2×2 = 14 inches

I haven’t bought many newly released records this year but when two great bands pair up to put out a split 7″ I won’t hesistate to get my copy.

Loma Prieta and Raein released a split 7″ back in April on Deathwish Records. I knew that this split would be happening sooner or later (insider information hehe) and the wait had finally come to an end. These are two of the best contemporary screamo bands that never cease to impress me. Loma Prieta‘s side comes with 4 new songs (including a cover of Black Flag‘s Spray Paint) and is very much going into the noisier direction like I.V.. Raein‘s side consists of one song and it sounds like what Raein has been playing since the Ogni Nuovo Inizio EP. Maybe even a tad better. If I had to choose sides, I’d clearly go with the Raein one. Because the shipping prices in the US went up, I no longer buy from the labels directly and wait for a European distro to get some copies. Hence, I got the least limited white vinyl press, limited to 2000. Who cares though?

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Adobe Homes and Innards teamed up for a split 7″ as well, which was released on Flannel Gurl Records back in May. I have loved both bands since they started out and I’m glad again that two of my favourite contemporary screamo bands release a split together. Adobe Homes‘ side comes with one new song, Innards‘ side with two new songs. Both bands prove again, that they’re getting better and better on each record. Looking forward to new tunes. Innards have already announced a 4-way split with Capacities, Calculator and Itto, plus a new full-length sooner or later. My copy is on aqua orange vinyl, limited to 300.

adobehomes-innards

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Ruined Families – Blank Language

Ruined Families is a five-piece hardcore punk band from Athens, Greece, that has been around since 2010. After the Four Wall Freedom LP and the Untitled 7″, the band released their brand new full-length Blank Language earlier this year.

First, in order to understand what the guys in Ruined Families have been going through and influenced by, you have to consider the political happenings in and around Greece. Greece has been hit hard by the economic crisis and is close to bankrupcy. The European Union is trying to save Greece by imposing austerity policy conditions; cut back on spending and raise taxes. What follows is social unrest, demonstrations and strikes. Unemployment, especially among youth, is reaching an all-time high. Obviously, that’s not a great environment to grow up in and it will ultimately shape your world view. Ruined Families processed these experiences, among others, on Blank Language.

Blank Language comes with 9 songs. The sound production is different from the previous releases, and honestly, needs getting used to first. However, the production allows Ruined Families to broaden their musical horizon. What was abrasive and noisy hardcore punk with a thick layer of crust is now more experimental. Throughout the 9 songs, you can hear influences that range from black and death metal, post-hardcore and screamo, indie and lo-fi, crust and the old good dirty hardcore punk. In less than the playtime of 20 minutes, these many influences may seem to be over the place and unorganized. However, these atypical influences are incorporated smartly and ensure that it’s not yet another generic and monotonous punk record.

All in all, Blank Language is a very furious political, social and personal statement. Ruined Families have stepped it up a notch since the previous records and created something entirely genre-different.

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Blank Language was released by Adagio830. The artwork was done by vocalist Takis. The record comes in a standard sleeve and is housed in a thick inner jacket with lyrics printed on one side and an artistical drawing on the other side. Preorder version was on clear vinyl, limited to 100 copies.

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Book Of Caverns – Homes

Book Of Caverns are a stunning band from Edmonton, Canada. After a demo and two splits, the band finally released their debut full-length Homes earlier this year.

Compared to the previous releases and songs, Book Of Caverns managed to improve and fine-tune their sound. Homes comes with 8 songs that clock in at 34 minutes in total. To put it in simple words, Book of Caverns play a mix of beautiful post-rock melodies and emotive-driven punk. The result is honest, beautiful, intimate and gut-wrenching music. Andrew Benson’s vocals switch from aggressive to utterly heartfelt and this gives the final touch to the sophisticated, textured and interlacing instrumental work. My favourite songs are Names & Numbers, Hold Tight and Champion City. I think these three songs represent best what Book Of Caverns sound like. Homes is definitely in my top 5 albums of 2013 and I’m looking forward to their split 7″ with Coma Regalia that’s out in August (?).

Homes was released by Clue#2 Records. It comes in a fold-over cover and with a lyrics booklet. The record was pressed on maroon vinyl. I have no idea about other colourways or quanitities.

bookofcaverns-homes

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Papaya – UM/I

Adorno have gone a bit quiet in the past 2 years and I’m desperately waiting for new material. Vocalist Bráulio Amado and drummer Ricardo Martins decided to team up with Óscar Silva (from I Had Plans) to form Papaya, who have recently released their debut album UM/I on Adagio830.

If you are expecting to hear something similar to Adorno, you won’t get what you’re looking for. Instead, the 8 songs on UM/I with a playtime of less than 15 minutes show that Papaya are experimenting a lot. The sound is very guitar driven, psychedelic, noisy, crazy, eccentric and offbeat. Surprisingly, the sound is catchy after all. On top of that, Bráulio’s special voice gives the music yet another touch. I don’t think words can actually describe what’s going on here, so check the whole thing for yourself.

Adagio830 pressed 500 copies on papaya colored vinyl with a nice silkscreened B-Side. No cover, but an insert is included.

papaya-umi

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Post-Saetia

When Saetia broke up in 1999, two new bands were formed with members from Saetia.

In 1999, Off Minor was formed with Jamie Behar and Steven Roche of Saetia. Former member of Off Minor was also Matt Smith (played the last Saetia show), who then went to play in Hot Cross and was replaced by Steven Roche’s brother Kevin that had played in Life Detecting Coffins. Off Minor is still active (or have never officially called it a day). Off Minor’s sound characteristic was the ability to create noise with just 3 instruments. A blend of chaotic emotional intensity and precise beauty made the band stand out from the rest. I can’t always listen to Off Minor. The sound is harsh, straight-forward and the lyrical imaginery is not for the faint-hearted. It’s dark but beautiful altogether.

I am not a big fan of the recent Off Minor records, but when the band started out, they released some great tunes. So far, I was able to get the The Heat Death of the Universe LP from 2002 and the Innominate LP from 2004. Both pressings that I have were released by EarthWaterSky Connection, a now defunct German label.

offminor-heatdeathoftheuniverse offminor-innominate

In 2000, Hot Cross was formed and featured members Billy Werner (Saetia), Greg Drudy (Saetia, Interpol), Matt Smith (Off Minor), Casey Borland (You And I) and Josh Jakubowsky (Neil Perry, The Now, Joshua Fit For Battle) in their existence until 2007. Three layers of vocals – of which Billy Werner is the lyrical mastermind – and two dueling guitarists create an awesome technical post-hardcore sound. The sound of Hot Cross is at times more similar to Saetia. I’m not a huge fan of Saetia (they have a few great songs but that’s it) and Hot Cross played what I expected Saetia to be before I first heard their music.

On the other hand, the same as with Off Minor, I am not too interested in and hooked on the recent outputs. I have two of their records in my collection so far. The A New Set of Lungs 10″ EP from 2001 (US pressing by Robodog Records; the Euro pressing by EarthWaterSky Connection was released on a 12″) and the Cryonics LP from 2003 (Euro pressing by EarthWaterSky Connection; the US pressing was released by Level Plane).

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Coke Bust – Confined

The four-piece straight edge band Coke Bust from Washington DC formed in 2006, has toured a lot and put out numerous releases. Whoever loves fast, thrash-y and pissed hardcore punk knows Coke Bust (or is supposed to). 9 songs were recorded for the new Confined 12″ EP.

What can you expect? 9 songs at a playtime of less than 9 minutes. What does this mean? The usual no-compromise-in-your-face hardcore punk with youth crew breaks, a great groove throughout all songs and lyrics filled with hate and anger. What I really like about Confined is that all songs seem to be joint and you have 9 minutes thrashing your face off in one piece.

Refuse Records released the Euro version already, the US press is to follow on Grave Mistake Records. The record comes in a standard sleeve with a lyrics sheet. 200 copies were pressed on white vinyl housed in the regular cover.

cokebust-confined

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Deadverse – Carpet Burns

Deadverse is a four-piece band from Schaffhausen (Switzerland) that has been active since 2007 and, in my humble opinion, is one of the best active bands from Europe. Deadverse managed to make a mark across the Swiss border with their Caution to the Wind LP, that was released in 2011. Even Ian MacKaye took notice of the LP and was into it - that’s something, eh? Two years later, the band is back with the Carpet Burns 12″ EP that offers six new songs.

Deadverse play a very refreshing mix between Revolution Summer punk and 90′s emotive hardcore and manage to stand out from other contemporary hardcore and punk bands. There are slight alterations in the sound on the Carpet Burns EP. At times, the sound is dirtier and rawer (e.g. Stingers), more melodic (e.g. Ghost of Something) or has more playful and sophisticated elements incorporated (e.g. Soapbox Canvas). Deadverse prove once again that they are one of the most original active bands.

Carpet Burns was co-released by Adagio830 and Take it Back Records. It comes in a standard sleeve with a lyrics sheet. 15 test presses with an alternative cover were made. Three colourways: clear (99), white (99) and black (250). I couldn’t resist but get a complete set of this record.

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