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Listening Party

Thought Industry – Mods Carve The Pig: Assassins, Toads And God’s Flesh (1993 – Metal Blade Records)

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– Horsepowered

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— Daterape Cookbook

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— Smirk the Godblender

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– To Build a Better Bulldozer

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2013 marks the twenty-year anniversary of the release of Thought Industry’s Mods Carve the Pig: Assassins, Toads and God’s Flesh. It was an album that was so ahead of its time that’s there’s still really nothing that sounds like it. Take the abrasive, confrontational nature of Ian McKay and Minor Threat, mix it with a bit…

CityCop and Les Doux are two bands that have been making names for themselves in the post-hardcore/emo scene, each releasing a handful of material that has been very well received.  And rightfully so, as each band employs a chaotic yet cathartic brand of hardcore that draws inspiration from various acts such as Touche Amore and Pianos Become the Teeth.  While both bands differ very much in regards to their inherent sounds, teaming up for the Family Ties/Labors of Love split feels fitting.  The result is a varied, yet wholly wonderful combination of two truly talented bands.  Luckily, we have an official stream of the split for you to enjoy!

Soilwork – Spectrum of Eternity

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Soilwork will be releasing their latest album, The Living Infinite, on February 27 in Asia (via license to Marquee Records), in Europe on March 1, and in North America on March 5 through Nuclear Blast Records. Holy shit, is the first thing that comes to mind. It’s a double album and the first single is actually really good. Is there hope for this band? You decide.

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Veronika’s promotional material calls her music “atmospheric space pop with dark electro vibes, symphonic overtones and a truly haunting voice… A dream-like fantasy, ambient light shows and an electrifying, sexually charged stage presence. In developing her own ethereal but edgy identity, Vesper has drawn on the left-field character of Björk, Depeche Mode, Radiohead and David Bowie, to name a few. Visually, her style calls on designers such as Alexander McQueen, Vera Wang and Versace.” Admittedly, I’ve only heard the song from this video, but it seems to be pretty accurate.

Veronika Vesper became a classically trained musician at a very young age — even touring as first flutist for a symphony orchestra when she was still in her teens. She eventually became more interested in electronic music and started to develop her singing voice, as well. The end result is the song ‘Bleeding Desert’. This is just the beginning for Veronika Vesper as she is currently working on her debut album with multi-platinum selling songwriter Martin Sutton and producer Venom One.

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Veronika Vesper
Offiicial Site // Twitter // Facebook

Nomadism is the singer/songwriter project of Jeet Mukerji, whose music blends tense electronics and guitars with a dark reason reminiscent of Different Class-era Pulp. Harbouring a slight post-punk lilt and closing with the brilliant “Romance and Violence”, this Soundcloud set is a thoroughly compelling twenty-five minutes of songcraft.

 

Just a few hours ago, Sesame Street’s official YouTube channel posted a video of Cookie Monster spoofing Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”.

Weeks ago, I couldn’t tell you a thing about her or that song other than that I’d hear it at least 42 times a night, no thanks to the TouchTunes machine that the bar I work at has.

I’ve heard various rumors about the track (e.g. “The guy she gives her number to is actually gay and she doesn’t realize it” has been my personal favorite so far), but there’s no denying that it has all the required pop sensibilities necessary to be a catchy summer pop hit.

However, what confused me at first is that it was Cookie Monster covering the song. Mercifully, I don’t have kids, so I’m a little out of the loop when it comes to all things en vogue with the kids these days (did Dora ever find Diego?), but didn’t Cookie Monster turn into a dieting aficionado and become the Veggie Monster?

I GOT 99 COOKIES 'CAUSE A BITCH ATE ONE

I never understood that image, anyway. If he became the Veggie Monster, why is there fruit on his table? I digress.

So, despite Jepsen being Canadian, Cookie Monster has, in true American tradition, kicked his diet, serving as the poster monster for embracing childhood obesity.

(I keed, I keed.)

Enjoy the track below:

1) Everything Becomes Whole

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2) Hiding ft. John Andrews (Loudboy)

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3) Say No More

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4) Don’t Let it Bring You Down

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5) Sycamore Trees

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Most people that frequent this site know that Sarah Fimm is an artist that just never seems to quit. She has explored everything from minimalist trip-hop to full band-oriented, 70s inspired alt.…

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie… Balotelli. Mad Mario has finally shown up at Euro 2012, and with a tired Spanish side stumbling past Portugal in the semis, the scandal-hit Italians are in the unlikely position of once again (after 1982 and 2006) facing the prospect of winning one of football’s two biggest prizes against the backdrop of widespread corruption in the domestic game. Vicente Del Bosque, on the other hand, is stubbornly sticking to his 4-6-0 system, overlooking both the best (Torres) and form (Llorente) strikers in Europe.

I really can’t be bothered adding music to this, since both countries are kind of crap at it, so here are links to Nick Butler’s pieces on the respective countries’ musical histories from the last World Cup:

Italy

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Spain

In New York City’s Grand Central Station, right outside the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant, the underpass possesses a peculiar charm. At this particular location, four archways of resplendent Guastavino tile provide a unique listening opportunity, especially after midnight, when foot traffic is at its lowest.  Stand at one corner of the underpass, and have someone in your traveling party stand at the opposite corner, which is about thirty feet or so away from you. Step so that your face is within inches of the walls and begin whispering. Whisper something, anything, and sit in silence for a few moments. If your compatriot plays along, you’ll hear him/her reply clear as day, as if he/she is standing right next to you.

The so-called whispering gallery (Grand Central Station isn’t unique to having one; it’s just my personal favorite since I don’t foresee me dropping in on St. Paul’s Cathedral in London anytime soon, and the effect at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry isn’t as impressive) is a delightful phenomenon. Hearing the whispers seemingly shoot off the walls and traverse the concave ceiling is a haunting, alluring effect, which brings us to our tracks of the day.

We last heard from Digital Daggers in 2010 with their debut EP, Human Emotion. It was an auspicious debut, with soothing, gorgeous instrumentation complemented by mollifying, radiant vocal melodies. Throughout the new record, entitled The Devil Within, multi-layered vocals and effect-laden guitars filter in and out of each channel,…

It’s been an agonising two days, but finally international football is back with the first of the two semi-finals: an all-Iberian affair between El Furia Roja (Spain) and the Not So Furia Roja (Portugal). Will today be the day we finally get to see Ronaldo cry? By which I mean it’s been a couple of months since the last time. Or will today be the day we get to see Xavi… no probably not… will today be the day we see Inies… will today be the day we get to see Sergio Busquets cry like the enormo-jawed bitch that he is? Probably not, but maybe he’ll break a nail or an arm.

Spain: Dark Moor – ‘Swan Lake’

Dark Moor are far from the best symphonic power metal band on the go, but in terms of sheer what-the-fuckery it’s hard to beat the eight-minute epic ‘Swan Lake,’ which appears to be based on Tchiakovsky’s ballet and the Russian influence can be heard right down to the bizarre lack of articles in the chorus: “Her soul will be swan until she feels the love of nobleman.” All in all, it’s good to see somebody still clings to some standard of medieval Russian romance. I bet Andrey “I’d ban women from driving” Arshavin loves this shit.

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Portugal: Extreme – ‘He Man Woman Hater’

Of all the countries featured in the series thus far, Portugal has probably been the most problematic (with the possible exception of the Czech…

We’ve already witnessed the devastation footballers can wreak upon music, and there are arguably no two nations that have done more to mesh the two art forms than Italy and England. Italy at least have a legacy as practitioners of the beautiful game, of catenaccio, Paolo Rossi and Guiseppe Meazza. England have the 442 and Andy Carroll. Let the games begin!

Italy: Gianna Nannini & Edoardo Bennato – ‘Un’estate Italiana’

It would be remiss and frankly quite rude to talk about Italian music without at least once mentioning Giorgio Moroder, one of the architects of disco and one of the greatest electronic and non-electronic musicians of all time. He also wrote the song from Top Gun. More importantly, he’s written countless theme tunes for Olympics and World Cups, including this tune from Italia ‘90 which, while far from his best composition, is nevertheless about football and features some nifty prehistoric computer graphics. It was either this or Zucchero.

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England: The Farm – ‘All Together Now’

It says a lot about the hysteria that grips England each time a major finals rolls around that the entire nation ricochets wildly between almost morbid pessimism and deranged optimism before their inevitable elimination in the quarter finals having bored their way through the group stages and the odd second-round tie against a depleted Latin American minnow. So it’s funny the same sense of random scrutiny isn’t turned to the songs that soundtrack these events, such as New Order’s excruciatingly…

After a small enforced absence, the Euro 2012 blog is back with easily the pick of the quarter finals where, half an hour in, we’ve already seen the failure of the “holy shit, how the fuck do we stop Iniesta?!” formation for the third time in as many games. As I am watching this match in my house, it is only fitting that today’s blog should feature house music, a style France is renowned for and Spain isn’t, the same way Spain is renowened for beautiful, flowing football and France is renowned for beautiful, flowing handball.

Spain: John Talabot – ‘Missing You’

I interviewed Barcelona DJ John Talabot a couple of weeks ago (it’s a short one, not worth posting) and he stressed how he’s never actually listened to a full house album at home – except maybe for Daft Punk – so with his debut record Fin he set out to make the kind of house record non-dance music fans can listen. By and large, he succeeded. He also told me how he came to Ireland for a festival last summer and didn’t bother bringing a jacket. The mad Spanish fucker.

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France: Stardust – ‘The Music Sounds Better With You’

Everybody knows Daft Punk, and anybody who doesn’t isn’t worth talking to, but fewer will be aware of Thomas Bangalter’s brief late 90s side-project, Stardust, who had a big hit in 1998 with the classic ‘Music Sounds Better With You.’ That’s more or less…

John Terry celebrates another successful moon landing.

After a slightly surprising opening defeat to hosts Ukraine, Sweden are aiming to rescue their campaign with a result against England, to whom they’ve never lost a competitive game. England, for their part, played out the bore draw of the tournament to date against  a French side who may struggle to score goals.

Sweden: Hardcore Superstar – ‘Bag on Your Head’

If there’s one thing the Swedes do better than anybody else, it’s heavy metal of any subgenre. Like everything else, they were leading lights on the hair metal scene, and were also at the forefront of the glam revival of the ’00s. Hardcore Superstar were the best of the lot, and the hilarious ‘Bag on Your Head’ is one of the catchiest tracks on their 2005 self-titled record.

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England: The Wildhearts – ‘My Baby is a Headfuck’

The Wildhearts toughened up their image and beefed up their riffs in the early ’90s, dumping the glam stylings that were rapidly going out of fashion, yet they were a glimmer of light for the pop-metal genre during a decade when a chorus might as well have been contraband in rock music. ‘My Baby is a Headfuck’ is taken from the group’s classic 1993 album, Earth vs the Wildhearts and features the last ever appearance on record by the legendary Mick Ronson.


Some of you may remember me gushing over a band named Thera. I reviewed their debut album and heaped all kinds of praise upon it. I even got permission to stream three of their songs on the site (a stream that’s still active). It was basically a hype-machine blitz on my part, and despite those that pushed back and told me I was ‘overrating’ the album, I still don’t regret it and If This is the End still stands as one of my favorite albums of that year. Apparently, the band are just about set to release a new EP and ‘We Were a Housefire’ is the first track from the album. It definitely picks up right where the previous release left off, but it is also shows a definite improvement in sound and song writing. Of course, the thing that still lends Thera most of their unique sound is the vocals of Stephanie Plate. Her voice has definitely become a little more polished compared to the debut album, but enough of her personal flair is still there. Take a listen and then check out the three songs from the previous release too.

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Now that Ireland have become the first team to be eliminated from the competition (the Dutch can still mathematically do it) after meekly surrendering to the Spanish last night, it’s important to acknowledge that we’re still the best in the world at singing and waving flags and singing and waving flags at the same time, so here are two examples of the deep breadth of influence Irish folk music has had on the heavy metal genre. Allez Shevchenko!

France: Aes Dana  - ‘Mer de Glaces et t’Ombre’

With Ireland now out of the tournament while the cheating French remain, it’s with no little irony that we return to the French doing what the French do best: stealing from Ireland what is rightfully Irish. To be fair, Aes Dana are one of the more imaginative Celtic metal acts around, and they do at least sing in French, so they get some points. But not many.

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Ukraine: Drudkh – ‘Everything Unsaid Before’

Elusive Kharkiv act Drudkh are probably the best-known of Ukraine’s four black metal acts, all of which are fronted by Roman Saenko, who must be fucking knackered at this stage. ‘Everything Unsaid Before’ is taken from their 2009 album Microcosmos and is a perfect example of their bleak take on folk and black metal.

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