Music Submissions 9: Mosey Jones / dressmaker / Distorted Harmony / Left In The Wake / Nurture & Antpile / Dr. Lakata

Mosey Jones - SpinningSubmission 91Submission 92Submission 93

Mosey Jones – Spinning (EP) After two years away Spinning marks the return of Brooklyn-based trio Mosey Jones, and given how good it is it’s probably good to have them back. The band play a style of emo / indie-rock 90’s style, and although their nostalgic blend isn’t entirely unique the four tracks that make up their EP are wholly memorable. Casual Companion kicks things off after a brief sample, launching into spirited instrumentals before slightly skewed vocals come in. It’s an instant winner, relatable and catchy, and it sets the tone for the three songs that follow, bouncing and buoyant yet lyrically unsettled. It also presents the EP’s main ‘flaw’, if you could categorise it as one.Drums and guitars don’t quite cut through in the way they should, less so on the opener and most so on following second track How The Turnables, during which the melodic guitars are barely audible. That being said, these are issues that can easily be resolved on future releases, and it’s hard to begrudge the band for it given their commendable DIY attitude, having recorded the EP at a University. Maybe I’m just an asshole of an audiophile, but aside from this there isn’t a whole lot wrong with Spinning; it’s just a case of smoothing out these rough patches which mar the experience slightly. If you prefer a rawer edge to your music it won’t really matter and it does add to the charm of the record, which is also bolstered by honest, confessional lyrics delivered with a clear passion and emotion. There’s an upbeat yet troubled feel to Spinning, showcased perfectly in lyrics like ‘I’m happy, so help me’, and Mosey Jones definitely find the balance between the cathartic and catchy – it’s a sweet spot they hit consistently on the EP, most noticeably on the brilliant Hello, Again. The final song is the fastest, not quite frantic, but it’s charged, and there’s an energy to it that begs for a dance, even if it’s one you spent sympathetic as cries of ‘I want love, I want to feel the way I felt last year’ ring out. It’s contagious in the best way, and it ends the EP on a high as vocals crack and drums crash. Third track Linda Schuyler offers much of the same (which is a good thing), pairing thick and fuzzy guitars with some solid vocals. It’s slightly slower, nod along in nature, but Mosey Jones still pull it off very well, and it’s tough to resist as it cruises along, carefree. There’s no doubting that there’s a lot of potential here, and with Spinning you get the impression that Mosey Jones are very close to realising it. I’m keen to hear more in the hopes that they do, and hopefully it’ll follow soon, because Spinning is an EP which definitely merits more. [8]
FFO: The Ataris, 90’s Jimmy Eat World, early Saves The Day

 

dressmaker – Glass (EP) Some releases have the ability to grab a listener instantly, sucking them in. Normally it takes a few listens to really become immersed in a piece of music, but that isn’t the case with Glass, the debut EP from Brit post-punk four piece dressmaker. Think along the lines of The Jesus And Mary Chain, or a much more aggressive No Age; the band’s music is dense with atmosphere, a swelling barrage of abrasive noise. It’s loud and raucous, a swirling mass, and it’s also very, very good. dressmaker know exactly what they’re doing, and they do it very well across the EP’s twenty minute duration. Glass is vivid and vast, an eclectic web which is more than capable of trapping an audience, instantly sinking its teeth with the opening title track. Glass begins with churning guitars and drums before adding vocals into a deep and dark concoction, and as vocalist Charles Potashner sings ‘You know what comes next’ it’s inviting yet also slightly unnerving; you’re standing on the verge of what Glass really has to offer, and stepping into it is entirely rewarding as the first songs opens up. Psychedelic second track The Future is bleak and dark, dripping in ambience as it relents midway through to thick, creeping sludge and then returning as dynamic as it began. Potashner stands out on this track in particular, especially during this downtime, although his vocals throughout are very good. He often pierces through the haze but is also occasionally drowned out, his haunting delivery shrouded by the brilliant noise around him, which works well as he blends in. The guitars and drums are powerful, whilst the frequent bursts of electronic noise that dominate the final minute of the opener add something more, complementing the at times bizarre nature of the music. Glass is unsettling, but that’s part of the package, and even at its darkest and weirdest it’s a spellbinding piece of music, as is the case during the opening bounce of The Future. Glass ends with seven minute epic Skeleton Girl, a crawling, dreamy track to begin with, fuzzy and ruffled, and as it progresses it slowly unravels as the pace picks up, threatening to blow before eventually doing so as it launches into sonic crashes amidst cries of the title. It’s a spectacle to say the least as Potashner’s vocals weave and the instrumentation writhes, striking in abundance. Take into account that Glass is dressmaker’s debut release and it becomes even more impressive that it initially seemed – which may be hard to believe. Bands very rarely sound this good straight out of the blocks, but dressmaker nail it, and their debut EP has plenty to offer, dark and brooding yet also dizzying and dynamic. Glass is exceptional, and you can stream it below. [9]
FFO: My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus And Mary Chain, early No Age

 

Distorted Harmony – Chain Reaction (LP) I won’t pretend that I know much about progressive metal, I don’t. It isn’t a genre I listen to often. I suppose then that it’s difficult to really review a prog metal release without much of an understanding, but I know enough to recognise great music when I hear it. Chain Reaction certainly falls into that category regardless of its genre and my own ignorance. The Israeli band’s second full-length follows 2012’s Utopia and it presents a few changes, largely for the better. There’s less of an emphasis on the classical element of the band’s music, and the presence of orchestration is toned down this time around. As a result Chain Reaction sounds much more focused, and if the band hadn’t already they’ve found their feet here. Another noticeable change is in the song lengths, with every track bar one falling below the eight minute mark, something their debut never did. In some regards this could make Chain Reaction a safer record, but it doesn’t necessarily hold back either, heavy and technical. Both are showcased on standout second track Children Of Red which features some dizzying guitars before a brilliant, climbing chorus which makes full use of vocalist Misha Soukhinin‘s cleaner delivery, leading to a heavier section during which he displays his more vicious stylings as he yells ‘Fuck you and your sick ideology / So wrong are your words of hypocrisy / Taken a dream and augmented reality / For red is the colour of blood.’ The track is a firm highlight from, and after following the emphatic, towering opener Everytime She Smiles it sets the bar incredibly high for the seven songs which follow.  Third track Misguided is tougher to judge initially It’s opening minute sounds clumsy, especially when synths enter the equation towards the end, but from here on the track soars for the most part, delicate and then experimenting and expanding, with shades of djent scattered throughout before a colossal closing three minutes. Distorted Harmony are very talented, and the moments here where they hit their peak (as they do towards the end of this song) are staggering. The band effortlessly play complex arrangements with a clear technical prowess, and Chain Reaction often merits a step back to take it all in, ambitious in scope and pulled off sublimely. There are a few weaker tracks in the form of filler Nothing (But The Rain) and the acoustic-centered As You Go, which sounds diluted and cheap, but there’s enough quality here that these don’t really damage the record. Natural Selection is a behemoth, featuring some of the best vocals alongside truly huge soundscapes, whilst closing track Methylene Blue is everything a closer should be, arguably the best track. Chain Reaction is quite something, and I can only apologise for not really doing it justice. I listen to enough heavy music to accurately comment that it’s one of the better records I’ve heard this year, and it’s well worth picking up after release date July 9th is you like your music loud and accomplished. [8.5]
FFO: Periphery, Intervals, TesseracT

 

Left In The Wake – The Banner We Follow (LP) Left In The Wake are a Spanish post-hardcore band, and it’s likely that their style will sound familiar, pleasingly so if you’re a fan of bands like August Burns Red. There’s a melodic edge to proceedings that shines through on songs like the opening title track and highlight 3500 KillerMetres which helps set the band’s music apart somewhat, but perhaps not enough. The Banner We Follow is a solid record, but since its release back in March you wouldn’t struggle to find a dozen or more which sound very similar. It’s a common criticism I have with hardcore music, and it’s one that I continue to find quite frustrating. As much as I love the genre it’s doesn’t contain enough variety to really interest me, especially when bands like Defeater do what the majority of artists within the genre do only ten times better. If you don’t struggle likewise you’ll enjoy The Banner We Follow, which is ferocious and charged from the offset, combining guttural unclean vocals with technical, riffing guitars and fierce drumming, throwing in occasional gang vocals and spoken word sections. The contrasting use of clean and unclean vocals in Dearly Deported and the aggressive technicality of Declaration are some of the best moments, whilst closer Unscathed is a scathing end to a bitter, furious record. Throughout, Left In The Wake tick all the right boxes, although filler — ..- – .. -. -.—(which apparently translates to ‘mutiny’) is fairly hit and miss. The other nine songs that make up the record are solid, hitting hard as they should, and as a whole there isn’t a whole lot wrong with The Banner We Follow, and it’s definitely a record worth checking out if you can look past its subjective limitations. [7]
FFO: August Burns Red, The Ghost Inside, Parkway Drive

 

Nurture / Antpile – Split The first release from the newly established Cohosh Records, this split features three songs from two equally compelling artists in Nurture and Antpile, both of whom play differing styles of music. Nurture contribute one song with I’ll Bathe You In Jameson, a track which could be split into two, beginning slow with an almost emo feel to it with guitars weaving and passionate vocals wailing as layers are added until the song descends into a hazy fuzz of noise, relenting to melodic guitars and intersecting vocals. Around the midpoint the focus shifts towards a post-hardcore oriented approach with prominent bass, crashing and cascading, a sonic switch up from the opening two minutes. Antpile’s 2/3rds of the split are more abrasive, falling into the screamo genre primarily. Mid-Fall has teeth and willingly bites, sharp and cutting, whilst the longer Your Song is the more emotional of the two, featuring some excellent lyrics from the offset as vocals echo for the first ninety seconds or so, poignant and poetic. From here the track erupts into dynamic rolls  (not entirely different from the development shown by Nurture), but here the mix of Two Knights-styled screamed vocals mix well with a cleaner, thoughtful delivery as the song and split reaches its peak, bruising and brash. The production does slightly let it down, as is also the case with the other two tracks, but it’s a small criticism of three songs which are generally very good. If the split is anything to go by then both artists are well worth keeping an eye on, only extending their already growing reputation here. The split is available now, currently ‘name you price’ on Bandcamp; you can stream it below. [8]
FFO: Thursday, GRYSCL, On The Might Of Princes

 

Dr. Lakata – Known And Loved (LP) I’ve featured a lot of heavy music in the paragraphs above, so at the end of it all it was refreshing to be directed to David Creasman / Dr. Lakata’s Soundcloud page and the mellow electronica of his debut full-length Known And Loved – a collection of fifteen spacious and drifting selections borrowing from a number of styles. For myself it served as a change of pace, but ultimately Known And Loved is a record best suited for relaxing too. I churned out the 2000 words above in a few hours and I was tired, as pathetic as that sounds, and Creasman’s debut was exactly what I wanted, a soothing and calming listen which isn’t the most energetic but is also far from lazy. Opening two tracks, the aptly titled A Bursting Forth Of Brilliant Colour and Light, offer sparkling pop soundscapes whilst third track Holding Hands initially hints at darker tones before blooming into a catchy dance plateau. There’s a fair share of these upbeat numbers littered throughout, but Known And Loved seems content to coast for the most part, meaning that depending on your mood there’s likely a song on here that will complement it. It’s one of those records that seems fashioned more to soundtrack an evening than define it; play it in the background at home after a long day and you’ll feel a weight lifted. Admittedly there isn’t a whole lot of longevity, and at seventy-five minutes long Known And Loved does grow tiresome towards the end, but taken for what it is it does the job. It’s an interesting and calming listen, encouraging reflection and relaxation, be it on the brooding Fracture or the expansive What We Would Have Shared. Although I liked Known And Loved  it’s tough to say if I’ll revisit it regularly despite its obvious charm and craft. I prefer my electronic music to have slightly more depth to it, and although there is a narrative to Creasman’s debut I didn’t quite pick up on it, nor did I become immersed in quite the way I’d like. Creasman also recently remixed Kaninchen’s Loss EP, which I featured a few weeks back, and that’s also up on his Soundcloud page – an interesting listen. Stream Known And Loved below if you’d like to check it out for yourself. [6.5]
FFO:
If This Is A Man, Daft Punk, Burial

Advertisements

One thought on “Music Submissions 9: Mosey Jones / dressmaker / Distorted Harmony / Left In The Wake / Nurture & Antpile / Dr. Lakata

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s