Sounds from the Bunker

For the last couple of days, I’ve been grooving on the Lost Tribe demo that I got from the Captain. For those who haven’t heard it, I heartily recommend it. I get the impression that it’s considered neo-goth or some such thing. In the days of my youth we would have just called that punk rock. It isn’t really quite as decadent as (what I consider to be) mainline goth acts like Christian Death or (taking the term a little more broadly) 45 Grave (to say nothing of such puffy shirt favorites as Spear of Destiny, Sisters of Mercy, etc.). If I’m not mistaken, the first time that I heard 45 Grave was on a compilation that also featured Social Distortion. [Subsequent research showed that this was the Hell Comes to Your House comp, originally released in 1981, which was kind of a watershed moment in terms of the early punk/goth crossover.] In any case, Lost Tribe rule and should be listened to by all civilized people.

In the name of trying to expand my musical horizons a little bit I’ve been digging into a bit of French music that was recommended to me: the Rigorisme EP released by Calvaiire. France is another one of those places in which my knowledge of the hardcore scene has really lagged. In the last ten years or so, there has been a real efflorescence of black metal bands in France, with groups such as Deathspell Omega, Glorior Belli, Merrimack, and Haemoth creating a dark and chaotic sound that seemed specific to the scene there (to the extent that such a work is descriptive in this case). Calvaiire is the first French hardcore band that I have heard in many a year and, on the strength of this four song release, they show massive promise. Their music occupies the border land between dark hardcore in the vein of Rorschach and more mainline screamo acts like Hoover (just to pick a name). More info is available from their site, which gives the impression of a real d.i.y approach. There is some (and perhaps complete) overlap between the band and the people who do Throatruiner Records. The latter have put out a whole bunch of cool stuff, about which more will be said in future posts. More power to them.

As it turns out, Calvaiire are related to another awesome French band: Birds in a Row. They too used to be on Throatruiner, although for the new record (which was released recently and which I haven’t heard yet) they have moved over to Deathwish Inc. Their Cottbus EP sounds a lot like Calvaiire, but the sound is more spare, a little like a less distorted MITB. They do thrash quite hard, throwing in plenty of pace and tempo changes that keep the listener interest. They are just not one of those bands that it’s very easy to tap your foot to (or bang your head if such is your inclination), but their music has a harsh, emotional quality that is quite distinctive.

Along more well-travelled lines, Münster’s Unrest have released a self-titled EP featuring four songs of intense, crust tinged d-beat on Germany’s Rising Riot Records. The music is tight and aggressive, sort of in the vein of Audio Collapse, but played with more precision. The song structures are pretty simple with slight melodic overtones, but relying more on heavily overdriven guitar and razor sharp drumming. This is definitely one of the better mixed releases that I have heard in this genre lately. The production is thick but still clear, giving the music a dark and brooding feel that that lifts it above the run of releases in this vein. Older listeners might notice a similarity to Crude SS or early Asocial, although the inclusion of blast beats certainly differentiates Unrest from those acts.

Ok, well that’s a little insight into what has been echoing around the Thousand Trivs bunker these days. We’ll be back tomorrow evening with more stuff, including a review of the much anticipated (at least by us) new Martyrdöd record.

Stay cool and don’t get eaten (because it seems like there are more zombies every day).

Magadh

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