Monday Long-Player: Godstopper, What Matters

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 15th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

We begin this week with the disturbing noise-based avant sludge of Toronto’s Godstopper. What Matters, their new album, was released Sept. 25, and it follows last year’s Empty Crawlspace tape (streaming here) and a couple of disturbing videos (see here and here) that mirrored the underlying core of violence that seems never to be distant in the double-guitar four-piece’s approach. That threatening sensibility comes paired with a more melodic vocal style on What Matters, giving songs like “Right up to Heaven” or the later culmination of “Clean House” another level on which to strike, while surprises like the post-punk of the penultimate “Lyman” or nigh-unbearable tonal weight of “Blame Them” show the diversity in Godstopper‘s still burgeoning approach.

It’s a lot to take in from song to song, and by no means easy listening, but worth the effort ultimately. As always, I hope you enjoy it, and for more Godstopper, check out their Bandcamp or Tumblr.

Kind of a wild weekend, otherwise I probably would’ve posted this on Friday as per usual. Got sufficiently loaded on Friday and Saturday and then spent the better part of yesterday in the hospital waiting room while The Patient Mrs.‘ brother had surgery on his leg following — what else? — a chainsaw mishap. He’s alright, recovering, still has all his limbs, etc., but it put an unanticipated stress on the day as that kind of thing will and set me back a ways in terms of the work I wanted to do in advance of this week.

Nonetheless, I plan on having interviews posted this week with Steve Von Till of Neurosis and with Brooklyn-based noise rockers Family. I’ll be reviewing albums from Velvet Elvis (that’ll be today, hopefully) and Altar of Oblivion, and I’ll have a report on the new Clutch record and a live review from the Heavy Planet CMJ showcase with Eggnogg and Borracho, among others. Looking forward to that one a lot.

Maybe a random thought, but is it just me or is Bandcamp taking over the universe for music? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent quality stream in an easy interface — I dig it as much as I’ve ever dug listening to music that way (not saying much, I guess) — but it just seems like all of a sudden, everything new is on there and that the post-MySpace “well what now?” question that Facebook never quite stepped up to answer seems to have settled. I don’t know how much they take in sales, but I guess underground bands could do worse. It’ll do till the next thing gets here, anyhow.

Hope you had a great and chainsaw-accident-free weekend. I’m gonna check back in momentarily with some news about new releases from Black Shape of Nexus and Don Juan Matus, so stay tuned for that, and there’s a lot to come this week as per usual and some, like Godstopper, pretty unusual. It’ll be good fun either way.

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Locrian Get to Work on Next Record

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 10th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Well yeah, sure. You don’t get to 20 albums in seven years without working at a pretty solid pace, so I guess it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Chicago/Baltimore drone and noise specialists Locrian are quick to follow-up their The Clearing/The Final Epoch CD with a new album. A double album, at that. No substitute for being prolific.

So I guess maybe the headline above is kind of generic — any given week, the headline “Locrian Get to Work on Next Record” could probably apply, but there’s some pretty cool stuff going on with this yet-untitled release, as you can see in the PR wire info below:

LOCRIAN Begin Recording New Album

Esoteric, experimental artisan’s LOCRIAN have entered the studio to begin recording their Relapse Records full-length debut.  The as-of-yet-titled album is being recorded by Greg Norman (PELICAN, RUSSIAN CIRCLES, SERENA MANEESH) at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago, IL.  The album will then be mastered by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering Service.

A two-part concept album inspired by the band’s love for prog-rock progenitors Genesis, Yes & King Crimson, this is sure to be the group’s most ambitious recordings to date. Multi-instrumentalist Andre Foisy commented on the new material:

“This is our most concise album yet. Our statements developed quickly compared to many of our other releases. We’re all really into prog rock and we made this a concept album in musical and lyrical themes.

Musically, side A ends in a trilogy of songs and side B ends in a quadrilogy. Each of these two tracks mirror each other in places. In addition to some musical themes that pop up in different places in the album, there are also some musical themes that harken back to our older catalog.”

Tentative track titles include “A Visitation From the Wrath of Heaven”, “Exiting the Hall of Vapor and Light” and “Panorama of Mirror”.  A spring 2013 release via Relapse is expected with more details to be announced shortly.

LOCRIAN, located in Chicago, IL and Baltimore, MD, has released over 20 recordings on an eclectic array of labels in their relatively short but prolific career, including a recent reissue of The Clearing / The Final Epoch and an upcoming reissue of New Dominions, a split with label-mates HORSEBACK. The Clearing / The Final Epoch can be found streaming at this location:

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The Noise Will Melt Your Face

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 5th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Anyone in upstate New York who wants to have their ears blown to bits tonight: Telecult Powers are bringing their omega-drone to the Nyack Village Theatre for a show sponsored by Opposite Records. They’ll be playing with several other noise acts (noise, not noise rock), and the whole thing is going to be simulcast on Perhaps this poster will be able to say all the words I can’t:

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Shroud Eater Demo Has Some Serious Teeth

Posted in Reviews on November 17th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Me likey.They?re in and out in under 15 minutes, and in that time the Floridian trio Shroud Eater manage to give an impressive showing of sludge and noise on their self-titled demo. With artwork from guitarist/vocalist Jeannie Saiz and a logo that says ?stoner rock? as much as any riff ever could, the three tracks present, ?We are Beasts,? ?Vesuvius? and ?Cyclone,? respectively, offer doom by way of a ?90s alternative influence. They call it Jesus Lizard, and there?s some early Neurosis in there, maybe by way of Kylesa. No complaints, in any case.

?We are Beasts? opens with a disconcerting riff and gives away its chorus quickly in punk rock fashion. The groove to the song is central and complex — Shroud Eater waste no time in showing they?re capable of toying with structure to get a point across. After two verses and choruses, an instrumental section takes hold, then the cycle repeats and the track ends with a modified version of the verse riff, only to find ?Vesuvius? starting with a tom solo from drummer Felipe Torres before feedback fades up and Saiz and bassist Janette Valentine move into the song proper. It?s here the Neurosis influence, such as it is, comes out, and mostly in Saiz?s shouting vocal approach.

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