intricate punk music. Calling back to their first album, Survival Is Not a Workout, DLBD! add on to their quick-hit "Tony West" here with "Tony West Pt. 2". It's a very solid finale to one of the most interesting bands I've ever had the pleasure of seeing perform live and support here online.

But, it's only the beginning on the split; after DLBD!'s bombastic last hurrah there is still Malegoat's side to be explored. Malegoat's emo flair is both reminiscent of the Kinsella-wave emo revival here in the states and of Japan's own emo scene including bands like Climb the Mind and Folio. Malegoat have also released a split with the Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate), a similar band making good modern day emo music.

Last.fm (Duck. Little Brother, Duck!)
Last.fm (Malegoat)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Potence - DEMO

Potence - Demo (2015)

Some more killer stuff from the other side of the world.. this time from France!

Potence are a new screamo band from Besançon, France featuring Aurelien Verdant of the incredibly influential '00's band, Daïtro! Verdant returns to his throat-destroying warpath on this 4-song demo that will sure to bring you back if, like me, you were a fan of his work in his previous endeavor. If you are not familiar with Daïtro, however, don't fret; Potence is still a bit different. Here, Potence are much more gritty with a third of the band coming from some sort of crust-induced music project.

The other members' crusty projects include Geranium, Human Compost, and Black Code.

Potence = Gallows


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Øjne / Rainmaker Split

Rainmaker / Øjne - Split (2015)

Milano's always fresh screamo outfit, Øjne have teamed up with another European screamo outfit, Rainmaker from Eslöv, Sweden to bring you a two song split. It might only be two tracks each, but this is some top-level Euro skramz.

Rainmaker's track:

Øjne's track:

Also, while this split is free in digital form, I just peeped what the physical copy looks like and boy does it put any record from Record Store Day last weekend to shame. Here's the pic via Dog Knights Productions' Facebook:

Now that's a record worth getting and keeping.

Facebook (Rainmaker)
Facebook (Øjne)
Bandcamp (Rainmaker)
Bandcamp (Øjne)
Last.fm (Rainmaker)
Last.fm (Øjne)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

NFT's Got Your Covered with Monoliths.

Monoliths. - Black Santa Rides The Fire Train (2014)

Monoliths. play some experimental hardcore from Medway, Mass.

Black Santa Rides The Fire Train includes six different covers from some of Monoliths.' biggest influences. There's Botch's "Transitions from Persona to Object" from the legendary album, We Are The Romans, Converge's intoxicating metal-banger "Sadness Comes Home", Infest's fastcore number "Terminal Nation", and one of my favorites by Self Defense Family, "I'm Going Through Some Shit". Hell, there's even a Cursive and The National cover that are both listenable and don't remind me of my embarrassing mixtapes I made in the 8th grade. Then there's the Death Grips cover. Probably the stand-out track, Monoliths. rendition of "No Love" featuring Charlie Mansion (not to be confused with Charlie Manson from that other DG song), is a reminder of just how powerful MC Ride's "noided" yell-rapping is and how well it can be turned in to a hardcore track. It might not be the same without Zach Hill's stomping electric drums, but it an interesting interpretation nevertheless.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Stone Tools - Stoned To Death

Stone Tools - Stoned To Death (2015)

The Time has come for another great local release... the time has come to get STONED!

Stone Tools are a barbaric thrashlords from the southern caves of Maine. The music that is played on Stone Tool's debut album is the kind of music summoned by riff gods using lightning bolts and ancient stone-based instruments. Don't believe me? Take a listen to Stoned To Death right now:


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Soda Bomb - Wanna Jam?

Soda Bomb - Wanna Jam? (2015)

From signing a lease on a house to signing up for classes for my senior year of college, this week was a crazy venture in the art of growing up. Luckily, Soda Bomb's Wanna Jam? was also released this week and right when I needed a bit of a throwback. While I've only been listening to this young (but still probably older than me) four-piece from New York for a year or two, their sound is very much a sound I was looking for when I was still in high school. That's not a knock on them or anything... Wanna Jam? just really brings me back.

Soda Bomb's bumping angsty punk sound done right will definitely be on heavy rotation as I continue to grow the fuck up.

Similar acts/sounds: Mumblr, Chalk Talk, FIDLAR, Free Throw, By Surprise, Sirs, and Soda Bomb.

PS "Nobody Likes My Band" and "Damn, Dude" are less-fuzzy reworks from Soda Bomb's 2012 EP, Hooligan.

Broken World Media

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dying - Broken

Dying - Broken (2015)

Dying are an incredibly powerful metallic hardcore band from Philly. The four tracks here on this new release, Broken are heavily fueled by vegan/straight-edge/anti-lust views that make this already one-hundred-bricks-on-your-chest ripper even more chest-crushing. These views might not necessarily reflect my own, but when music is fueled with fire this strong, you know it's going to be intense. This is a must listen for fans of Converge, Cursed, Harm's Way, Full of Hell, etc.

Official site 
Hydrogen Man Records

Monday, April 6, 2015

grafted, I am.

grafted, i am. - grafted, i am. (2015)

The first thought I had after clicking on grafted, i am's sample-heavy opening track "sun-dry" was damn, this sounds awfully familiar in the vocal department. Once I got to the second track "the outstanding debt"though, I knew right away that this was Sam Judd's (formerly of Cattle Drums and Monster Machismo) new project. A new project that mixes Sam's vocals in with all sorts of different sounds not explored with his previous band Cattle Drums.

grafted, i am's self title is a short one with only five songs, but with the math-y guitars, banjos, duel vox, and art punk (if that's a think) vibes - grafted, i am keeps you both intrigued and asking for more. That being said, I hope there will be more!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Afraid - Sinister Vibes

Afraid - Sinister Vibes (2015)

Portland's residential dark synth wavers are also back with another super original album that is appropriately named Sinister Vibes. Once described as electronic music from inside a deep dark well, Afraid have climbed their way out onto land and right into your backyard. They aren't just huddled behind the bushes either, they are right out in the open ready to strike you with their soulful ax. Don't bother calling the cops or running away... Afraid's Sinister Vibes will be both heard and felt.

Sinister Vibes is out now on a very hip (from the sound of it) label, Crash Symbol. I would definitely recommend grabbing the tape from those guys and going to see them before they get too hip and move across the state or something. For Portland folks they are playing tonight at Poland Street and tomorrow they are playing in Bangor at COESPACE on Columbia Street. Get Afraid!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mouth Washington - Don't Mean

Mouth Washington - Don't Mean (2015)

It's been some time since we last heard from the Hansen brothers and company, but Mouth Washington of Portland, Maine are not only still slamming on guitars and hacking on dusty drum kits, they are probably at their best right now with the release or their new album, Don't Mean.

Mouth Washington's blistering garage rock meets punk storytelling has matured since breaking out on the scene, but in no way has this maturing caused them to lose any of that baby-fat which made them who they are. Nope, Mouth Washington are still messy, still rough around the edges, and, most importantly, still shouting for your attention! So listen:

Damn, it seems just like yesterday I was seeing these guys play at the Apohadion Theater on my birthday in 2010.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pneu - Destination Qualité

Pneu - Destination Qualité (2015)

New Pneu!

Destination Qualité is the newest trip from the premiere French math rockers, Pneu. Still just two dudes, Pneu take on math rock in 2015 with high-octane energy and unmerciful noise. The result not only makes you dizzy but also pumps you up all at once. If you have not checked out Pneu yet and are a fan of math rock, you must listen to this right now! It's differently the bands most polished but still intriguing release to date.

The 8th track "Hinges" features guest vocals provided by Peter Simonelli of the California Post-punk band, Enablers.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Leveret - Action At A Distance

Leveret - Action At A Distance (2015)

What once was a bedroom project for a young Mainer has once again evolved into something extraordinary. With the first official show down and Action At A Distance recordings finally at my ears I never thought I would be trading my Leveret dancing shoes in for Leveret neckbraces, but with the new jam-heavy initiative apparent on this new record, things are really starting to heat up!

Action At A Distance is a 10 track mix bag of electronic and sensual pop/rock party music. With the addition of Penn and Cormac on this release, experimentation is a bit more prominent than the last album, Infinity which was played out like Jesse Gertz's early works of a one-man electronic act's swan song. Now with the full-band in full-force, there are a lot more to be done and heard. The electronic and seductive feel is still there as always but there are a lot of new sounds that I have never heard from Leveret before thanks to four more hands holding more guitars and effects. There are also a lot more influences that shine through that previously could not be accomplished by Jesse alone.

With the addition of a full band listeners' are always bound to come across things they wish sounded a bit more stripped down or less polished. With Action At A Distance though, the use of rock and roll instrumentation as opposed to the keyboard and bass of the past makes these songs feel a lot fuller. A recommendation I always gave Leveret was to play louder! Now with the extensive use of electric guitar I think they have found just the right volume for their party-pleasing jams.

The album does a really good job of displaying the talents of all its musicians. With "Grandfathers Axe" we hear more of what Cormac can bring to the table (and pedal board) not just by his use of the guitar but also with his vocals - something previously never showcased before other than for backing vocals during live performances. Cormac can bust out some very sleek and seductive vocals that are perfect for the more intimate moments of the Leveret experience. At A Distance also does a great job of showcasing Jesse Gertz's vocals on "Oscillator" and and the electronic epic closer "Ghost". Jesse's vocals are clear yet laid-back, something I think Jesse has improved incredibly on and I think his vocal performances here are some of his best yet.

The only negative comment I have with At A Distance is also one of the best things about the album and that's that there is too much going on. During Leveret's record release show at the Space Gallery in Portland I was hearing a lot of comparisons being thrown around as to what the new album sounds like; I heard Party music, I heard electronic, I heard indie pop, I even heard Queens of the Stone Age-core. While there's nothing wrong with comparisons or sounding like all sorts of different things, I think that by delivering so many different sounds track after track, listeners are left really not knowing exactly what it is the band is going for.

Then again, all the sounds Leveret are delivering here on At A Distance are really well done and at least are not anything generic. It probably doesn't help matters much either now that there is also another band going by Leveret that play folk music from the UK... but this right here is the only Leveret worth figuring out!

Highlights: "Oscillator", "Unclothing", "Swallow", "Little Drum Song", and "Ghost"

Now check it out for yourself!

Official Site

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NFT's Got You Covered - Kythibong Records

Various Artists - Décennie : Couverture (2012)

Kythibong is a French record label that has been promoting and releasing music by many experimental, freak dance beat, and math rock bands over the years. In 2012 they celebrated their 10th anniversary with this 17 track cover album, Décennie : Couverture (translated to Decade Coverage).

The album is filled with French and American (31knots) bands associated with Kythibong Records that are all covering one another's songs. For instance, Pneu cover Marvin's "Copainscabana" while FORDAMAGE cover Pneu's "No I'm Not" and so on. A few of the covers like the ones just mentioned as well as "Intelligent Horses" by Papier Tigre (covered by Marvin) are songs that were previously released on a joint record release split from Kythibong, Africantape, Effervescence, and Head Records called Hasta La Fiesta (also available for free here).

Other bands involved include: Belone Quartet , Room 204, Papaye, Piano Chat, Choochooshoeshoot, Argument, Chausse Trappe, Electric Electric, Gratuit, Le Ton Mite, Mansfield.TYA, and Sieur et Dame.

Official site

PS stay tuned for a post about that new Pneu album coming soon!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Monday 106

Monday is back babe-y.

Babe - Bangs (2015)

Babe were an exciting mix of styles and ideas that liked to play shows. Now they don't play shows. Get your girlcore on and listen to what they were all about with this three song sampler about the pains of falling in love, dark and stormies, and being a big ol' nymphomaniac.


Yo Sbraito - Abbiamo Tutti Perso (2014)

Yo Sbraito are not from around here.. they are, from the name and title of this 6 song release may suggest, from Italy. Ancona, Italy to be exact. They play some pretty tight old(er) school sounding screamo reminiscent of NFT's favorite screamo bands - Daitro, raein, Sed Non Satiata, etc.

Props to these guys and Italy for keeping this whole real screamo thing alive, seriously.


ONSLO - ONSLO (2014)

If Weezer decided to be Tera Melos they might end up sounding like ONSLO from Bolton, Mass. Power pop meets math rock? Maybe if they came to Portland I would be able to figure it out (hint, hint).


Safari Al - Restless (2014)

Call it art rap... call it conscious rap... whatever it may be don't call it boring. Also referred to as S.Al, Safari Al rapped his way out of Wisconsin and now is trying to make it big in Los Angeles. Keep an eye and, of course, some ears out for S. Al if you are  a fan of Milo, Busdriver, Open Mike Eagle, Atmosphere, and this whole self-awareness rap game.


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).