Sunday, 22 September 2013

Various artists 2

Some more of my sketchy live photos from the vault.

Akimbo, 2006
Witchcraft, 2010
Super Fun Happy Slide, 2008
Converge, 2006
Saint Vitus, 2013
ABC Weapons, 2008

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Northless - World Keeps Sinking

Northless play a gargantuan, rhythmically confounding kind of sludge that is as enveloping as it is punishing and difficult. Their last full length, Clandestine Abuse was unbelievably heavy, but it didn't let you in easily, and for exactly that reason it was completely addictive. Their releases since then (a split with Lightbearer and the Valley of Lead 10") hinted at the band's evolution, but on their new record, World Keeps Sinking (Halo of Flies/Gilead Media), Northless have launched themselves on to a new plane altogether.

Everything that gave Northless their edge previously is still here, including the characteristic choked, mucous vocals and the teeth clenching, skull fracturing, hard won riffs. But there is a load of additional complexity and control, with a bit of quirk thrown into the mix.

This is the kind of record that needs repeated listens just to make sense of what the hell is going on. The songs are amazingly constructed and completely unpredictable. Titanic, destructive riffs unfold one after another, stuck tightly together by an absolute wrecking-ball of a rhythm section that morphs time and direction so effectively you don't even notice you've been transported to the next beating. Northless have nailed down the ability to forcibly drag their music along an erratic path of fury, misery, frustration, hatred, determination, false hope and...what's this? Dreamlike calm?

When the violence of "Communion" crumbles away to expose a gentle, breezy, clean, almost jazzy guitar finish, it allows the dust to begin to settle, and the full impact of everything Northless have done on this album sinks in. "Passage" picks up from there, providing a 15+ minute lesson in how to melt minds and faces at the same time. Possibly the album's standout track (at least that's my early impression), it exemplifies the whole approach Northless are taking to combining claustrophobic, suffocating heaviness with expansive, preconception-shattering songwriting.

World Keeps Sinking somehow manages to latch on to misanthropy and bathe it in a reflective, almost warm light. It's a fucking fantastic album, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Listen on Bandcamp. Visit Northless' website.


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Rectal Hygenics
Dirty, punky noise rock from Chicago's wonderfully named Rectal Hygenics.

Iron Heel
Doom from Vienna, Austria, which wanders into stoner territory at times. Luckily the riffs are huge. Vocals are great. I can hear bits of Rev. Bizarre.

Throw Me in the Crater
Nasty, heavy-as-shit sludge from The Netherlands. This has a real dirty swagger, like Autopsy. Brings to mind the under appreciated Accept Death as well.

Gigs of the Week
Sick People (QLD), Sewercide (VIC), Eye Gouge, Hygeine and Coffin Birth
Wednesday 18th September, Magpies City Club

Black Coffee (A.I.B.C EP launch), The Oily Boys, Eye Gouge, Hygiene and Beach Slut
Saturday 21 September, Magpies City Club

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Windhand - S/T
2. Kadavar - S/T
3. Thou - All
4. Shining - Black Jazz
5. AC/DC - Powerage 

Playlist: lxp
1. Vista Chino - Peace
2. Enabler - All Hail the Void
3. Rituals - S/T
4. Jungbluth - Part Ache
5. All Pigs Must Die - Nothing Violates this Nature

Unkle K