25-07-11

This Dispute Is Not Amorous

Last night I had a pretty weird/bad night's sleep. I was half asleep - dreaming - and half awake - push-pulling my sheets and getting bothered by mosquitos. And I dreamed Touché Amoré was playing my house, my room actually, and they were dragging all their gear in there and everything was really weird. I finally woke up, stoked as fuck because I was actually bound to see Touché Amoré today, together with some of the finest bands in modern hardcore.

Because no belgian dates for this tour fitted my schedule I had to resort to a Sunday evening show in the Netherlands, which turned out probably the better option. In Belgium they only play festival shows, but in Eindhoven, Kaffee Aloys was just about a splendid venue for this show. Small enough, decent sound, good location. Downside: expensive drinks.

This Routine Is Hell started the show. Local band in the vein of Ceremony. Great band with great songs. They opened the show alright, a little crowd reaction already, a Black Flag cover and lots of heavy, low and fast playing.

Death Is Not Glamorous is co-touring Europe with LD/TA. They are awesome. I had heard their Undercurrents EP a whole while ago and I thought it was great back then. I bought it, together with the demo a couple weeks back and I started checking them out more and more, until I finally had the chance to witness it live. And goddamn, did I witness them! They played as tight as underage vagina. (Well, I wouldn't know.) Either way, awesome setlist, old 'n' new songs, all with the same drive and power that their brand of melodic posi hardcore and/or punk rock can bring. The singer's pretty crazy, he was all over the place: jumping in the audience/on stage/back in the audience/on the bar/falling off of the bar/back on the bar/back on stage/… In the meantime 4 Norse gods (especially the lead guitar player, he's fucking huge!) created a sound that might be pretty unique, and if it's not unique it damn awesome.
They have a new record out, Spring Forward, which includes 7 songs of fun, positive thinking and dancing around in shorts and a sleeveless shirt.

I was less familiar with La Dispute and upon first hearing I wasn't that impressed. Music much alike Touché Amoré's or Grown Ups' perhaps, lyrically really poetic and conceptual stuff. Now, upon seeing it live, I was impressed alright, but I can't say I'm into it. Despite my general inability to recognize good music, La Dispute played a solid set, people sang along, danced around, had a good time. Touché Amoré's singer sang along on How I Feel and Why It Scares Me from the LD/TA split 7". (A highly recommendable record!)

I'm really really really into Touché Amoré. The moment I heard Honest Sleep last year I think was one of the best things that happened to me music-wise. And after seeing them perform in Mechelen I started to get into them more and more. Needless to say I was on the edge of every seat imaginable when they were setting up. Without warning they started ~ and most of the kids went nuts. I've heard stories about shows in the Netherlands that suck because of stupid crowds, but thank God that wasn't the case.
Anyway, with a new record under their sleeve they need to promote it and obviously they played a lot of songs from that one, without neglecting the older stuff. Both …To The Beat Of A Dead Horse as well as Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me are some of the best modern hardcore records. Opera magna, but short. They also played I'll Get My Just Deserve and I'll Deserve Just That from the TA/LD split 7", with the singer from La Dispute. Amazing.
Every song hit me and the crowd like a wave at sea: unpredictable, sometimes smooth, sometimes hard as fuck, sometimes careless, sometimes caressing. They're incredibly good songwriters and mind-blowing musicians. Insane drumming, awe-invoking bass parts and guitars that send shivers down your spine. And they combine that in a balanced way with throaty but understandable vocals. You need to here it to believe it. I can't praise this band enough, I think. (I can, but I won't.)
After an assault of songs to sing along to and mosh a bit, plus improvised stage-dive, they closed the set with, no doubt, Honest Sleep. Still gets me, and it still gets a lot of people.

Best show of the summer, hands down. (…if it weren't for the upcoming Hot Water Music show.)

23-07-11

We push on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on

The new Lintfabriek is in JH Karick in Kontich. Quite a long walk from the station. But that's alright, the only thing that sucks is that there's not a single snackbar or pitabar or pizzeria on the way.
It's a cool location though, right in between the fields, surrounded by pretty much nothing, away from pretty much anything.

One thing I hate about shows is that they pretty much always have delays. It's understandable, but I hate it. Mostly because I'm dependent on trains and other public transport and I calculate if I can get home or not.
This Friday's show in Lintfabriek had an initial delay of about an hour after the officially set time. So I got pretty nervous, but everything turned out fine.
Unfortunately once again a low turn-out. People should get out more, and not only for the festivals.

First show was by All Seemed Lost, a band from the Netherlands that play hardcore. Fast, angry. Some breakdowns. Some backing vocals. Nothing too special. Got me headnodding, but that's about it.

Next up was recent upcoming band Not Afraid, with members of Justice and True Colors, both pretty popular Antwerp youthcrew/posicore bands who broke up some time ago. Not Afraid is consequently similarly in style, with shredding guitar riffs, positive lyrics, fast drums and thrusting bass. They were pretty  great so I bought their 7".

Then Soul Control took the stage. I wanted to see them on this tour and this was my only opportunity so I took it. I really like them. It was their first show on the tour I think. At the start they seemedly had to get into it, because it all sounded a bit flat, but later on they started to kick ass like they did 2 years ago (from what I remember). I heard someone say that they were awesome, and that was exactly my reaction when I saw them for the first time. They have a different drummer now I think. The bass player still didn't face the crowd during the show. They have a new 7" out, and the new songs sound really cool. Check it out. Played a solid set, groovy tunes, tight drumming. The sound really depended on where you were standing, unfortunately I only noticed this at the end of the show so I didn't get too much of the vocals through.
Anyway, awesome band, check 'em out on Vlamrock, Break Out Fest and Ieperfest!

Same for Ritual, check them out as well. They're on tour with Soul Control.
I've seen them a couple times, but not since their new album. They started off with a couple new ones and they are good. Really good. Awesome band, one of Europe's finest. Unfortunately, as I've mentioned, I had a train to catch and the venue was a 20-30 minute walk from the station so I only saw 15 minutes of Ritual's set. But I was happy I saw them while it lasted.
As I walked away through the fields I could still hear them play and I realized it really is a cool location. Hardcore in the middle of nowhere. Awesome.

Strength Approach also played but I had never heard them and was on my way back home already. I'm sure they're pretty good as well.

I am reborn.

22-07-11

Every night on tour I sleep with different girls.

There's a Lemuria/Cheap Girls tour going on and yesterday they played in Mechelen, at Metteko. They'll play Vlamrock and Ieperfest as well. Jolly.
The show was supposed to start at 19h15, but at that point I think there were only 5 people besides the bands. Sucks. Generally not many people showed up, actually. Maybe because they have festival dates as well. Also, punk rock isn't all that popular there I think, I bet any hardcore show there would be packed. But no worries, we could still have fun.

Apologies, I Have None. That was the first band to come on stage and rock out. They did rock out. They do punk rock/emo like Taking Back Sunday or Knapsack or something. The line-up, the harmonies and the switching vocals reminded me of a British emo version of the Copyrights. Yeah, silly, right? Anyway, they were really good, despite a weak crowd they put a lot of energy and all that in their show. Passion, perhaps. Great riffs and melodies, fun to watch, overall good score. I tried to buy a 7" but they were sold out, so that's a good thing I guess. It was their last day on tour, so that's one less thing they have to drag home. A shame I haven't got one though.

Arizona did about 17 soundchecks, which isn't very punk but that's okay. They played songs that were probably good but it wasn't my cup o' tea. They're a belgian band with an English singer, which was confusing at first because I didn't know that. So yeah, check them out if you like melodic punk rock with an hardcore-y edge. Something like that.

Then Cheap Girls played. Great band. I had heard Find Me A Drink Home a long time ago (put out by donation-based download label Quote Unquote records) but I don't really remember what it sounded like. But they're great. Kinda pop punk-y, cool vocals, short, fun songs. Nothing too serious I guess. I could guess wrong. Check 'em out, I think they have another album out by now.

Finally, Lemuria. Pretty stoked on seeing them. Front row. Well, that wasn't very difficult as there were only like 4 rows. Yeah, pretty disappointed by the turn-out, these bands deserve better. But Lemuria played and I didn't care. I cared for the lovely melodies, the harmonies between Alex and Sheena, and the coolness of this band. Also, Sheena is really cute, all the more while playing guitar and singing songs. As for the songs, they played about 50/50 old/new stuff, so I was pleased. The new album is really good, but I prefer the stuff from The First Collection I think. Fun show, danced a bit, sang along a bit. It feels weird though, singing along to songs like Lipstick, hah. The vocals didn't always come through too good, but I didn't care.
They have awesome merch as well, but I only bought the records because I basically have an abundance of band shirts right now.
And if I'm not mistaken Alex Kerns will put out a split 7" with Mikey Erg on Asian Man Recs, which can only result in the best split 7" since the Lemuria/Ergs! split 7".

After the show, which included an encore (Yesterday's Lunch for the second time I think, not sure what was going on right then), I drank another beer, said bye and left. Good times.

20-07-11

Some kind of Cadwladeredladed

I've been frequenting den Eglantier lately. A lot of great shows there. Tuesday night's line-up was… varied.

1994! played emo punk rock much alike Grown Ups and Algernon Cadwallader, but louder and more chaotic. They were just 2 guys, one guitar player, one drummer. Nobody really needs bass, right? That's just a myth to satisfy people who can't handle 6 strings. Anyways, 1994! rocked out fast, technical, sounding at full force. A lot of up'n'downs on the string department and rushing vividly over the percussion stuff things. Despite being jetlagged and having crappy gear, they performed a great show and were really nice people. Never heard of them, but they'll get somewhere probably.

Your Highness sounds musically as they sound bandnameically: authorative, bombastic, god-like. Local crushing hardcore/metal band featuring ex-Autumn Delay guys. Good stuff. Really good stuff. Awesome riffs going on, surprising twitches here and there. I had heard the lot after about 15 minutes though, but anyways, in that timespan they convinced me they're pretty damn good. The drummer was awesome as well, he made everything look easy and relax as hell.

Punch is female fronted. You might by now know I have a boner for female incorporated hardcore/punk bands, so although I hadn't heard their music, I was stoked on this show as it was bound to be good. So I thought. So I expected. And so I was granted. Punch are angry. Fucking hell, they are angry. They're all about socio-political themes, backed by fierce, rapid, fast, raging, skorry riffs at great velocity and a high pace. Kids were going nuts, moshing and all that. Moshing is awesome. I didn't mosh but it's cool to see people lose sense because of music.
It's pretty powerful. Music, that is.

Algernon Cadwallader proved like-wise. Main reason I dropped my ass to Antwerp and paid entrance 'n' shit. Really excited. And when they began playing they tingled my nerves. I became happy. My senses were enthralled by sweet, sweet melodies and divine rhythms. (I do not precisely know what enthralled means.) And the screams - oh! - the screams. Desperate voices, hoarse, screeching, yet powerful, soft. They balance music in an unusual way, but they make it work because they are awesome. They put the '90s emo back on the map and brought it to Berchem. A lot better live than on record, mainly because of raw power and emotion. A smile stayed on my face the entire show.
Until the last song. For one, my cellphone (my main source of correct timing) decided to break down just then, also I only had like (I guessed) 10 minutes left for my last train and was pretty scared I'd miss it, consequently I left without hearing the last song, which could as well have been nothing special, but also something special. I ran to the station only to notice I had 5 minutes until my train left. Well, better safe than sorry. At least I saw Algernon Cadwallader.

Imagine if you would have missed out because you have a girlfriend or you don't have enough money or something. Would be pretty ridiculous.

17-07-11

Death Four Life

On a quiet Thursday evening in mid-July a quiet part of a quiet city awoke. De Sojo in Leuven got ready for yet another Punk Rock Attack.

A Strength Within was up first, meaning they had to play for a small audience. A shame, yes, but that doesn't mean they didn't give their all on stage. They played a lot of new songs, some old, and a Guns Up! cover. Great set, great band, a lot of passion going on. They have a new ep out, Still Searching. Please buy it, it'll do you good.
(Check out This Ain't Noise zine #2 for an interview with them!)

The second band was Face The Fax, which was pretty funny cause they share the drummer with A Strength Within. It was the first time I saw them, weirdly enough, but I liked it. Melodic punk rock, you know the deal. Riffs, rhythms and vocals. A lot of cool harmonies. Check out their full cd and split with The Ignored.

Generation 84 gained a lot of attention as an 'all star' band since October last year or something. They played a bitchin' set of punk rock music with some of the best vocals in the belgian punk rock scene. The new songs sound really cool, and the 'old' songs do as well. Great music.

Death By Stereo headlined. I had never heard any of their music. It's like melodic hardcore. I wasn't really into it, and at first the set was kinda monotonous and boring. But as they went along, it got more interesting, the vibe struck the audience and the band played a good show. Apparently their guitarist is the best punk rock guitarist in California. Something like that. Fun show, a lot of entertainment as well.

So yeah, another great night, met some cool people, drank some beers, saw Harry Potter afterwards.
Super punk rock.

08-07-11

Black (insert word)

Thank God it's Thursday. Normally there's stupid parties at stupid places with stupid people, but this time the party was at de Rots with Black Breath. I've been there for a show with the Dangerfields and one with Kurt Baker, but apparently punk rock isn't as popular as hardcore/metal.

As I came in it was already quite crowded, which is cool of course. Saw some familiar faces, ordered a beer and watched Toxic Shock play their set. Old school, energetic, pissed off hardcore. If their singer was fatter and beardeder, they'd be a belgian Fucked Up. Anyways, great show, didn't get boring, great vibe to the songs.
They have a demo tape, buy it!

With another too expensive beer in hand, I waited for Black Haven to start. Haven't seen them since 2008/2009 I think. Last time they just brought out the Lazarus 7". Now they have a full length out, Harmbringer, but still the ol' heavy metalic sound like most band from the Flanders provinces have. Not a bad set, but it couldn't keep my attention. When they soundchecked I thought "this is heavy, probably gonna rule". But my expectations were left pretty dry.
Nevertheless a cool band with a cool sound.

Black Breath come from Seattle, played their second Europe tour show in de Rots and released an album called Heavy Breathing that you need to check out because of reasons (because it's awesome). Hardcore with black metal riffs and death metal drumming. Something like that. They pull off a unique sound very succesfully. Extremely talented guys. The lead guitarist shredded fucking fast, amazing. The drummer was giving his all as well, and the rest of the band obviously did too. Resulted in a lot of headbanging, released anger and the occasional fist in the air. Some real long songs but ultimately that didn't bother me. They played some new songs that sounded really promising, so keep an eye out for that!
Yeah, great show, they got a good response, venue was just right for this band (not for their prices) and everyone had a great time I think.

COME EAT THE WITCH.

07-07-11

ZINE #2 IS DONE

GET IT!


Statistics:
50 cents a piece.
20 pages
A5 format

Content:
- interviews with CHIXDIGGIT! (ca), MIKE PARK (us) and A STRENGTH WITHIN (be).
- reviews of RECORDS.
- some talk on CROSSBONEFEST, GROEZROCK FESTIVAL and mostly RANDOM STUFF.
- a lot of things you need to CHECK OUT.
- another MIX.ZIPfile to listen to while reading.

Distribution:
Zines are available directly from me.
- I am in Leuven during the week and in Kalmthout (north of Antwerp) in the weekend and holidays.
- I go to shows. Which ones are specified below.
- I can mail you a copy, it'll cost a bit more (±2 euros for Belgium, ±6 euros for Europe and ±7 euros for rest of the world, so I wouldn't recommend that for something that's worth 50 lousy cents.)
- I you know someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows me, I can pass a copy through those people.

UPCOMING SHOWS:
07/07: Black Breath (De Rots, Antwerpen)
14/07: Death By Stereo/Authority Zero (Sojo, Leuven)
19/07: Punch/Algernon Cadwalladar (De Rots, Antwerpen)
20/07: Cheap Girls/Lemuria (Metteko, Mechelen)
24/07: Touché Amoré (Eindhoven)
26/07: Resurrectionists etc. (Den Barbaar, Gent)
06/08: Not On Tour (Geniepegen Drauk, Aalst)
08/08: MXPX (Sojo, Leuven)
11/08: Homer/Octopussys (Hobnob, Brasschaat)
24/08: Hot Water Music (Klinker, Aarschot)

04-07-11

Beyond hardcore

Sunday matinee shows are generally pretty cool. This Sunday den Eglantier in Berchem hosted a show for the Veloz/Lich tour. I have never heard of these bands. You probably haven't either. If you have, that's cool, and you were probably there.

The show was opened by Millions Of Them. I saw them some time ago, rather passively, and I thought 'yeah… cool.' But there's this thing about the backstage/basement room of den Eglantier that makes everything way more intense. And so it did. Really technical hardcore/mathcore/physicscore/chemistrycore/biologycore/quantummechanicscore. Rhythmically really tight, plus metal-ish guitar riffs and solos/melodies and pissed off vocals. This last thing applies to almost every hardcore band, but yeah, the singer was clearly into it and his Darkthrone shirt made him look bad-ass. The vibe was definitely there. Great attitude, great performance, didn't get boring.

The next band was Lich from the UK. They're supposedly crusty hardcore punk but I'm not really familiar with the genre (the 'crust' part) so I didn't knew what I should prepare for. Hence, I came unprepared. But I had a great time. They have a female vocalist, which is generally a plus. By the vocals solely I wouldn't have known that fact, but you know, women have boobies so that was an easy guess. Musically slightly chaotic but primarily mid-tempo and really dirty. Great guitar interactions, and again heavy rhythms. They have a 12" split out with Resurrectionists, who play in Gent (Den Barbaar) on the 26th of July. I'm guessing both bands are worthwhile checking out. Just guessin'.

I also bought a couple of great records from a distro they brought along. Among others from Gods And Queens, The Holy Mountain, Suckinim Baenaim, Pizza.

The last band to play the Sunday evening was Veloz from Boston Mass. (I'm not sure how to spell Massachussets so I'll just abbreviate it.) From the USA. Apparently on the best tour of their lives with Lich. Which is cool. They were really grateful for the show, the people watching them and I guess the opportunity to tour here. Friendly guys. They all have beards. They played something crust-esque as well but faster and only one guitar player. Sick songs, once again astounding rhythms, really. Some really awesome tunes that I will hope to recognize on their 7" EP called Sleipnir.
Both bands will join eachother on a split 7" that will come out somewhere autumn 2011, and they both played their songs of it, so I'll need to check that out then.

If you're into sharp-edges guitar riffs, wicked drum parts, dirty bass and desperate screams, check out each on these bands.
And I suggest you go to Gent 26/07.

PS: Oathbreaker was supposed to play this, but cancelled. Anyway, they're great too. I'm just saying. They have a record out on Deathwish Inc.