Tag Archives: Post-Hardcore

Album of the Day: Rodan,“The Hat Factory 93”

In the ‘90s, indie rock was a different beast, an ecosystem clearly derived from and still closely connected to punk. Only alt-weeklies and zines covered its artists, and discovery meant scouring liner notes, regularly perusing your local record store, and going to a venue where you trusted the booker’s taste, even if you didn’t know the bands playing. I know this comes up a lot when old jerks like me are talking, but pre-Internet saturation, seeking out the music was just as important a part of the process as actually hearing it. Continue reading

Album of the Day: USA/Mexico, “Matamoros”

The members of Austin’s USA/Mexico have impressive backgrounds: King Coffey drums for the legendary Butthole Surfers, guitarist Craig Clouse engineers the indefinable outfit Shit & Shine, and bassist Nate Cross runs the great label Astral Spirits. They’d probably laugh at being a called a supergroup, though, so consider them more of a stupor-group, since their gravity-laden noise rock lumbers and staggers like an elephant on a bender. With punishing rhythms and scorched-earth distortion, USA/Mexico bask in the primitive beauty of dense sludge. They weren’t lying when they gave one song on their 2017 debut album Laredo the name “Dumber Rock Riff.”   Continue reading

Album of the Day: La Dispute, “Panorama”

La Dispute are—without a doubt—the most significant, divisive band associated with the New Wave of Post-Hardcore (aka “The Wave”), for one reason, and one reason alone: they’ve got one hell of a way with words. Whereas their peers galvanize the subgenre’s requisite anguish into big-tent brutalism (Touché Amoré), turgid grunge-gaze (Pianos Become the Teeth), and wide-eyed alternative rock (mewithoutYou), the Michigan band play what is essentially the emo equivalent of spoken word—slam poetry at its most sullen. Listening to frontman Jordan Dreyer’s tense, eloquent monologues on 2008’s Somewhere At the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair, with their tight prose and copious references to Japanese folklore, Edgar Allen Poe, and Kurt Vonnegut, one might swear they’d stumbled in on a depressive creative writing workshop. Despite this literary bent, La Dispute never force sentiment in their stories; they simply lay out the scenery, leaving us to read between the lines.  Continue reading

Album of the Day: Ithaca, “The Language of Injury”

“Affection is just an affectation.”

Consider the above aphorism, bestowed upon us by Ithaca’s lead vocalist Djamila Azzouz in the closing peals of “Impulse Crush,” a thesis of sorts for The Language of Injury, the hardcore upstarts’ bruising, beguiling debut LP. Yes, the London band makes overture after sweeping romantic overture throughout these ten tracks, crossing-up mosh-ready fare with melancholic ambient passages, weeping guitars, and virtuosic vocal harmonies; their lyrics predominantly center around uplifting themes of love, acceptance, and resilience. Only by diving deep into the The Language of Injury, with all its overhanging dread and violent twists and turns, do we discover the true praxis driving Ithaca’s bleeding-heart aesthetic: a commitment to radical emotional honesty and self-sufficiency, rather than the misguided, if well-intentioned, “radical softness” du jour. Continue reading

These 8 Scandinavian Bands Are Emo’s Unlikeliest Torchbearers

scandinavian-emo-1244Once upon a time, emo was a dirty word. By the mid-2000s the music-listening public found itself burnt out on jangly quiet-loud choruses, plaintive vocals, and confessional lyrics. Maybe the output got too corny, or perhaps one too many bands broke out of Long Island; who can tell? At any rate, once all the Midwestern greats broke up, and the mainline mopers started to play acoustic guitars and write showtunes, few were left hankering for a revival, if you will, of the weepiest genre.

Continue reading

Exploring La Dispute’s “Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair” Reissue

La Dispute

You would be hard-pressed to find a debut album with as much nerve as Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair, the inaugural album from the Grand Rapids, Michigan post-hardcore band La Dispute. Originally released in 2008—and newly rereleased in an altered version to mark its 10-year anniversary—Somewhere had goals as lofty as the full title is wordy. The album uses folklore and literature to steer 51 minutes of hardcore and metal into dramatic tales of lost and failing love, summing to an epic narrative involving kings, rivers, seraphs, and tempests.  Continue reading

Daughters’ First Album in Eight Years is a Wild Clash of Styles and Personalities

Daughters

Photos by Reid Haithcock

Anyone lucky enough to have seen Rhode Island noise rock outfit Daughters before their break-up in 2009 bore witness to a remarkable spectacle. Whether it involved unruly crowds, bodily injury, public nudity, or hostile confrontations, Daughters’ live shows became the stuff of legend. Not coincidentally, their music itself captured a particular kind of danger, somewhere between the rebellion of punk rock and a kind of futuristic, dystopian nightmare, evoked via Nick Sadler’s piercing, otherworldly guitar effects. Daughters sounded like a band that absolutely did not give a fuck—and they were very good at it.  Continue reading

Album of the Day: Bosse-de-Nage, “Further Still”

Much of the current discourse surrounding black metal revolves around the artists who transcend it. Deafheaven are often at the center of this conversation, driving a sharp divide between genre purists and those who throw around terms like “post-black metal”—even though the prefix “post-” offers no real insight into what a band might sound like. Not so with San Francisco’s Bosse-de-Nage: this formerly-anonymous quartet “transcend” black metal in a different way, reaching for something more celestial and unbound. Continue reading