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Tidemouth – Velvet and Stone

Velvet and Stone cover art

California’s Tidemouth‘s sonic evolution has been nothing short of drastic. The quartet began life in 2008 with a grinding, screamo sound that was erratic and ferocious to say the least. Fast-forward seven years later and the Los Angeles racket makers have ushered in a new era for themselves and have, undoubtedly, found their niche with Velvet and Stone. A hardcore/screamo heart can still be found within this new vessel of theirs, but what pumps through its veins is more in line with post-punk and goth than Orchid-inspired ferocity. Velvet and Stone borrows its foundation from groups like Bauhaus and The Cure, and builds upon it with enough despair and grit to bum out the most elated human being on the planet. The record begins with the one-two punch of “Secrets” and “Vaccinate”. “Secrets” rides out this disfigured blues-oriented groove as raw, buzzing guitars join in the distorted merrymaking, while “Vaccinate” churns out grimy, punk-tinged chords that are nothing short of jarring. The bruising anthem “Black Lung” creeps its way in after the opening onslaught with frail, reverberating melodies and a booming chorus, propelled by vocalist Mike Kilker’s raspy ululations, that is destined to burrow into your head and remain there for the rest of the day. Tracks like “Memories of You” and “Clearing the Forest” cycle between somber ethereal sections and venomous guitar work that doesn’t skimp on melody despite verging on noisier territory. That aforementioned territory is fully explored in “Abyssal Blessing”, which shows Tidemouth conjuring up as many discombobulating, dissonant riffs as humanly possible. As previously stated, Tidemouth have definitely found their niche with Velvet and Stone. This gothic-tinged, blackened post-punk style fits these guys very well and sounds anything but disingenuous. This half-hour of bummer music is catchy where it needs to be, abrasive where it needs to be, and will ruin your day in the best way.


Rating: 8/10
Label: Melotov
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Favorite Tracks: “Black Lung” and “Sunlight Sonata”


A Horrible Death to a Horrible Man – Escape Escape

Although the EP is titled Escape Escape, there is in fact no escaping A Horrible Death to a Horrible Man‘s pummeling yet ludicrously catchy tunes. The Danish “Post-traumatic rock” outfit will appease anyone with a penchant for AmRep-oriented noise and hard rock. The short but satisfying release begins with the monstrous “Drifting Through”, which features an onslaught of ominous, leviathanic riffs that lead to a lengthy bridge full of hazy-eyed licks, oscillating noise and a bouncing rhythm section. The bridge eventually builds to a final march of dizzying guitar work and droning choruses. “A Sudden Violent Displeasure” dials back the eccentricity the opening track dealt out in favor of a more straight-forward, crushing approach. The riffs are simplistic and repetitious but their heaviness and groove are undeniable. “Resurrection Creek” comes barreling in next with its bouncing rhythms, stoner-esque vibe and catchy vocal work.  As the track progresses, it begins to switch between garage rock stampedes, noisy debauchery and grunge-inspired chord progressions. “There Is a Tide” summons walls of piercing yet melodic walls of tremolo picked madness that leaves room for wailing guitar solos to thrive underneath it all.  The six minute behemoth “A Radiant City Return Trip” closes out the record on a high note. The beast begins with a menacing, crawling bass line that eventually walks hand in hand with guitar-generated noise and quaking percussion. The song uses repetition to its advantage, adding little nuances here and there before exploding in a fiery procession of skull-crushing chords. After its 24 minutes is up, Escape Escape will be calling you back for more. A Horrible Death to a Horrible Man is a must for any fan of noise rock.

Rating: 8/10
Label: Mighty Music
Release Date: March 23, 2015
Favorite Track: “Drifting Through”
For Fans Of: Helmet, Unsane and Whores.


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