Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I'm forced to ignore many band submissions due to scarcity of free time, but I couldn't ignore Haldol. The first impression was that of a hazy deja vu-- not that I had heard it before, but that at some point I imagined a band with this sound; perhaps it was more of a hopeful premonition. Haldol is hardcore, certainly, but in between the fits of frantic riffs and raspy snarling, the band enters musical space evoking what I can only fathom to be the inner demonic cage match induced by the drug for which they are named. The jarring tempo changes could be a liberation from this, or the victory of those inner demons. Either way you look at it, the outcome for the listener is more like the majority of other drug experiences-- ups, downs, fatigue, cravings, and, finally, addiction.

According to Geoff, Haldol is engaging on a tour soon or now, so get in touch. The demo is available on a sliding scale for download at their bandcamp page, and will perhaps be released on cassette one day. Songwriting for an LP is in the works, so keep checking with them and over here for updates on that. For the next few days I'll have the demo available, as long as you send the band some dough as soon as you become hooked.

Once again... Bandcamp

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Les Voix du Silence

This French series is hereby bookended with this post of odds and ends held loosely together by hardcore innovators, Ivich, and the force that was their music. The first link you see below is for a compilation, and what a monstrosity it is! I won't lie to you; much of "An Insult to Our Freedom" sounds like ass. Between the low volume and the bad demo/live quality of many of the tracks, digital sound files are the way to go on this one (skipping around being so much easier). As with all comps, it is only as worthy as the line-up, and with bands like Disaffect, Unhinged, Disrupt, Agathocles, Battle of Disarm, Active Minds, and a slew of others, you can probably guess why I'm posting it. Ivich contribute a raw and loose rendition of "Si J' Etais Libre," which would later be re-recorded for their split with E-150.
In the other link, you'll find three little gems, not least of which is Ivich's only 7". The always fabulous Fab sent me these tracks a while back, but I decided to rip my copy which I hunted down recently. As an early offering, the band is a bit less melancholic, but the raw emotion that would come to fruition on their LP glimmers noticeably below the surface.
The "Autonomie Volume 1" comp. makes me wish more comps were like it. With only four bands and four tracks, there's no room for turds or boredom. Ivich once again bring us an early version, this time of "Les Voix du Silence" from their 10". Alcatraz is arguably the weakest band, but their meandering and plodding screamo is interesting enough, especially with the random trumpet flurries (something I would expect from Ivich, actually). Headway and Coche Bomba finish it off, the first with a slow take on the Bremen style, and the last with their characteristic Larm-influenced grind attack. A little variety never hurts.
Finally, and for the hell of it, I'm tacking on this Vanilla/El Vidal Sonido split 7". As some of you know, some Ivich personnel formed Vanilla, and if you've heard the Ivich 10" and early Vanilla recordings, the confluence is easy to recognize. "The Ink" is a mid-period track, not fast like the early material-- not as indie rock as the later stuff. It is anguished and atmospheric, so if that's your mood, Vanilla deliver. El Vidal Sonido is a different animal, and a mysterious one. Reading the insert I got the impression that they were a little pretentious, but the goods are delivered in the form of some very well done indie rock instrumentalism, so I forgive the posturing. Atmosphere is the key word again with these guys, the gloomy kind, so maybe they aren't so different from Vanilla after all.

All Ivich Records:
Here and here... "Insult to Our Freedom..." here

Sunday, December 11, 2011

667- Sign of the Beast's Neighbor

Well, it was back to school for me for these past ten months, and man is it great to be done! The experience only reinforced one of the many ironies central to my life: that I am jaded and suspicious of institutionalized education, even as I continue my career in this very field. It's good to be back though, and I'll try not to neglect the blog so much in the future...

I still haven't gotten the Francophilia out of my system properly, so today we have another French band, Algolagnie, whose only full length was released in 2000 on the great Nabat label. French as they may have been, the music Algolagnie produced draws from the whole array of nineties (mostly) European hardcore, both the metallic and emotive varieties. At different intervals, they tickle a wide spectrum my own aural nostalgia of the preceding decade from bands as diverse as Undone, Lost World, Kimusawea, Grievance, Age, Spitboy, Farcical, Ivich, the list goes on. Regardless of the treble-heavy production, the tracks on the LP afford the band an honorable place alongside those listed above-- they are smart and challenging, without sacrificing the raw emotion and aggression prerequisite to our beloved genre. The French have a firm handle on this meshing of ugliness and beauty, and I can't help but think that the implications of this union stretch far beyond the music.

The Algolagnie LP (Nabat, 2000)