Archive for Throatruiner Records

Review: Haut et Court

Posted in Reviews with tags , on December 17, 2012 by Magadh

Haut et Court La Vie Self Released

Haut1 I was just bitching to someone the other day about how I felt like all of the music I was listening to had gotten stale. Then, via that serendipity that sometimes make the interweb seem slightly more bearable, I stumbled in a whole bunch of interesting stuff. The story behind this particular review starts last summer when I stumbled on Throatruiner Records’s online catalog. As I mentioned in the Direwolves review a few days ago, this label is not widely known in North America. In my own little way I hope to do something to rectify this, since everything that I’ve heard from them so far has been stunning.

Hautcourt.-Band1

The blurb about Direwolves is (I suspect) what resulted in Arnaud from the Strasbourg band Haut et Court contacting the bunker and bringing their recently released offering La Vie to our attention. After listening to it the first time, my one word review of in my response to him was: Damn. Just…damn. The six songs here are mostly fast, always aggressive, and played with impressive tightness and precision. There are elements of a whole lot of styles here: some parts are crusty, others more math oriented, and they even have an element that sounds a little bit like black metal in terms of the mix of tonality and atonality. The really extraordinary thing about La Vie is the quality of the arrangements. It is easy for a band trying to do a lot of different things to get lost on in the variety and to end up sounding muddled and diffuse. Haut et Court’s compositions are characterized by power and directness, and the various parts fit together into a thunderingly powerful totality.

Hautcourt.-Band3I think their name translates as Loud and Short, and I further surmise (if my French still serves me) that this is a sort of pun on the French phrase “haut et fort” which translates as loud and clear. However that may be, Loud and Short is an apt name for these guys. Their music has a lot of the qualities of a bomb blast, and when it’s over you’re not quite sure what to do. This is an excellent first offering from a band with a lot of promise.

Reveiw: Direwolves

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , on December 13, 2012 by Magadh

Direwolves Me From Myself, To Banish Throatruiner

Direwolves-Me-From-Myself-To-Banish-2012The merry pranksters at France’s Throatruiner Records are at it again. This is one of those labels that not that many people in North America seem to know about, but they put out some really forward stuff. We’ve reviewed a couple of other releases that they’ve done in earlier posts (specifically Calviire and Birds in Row) and as I recall we quite liked them. I certainly dug them enough to avail myself of Birds in Row’s back catalog, although I think that those guys have flown the coop to a bigger label.

Anyway, I’ve just procured a recent release by Direwolves and it is yet another Throatruiner project that exhibits qualities of real excellence. Direwolves hail from Lorient in the wilds of Brittany, about which I know nothing other than that they have a football club that tends to mid-table form in Ligue 1 (although they did just put L’Om to the sword) when they are not getting bounced down to Ligue 2. Direwolves, one must say, are Ligue 1 material all the way. Their six song release, entitled Me From Myself, To Banish, has as sound which is, if not unique, at least hard to find effective examples by way of comparison. Imagine  Articles of Faith doing a sort of screamo thing, maybe with a bit of Alpinist thrown in for good measure. The songs are short and to the point, but still involve arrangements that are varied enough to maintain interest. They bear a certain similarity to other Throatruiner productions, but their sound is a bit cleaner and their pace tends to be generally quicker than some of the other material on this label. However you want to describe these guys, they rock like a hurricane, and we can only hope that they get back in the studio soon for another release.

Magadh

Sounds from the Bunker

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2012 by Magadh

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