Review: BLACKLISTERS – “Adult”

Adult cover art

The noise rock resurgence of recent years has brought with it a wave of new and exciting artists that help keep the heart of this confrontational genre alive. Bands like Ladder Devils, Sofy Major, Fight Amp and the like have been getting tons and tons of accolades from publications and common folk alike. Although these bands have been around for quite some time, just like the genre itself, people have really started giving a damn in the past few years. Is it thanks to amazing press? Who is to say? Regardless, it is great to see a genre that helped define the underground scene of the 90s back in the limelight. The tools left behind by Amphetamine Reptile and similar labels have been picked up by these newer acts and have reshaped and pushed the noise rock genre further than previously thought possible. Which brings us to Leeds-based outfit Blacklisters and their sophomore album, and arguably one of the best noise rock LPs of 2015, Adult.

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Review: SPOOK THE HORSES – “Rainmaker”

Rainmaker cover art

New Zealand’s Spook the Horses have hit their stride with their second full-length album, Rainmaker. The sextet’s pairing of driving post-hardcore  and massive and emotive post-metal is fully realized on this 48-minute follow-up to 2011’s Brighter. In contrast to the sprawling, lengthy compositions of their aforementioned debut, Spook the Horses reduce the song lengths substantially on Rainmaker – providing more straight to the point tracks without sacrificing density and experimentation. The end result is an equally somber, beautiful and sonically devastating record that points to greater things in the future for this group.

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Review: GREAT FALLS – “The Fever Shed”

The Fever Shed cover art

A “fever shed” or “pest house” was a type of building used for quarantining persons with communicable diseases in the 18th century and well into the 20th. Though some inhabitants of these houses received treatment, many were left to perish within these structures. It is only fitting that Seattle noise makers Great Falls chose The Fever Shed as the title of their most sickening full-length to date. Instead of plague-stricken individuals, an abyss of psychosis and neuroses can be found in Great Falls‘ fever shed. Upon entering The Fever Shed, the listener will want to escape the chaos and insanity but will be too enthralled by what they are experiencing to even budge.

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Review: KOWLOON WALLED CITY – “Grievances”

Grievances cover art

Although the band has been active for a little while now, Kowloon Walled City didn’t make huge waves in the heavy music community until the release of Container Ships in 2012. While its predecessor, Gambling on The Richter Scale, was a fine piece of forward-thinking sludge metal, it was Container Ship‘s pairing of towering sludge and noise rock aesthetic and its crisp yet punishing production that it made it a favorite among metal fans and music journalists alike. The album was a unique take on the sludge and doom genres and left everyone that came in contact with it craving more. Afterwards, the Californians went into hiding to craft and perfect the follow-up to their critically-lauded sophomore LP. Kowloon Walled City finally emerged from their studio lair this year to unleash Grievances, their long-awaited third full-length and product of nearly three years of writing. Grievances takes the foundation of Container Ships and creates something new yet familiar out of it. With this new recording, the San Francisco quartet continues to be ahead of the game.

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