Sunday, August 31, 2008 0 Engineers

Album: The Abbasi Brothers - Something Like Nostalgia

Band: The Abbasi Brothers
Album: Something Like Nostalgia
Label: Dynamophone
Year: 2008

01.Stacey's Day Parade
03.Something Like Nostalgia
04.Camera Flashes Blue
05.The Way Of The Wanderer
06.Dreams Of A Graffiti Artist
07.The Social Evening (In 1992)
09.A Long Weekend
10.In A Field
11.Playtime In Spacetime
12.Approaching The End
13.Fragments Of Memories As A Child
15.Clouds Are Sleeping

In June, Listening Post asked readers to submit their favorite artists to listen to while entering dreamland. There's a new candidate in town, and its name is The Abbasi Brothers. Like Harold Budd, Angelo Badalamenti and Erik Satie, Yousuf and Amman Abbasi specialize in soundtracking inner space with an eye toward finding the immanent transcendent in everyday life.

More simply, they make music you that you can seriously chill to.

The Berkeley-based duo's debut effort Something Like Nostalgia, out July 21 from Dynamaphone, is aptly named: Its airy compositions sounds like they've leapt fully formed out of Twin Peaks or 4AD's back catalog. They differ in that the Abbasi Bros often first formulate their songs using math, before letting them organically evolve into soundscapes. But just because Yousuf was a math major doesn't mean they make math rock.

"The complex theorems and properties of math I learned do not enter our music the way you are thinking," Yousuf explains. "It's simpler than that."

Saturday, August 30, 2008 0 Engineers

Album: Universe217 - Universe217

Band: Universe217
Album: Universe217
Label: Burning World Records
Year: 2007

01.In Your Head
06.Nobody's Silence
07.I Don't Give A Damn

Exotic and sensuous yet dark and maddening. These are the first impressions I get when hearing Greece's Universe217. Dramatic vocals soar and collapse above a tapestry of wandering rhythms and laid-back drumming. During periods this lends the music an effect of being two separate songs being played over the top of each other.

Opener "In Your Head" is a slow paced and somewhat dreamy song that indicates that the nightmarish landscape of your subconscious has been invaded.
Though the true magic of Universe217 is unleashed on the following track "Inferno" with vocals creeping in from different angles as clean guitars and a driving rock beat hurtle this song onwards into madness.
My favorite song, "66", has an amazing and soothing break in the middle where Tania's vocals become so fragile before shooting up through the ceiling with an imposing verbal majesty!
Tribal beats and a gypsy atmosphere provide the foundation for "I Don't Give a Damn" as Tania's vocals shatter walls with their commanding power.

Obviously and probably purposefully the highlight of Universe217 are the vocal gymnastics of singer Tania. She covers the spectrum from scathing frailty to intense insanity! Universe217's experimental and doomy sound are an epic journey into a formless and turbulent void. Creating distorted art through both visual and aural avenues these Greeks are summoners of a mystifying and magical headtrip that burrows into your skull and corrupts all your visions with the seed of insanity.

Saturday, August 23, 2008 0 Engineers

Album: Giants - Old Stories

Band: Giants
Album: Old Stories
Label: Cavity Records
Year: 2008

01.Where The Ages Steal
03.O Tide
04.Whispered Ears
05.Sleeping False Idol
06.Fishermen's Prayer
07.At Last Ashore

The band's new LP, Old Stories, is instrumental from beginning to end; it's loaded with colorful chords; and the songs fade into one another as if the album is to be digested in one sitting. It's all pretty heavy and cerebral. After the last track finishes, you may need to sit back, loosen your belt, and take a breather.

The crux of this album is it's attention to sound. Every reverbed note rings out into an endless cave of echoes, and the crescendos are when the band truly sounds larger than life. The production quality makes Giants live up to their name.

"Where the Ages Steal" is a decent introduction to the LP. Giants' quiet builds, mountainous volumes, and haunting melodies give a good taste of what's to come on Old Stories. The first increase in volume comes as a bit of a surprise, but "ambient" is probably the last thing Giants wants get out of listeners' minds.

The next several tracks show more promise since the introduction is now out of the way: the builds are more gradual, there's more melodic interplay between guitars, and the volume feels like less of an assault, too. For example, "Whispered Ears" stands out due to the lack of extremity in its build. Rather than concentrating on getting loud, the band let's the marching drumbeat build and the clear, undistorted chords ring out into oblivion.

It's hard to conceive a musical interlude on a completely instrumental album, but Giants manages to pull it off on "Fishermen's Prayer": a track that sounds as vast as the ocean the album's cover depicts. There's a deep, looped drone that hums along hypnotically as a minimalist guitar melody gives the listener a bit of a breather from the heaviness of the previous track, "Sleeping False Idol."

It all ends with the piano-driven "At Last Ashore," which builds in to an appropriate drum accompaniment that sits atop a high-pitched drone of fluttering guitar notes. This track is home to the album's biggest flaw: its ending. Old Stories seems to just leave without waving goodbye, but it's understandably difficult to write a sincere ending to music that feels like it could go on forever.

But there is a silver lining to every cloud: Without a clear ending, it never really feels like Old Stories is over. And that works out since the best part about old stories is retelling them.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 2 Engineers

Album: Gordon's Tsunami Week - A Place For Nowhere

Band: Gordon's Tsunami Week
Album: A Place For Nowhere
Label: Self-released
Year: 2007

01. Barlev
02. Symbols
03. Hydra
04. Seldom
05. Orben

Founded in 2001 by Sebastian Ziegler(piano, guitar, samples) and Tobias Engler(guitar) as an instrumental project, Gordon’s Tsunami Week tries to unify soulful melodies and brute walls of sound. Influenced by bands like mono, explosions in the sky, envy, mogwai, 65daysofstatic, sigur rós, bohren & der club of gore, russian circles, deftones, dredg and aereogramme, we’re trying to catch atmosphere and express it experimentally. Different instruments (among others: violin, lapsteel guitar and spherical samples) are assisting to set courses and to achieve a dreamy, gloomily character. Additional members of Gordon’s Tsunami Week are: Jörg Schmaus(drums), Christian Bachmann(violin), Nepomuk Zettl(guitar), Florian Popp(bass) In 2006 an EP was recorded, produced by Mario Dahmen (liquid aether).
0 Engineers

Album: Hermelin - Hermelin

Band: Hermelin
Album: Hermelin
Label: 12rec.
Year: 2008


01. Intro
02. I felt Xetrov
03. Nova Police
04. Autograph Unknown
05. May 91313
06. Pliant Fur...
07. ... Sharp Teeth
08. AVV Revisited
09. Mellow F.S.

Hermelin were known to the hanover-indierock scene as soaked in red since 2001. The band used to play some kind of alternative rock until things began to change. choruses fade to strophies, breaks tend to be longer than the refrain, riffs are played like loops, song are written that old friends won't like. Hermelin mix-up contemporary postrock with slight influences from art- and hardrock. might be it's mainly due to the fine production of their EP, but i always get the feeling of listening to something tender, some finespun yarn of melancholy beneath the surface of distorted guitar and heavy drums. Like fondling a ermine- pliant fur, sharp teeth. (
Official Site
Sunday, August 10, 2008 1 Engineers

Album: Catacombe - Memoirs

Band: Catacombe
Album: Memoirs
Label: Poison Tree Records
Year: 2008

01. Prelude
02. Playground Ghosts
03. Memoirs
04. The First Stone
05. Interlude: Nen far
06. Conundrum

Catacombe is the solo Project of the musician Pedro Sobast, who is also the guitar player for the band Looney Tones. The project was born in mid 2007 through a process of mixed ideas, feelings and sound scraps made by the musician. The goal in near future is to present live the produced themes, counting with the participation of some friends, musicians of course!

Friday, August 08, 2008 1 Engineers

Album: Jesu & Battle Of Mice - Split

Band: Jesu & Battle Of Mice
Album: Split
Label: Robotic Empire
Year: 2008

01. Clear Stream (Jesu)
02. Fallin From Grace (Jesu)

01. The Bishop (Battle Of Mice)
02. Yellow And Black (Battle Of Mice)

Several years in the making, the long-awaited Jesu / Battle of Mice split is finally available. Each band has two exclusive, lengthy tracks on this limited-edition release. Jesu, comprised of the cult-followed Justin K. Broadrick, showcases "Clear Stream" and "Falling From Grace," two pieces towards the darker end of the spectrum he's created under the Jesu moniker. Battle of Mice contribute the two most sinister songs they've recorded, "The Bishop" and "Yellow & Black." Heavier than the material found on their A Day of Nights debut, yet more dynamic overall, these tracks from Battle of Mice--possibly the final to be recorded by the band--compliment the Jesu material well. While both bands utilize traditional "heavy music" instruments, they are also unified by keyboard usage, atmospherics, and other unique elements to vary it all.

Battle Of Mice
Newly formed from members of Neurot Recordings’ label mates, Red Sparowes and Made Out of Babies, Battle of Mice delivers a crushing heaviness you might expect, but at the same time creates stunningly beautiful moments of lush guitars and elegant vocals, powered by slow, methodic drumming.

Battle of Mice is comprised of Julie Christmas (Made Out of Babies) on vocals; Josh Graham (Neurosis visuals, Red Sparowes) on guitars/keyboards; Tony Maimone on bass (Book Of Knots, and previously of Pere Ubu); and Joel Hamilton on drums, who has worked with Sparklehorse, Unsane, Frank Black, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and more.
Official Site

Jesu is a band formed in 2003 in Abergele, Wales, UK by Justin Broadrick following the breakup of Godflesh. Jesu was the name of the last song on the final Godflesh release, Hymns. and Broadrick decided to adopt it as the name of his new project.

The first release, the Heart Ache EP, was released in 2004 and featured Broadrick playing all of the instruments. It was followed in 2005 by the full-length self-titled LP, which featured the addition of bassist Diarmuid Dalton and drummer Ted Parsons, although not every song featured both new members.

With their third release, 2006’s four song Silver EP, Jesu took a more melodic and layered approach, gaining comparison to shoegazing band My Bloody Valentine.

Their second full-length album, titled Conqueror, was released in February 2007 in the US, UK, in Europe and Japan. The Japanese edition also contained a bonus disc featuring the two tracks that constitute the ‘Sun Down’ / ‘Sun Rise’ EP, released elsewhere as a 12” album on April 23.

‘Pale Sketches’, a collection of older solo works from 2000-2007 was released in October 2007 on Justin Broadrick’s own label, Avalanche along with a new four song EP entitled Lifeline, released by Hydra Head in the United States and Daymare in Japan.
Official Site

You can pre-order the split (out on 12.08.08) from here or here
Wednesday, August 06, 2008 2 Engineers

Album: Capricons - River, Bear Your Bones

Band: Capricons
Album: River, Bear Your Bones
Label: Rise Above Records
Year: 2008

01. Broken Coffin of the Venerable King
02. Seventh Child of a Seventh Child
03. Tempered With the Blood of Beasts
04. November Suicides
05. Owing to the Fogs
06. The Bells Rang Backwards
07. A Savage Race by Shipwrecks Fed
08. Drinking Water From The Skull of a Hanged Man

Capricons is a London, UK based band. River, Bear Your Bones is the band's second album. According to a press release, "the sound of Capricons is a heady mix of crushing power and dark, subtle beauty that has won over fans of the heavy arts worldwide. Comprised of members currently or previously involved in projects as disparate as IRON MONKEY, ORANGE GOBLIN and CATTLEPRESS, Capricons merge post-hardcore instrumentation with a pronounced post-rock tack, blurring the lines at every turn to deliver music that is both interesting and memorable. While previous efforts have seen the occasional vocal outburst (most notably from OXBOW's Eugene Robinson on 2006's 'Ruder Forms Survive'); this time around Capricons titanic arrangements are strong enough to easily hold their own."

"River, Bear Your Bones" is Capricons' masterwork; an engaging listen that is at once more precise and more exploratory than anything the band has done before. From the battle-doom opener "Broken Coffin of the Venerable King" to the evil prog of "The Bells Rang Backwards" through to the album's monumental conclusion — the 11-minute epic "Drinking Water From The Skull of A Hanged Man" — "River, Bear Your Bones" refuses to release the listener from its tenacious grip. Although devoid of vocals, the album harbors a conceptual theme throughout surrounding the band's own London. "River, Bear Your Bones" is Capricons' tribute to "life on the stones" and "a paean to Father Thames and the London Towne that spreads from its banks like a concrete cancer."

Refusing to be pinned to a particular genre or classification, Capricons have consistently made a point to perform in front of diverse audiences. While in the midst of writing "River, Bear Your Bones", the band was selected to appear at both the decidedly indie All Tomorrow's Parties Festival (alongside such bands as ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI, ISIS and GRIZZLY BEAR) and the decidedly-hard rock Roadburn Festival (where the band shared the stage with WITCHCRAFT, GRAND MAGUS, TROUBLE and more).

Since its formation in 2003, Capricons' sound and live sets have garnered high praise from such rock royalty as the MELVINS' King Buzzo and NEUROSIS' Steve Von Till.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 2 Engineers

Album: U.S. Christmas - Eat The Low Dogs

Band: U.S. Christmas
Album: Eat The Low Dogs
Label:Neurot Recordings
Year: 2008

01.In The Light Of All Time
02.The Scalphunters
03.Say Sister
04.Silent Tongue
05.The Light And Trails
07.Gallows Humor
08.Black Lung
09.Pray To The Sky

Taking their name from an obscure Sam Peckinpah film reference, this quintet hails from Marion, a small town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in western North Carolina, where they have concocted a ragged, burly brand of modern psychedelia over the course of two self-released CD-Rs and an album.

Their forthcoming new album combines classic 70's psych rock, Caustic Resin, Neurosis like dirge, gooey sludge metal, blues and early country music, Hawkwind style spacerock explorations, and the expansive fire rock of late 70's Neil Young & Crazy Horse. Quite a heady mix, but "Eat The Low Dogs" ties these influences and stylings together with a righteously loose energy as the band works out extended riff feasts littered with spacey theremin strains and some of the coolest molten synthesizer woosh this side of Comets On Fire, resulting in 9 jams of awesome life affirming heaviness.

At just under an hour long, the band keeps it dynamic and ever changing as they move from the moving, distortion-caked country/space rock sludge. Trippy, rocking, crushing, this is a stellar new album from U.S. Christmas.

Official Site
Buy here or here
1 Engineers

Album: Zozobra - Bird Of Prey

Band: Zozobra
Album: Bird Of Prey
Label: Hydrahead
Year: 2008

02.Heavy With Shadows
04.Heartless Enemy
05.Big Needles
06.Sharks That Circle
07.In Jet Steams
08.Laser Eyes

Zozobra is Caleb Scofield (Cave In, Old Man Gloom) and Santos Montano (Forensics, Old Man Gloom). Debut album ‘Harmonic Tremors’ was released on Hydrahead in January 2007. The follow up record ‘Bird of Prey’ is scheduled to be released through Hydrahead on August 5th, 2008. The new record features Aaron Harris, of Isis, on the drums. Aaron also engineered and mixed the record.


Also check