Tercer Mundo (Third World) have just dropped what those in the know are already calling ‘the HC album of 2014′. Led by the most prolific man in South American punk, Dave Rata (Ratas Del Vaticano, Inservibles, Muerte, Era del Vacio, etc), Monterrey, Mexico’s Tercer Mundo lead a phalanx of South American raw punk/HC bands that capture the unrequited rage of the genre, both instinctively and authentically, without recourse to the ‘am-I-punk-yet?’ approach of many of their first world contemporaries.
Maquina Muerte, DHK, Fracaso, Tercer Mundo and their ilk reflect the challenges of life under difficult circumstances: no trust funds; no posing; no vacuous statements of intent; no need to hide behind carefully constructed images, cliched art work, over-used fonts, or second-hand ideas. Dangerous music created in dangerous places, where being a punk and playing punk music can still get you a kicking, or worse.
‘Ser Nosotros Mismos’ (Cintas Pepe), ‘Being Ourselves’ in English, sees Alex Marga (Cremalleras/drums) and Rata (vocals/bass/gtrs) expand the basic shape of the their critically acclaimed debut EP over eight songs in rousing fashion, being very much themselves. The progression here is simply staggering: said EP was rightly praised, but this collection takes Tercer Mundo to another level entirely, referencing the EP just once, on the closing ‘Sin Rostro Ni Corazón’. I’ve been a massive fan of most everything Rata has committed to vinyl/tape thus far, including his misunderstood solo record, ‘Hallucigenia’ (Batshit Records), but this is his finest work to date. If you only buy one punk rock LP this year, make damn sure it’s ‘Ser Nosotros Mismos’.
From the man responsible for turning me onto Tercer Mundo in the first place:
“I love the TERCER MUNDO 12″. It is PUNK” – Paco Mus
I was introduced to Danish label, Dead Section Records, by the work of blackened punks, Sump, and sevens by Pagan Youth and Family Enema, a couple years ago, thus opening a portal into a whole new world of blackness. Having abandoned my second black metal crusade, mid-noughties, due to the stench of NSBM, and the associated connotations of the ever-encroaching far right, I was overjoyed to discover that ancient and hallowed music had overcome its crisis of consciousness, and that the advent of RABM and the Cascadian influences of the celestial Wolves In The Throne Room had ushered in a new era of black metal, infused with the reactionary elements of punk rock, and the rampant energy of hardcore approaches:
Whilst in a state of total punk ennui one harsh winter’s evening back in November of 2013, with the threat of a blizzard in the cold night air, and the central heating eating at the ozone layer, I stumbled across ‘Hammer Of The Night’ by Yellow Eyes, and my relationship with Dead Section was duly consecrated. I have sung the praises of Yellow Eyes elsewhere in these pages, and those of you who frequent this blog will doubtless have already exposed your minds to the ice burn of their sacred art. It is with great expectation, then, that we welcome three new twelve inch vinyl releases from Dead Section Records:
The first of these offerings comes from Berlin trio, Sun Worship, who proffer four tears of desolation, in the form of three arcing spears of harsh beauty, and one exercise in ambient atmospheria. ‘Elder Giants’ is BM informed by post-punk sensibility: sans corpse paint; sans lank locks; sans illegible logo-embossed t-shirts; sans bullet belts; sans wrist studs. Hauntingly melodic, stridently powerful, this is monolithic music, as old as the stones, as wise as those who laid them out: “a timeless catharsis through vehemence, momentum and volume.”
The second of these sacrifices is offered up by Vilkacis, the solo project of M. Rekeviks of Fell Voices. Tune-laden, romantic and vast, this veritable mannerist canvas of sound brings the past into the present without the aid of a Tardis. What had become tainted is pure of intent once again: the wisdom of the elders, electrified with hope and renewed purpose for a third age of black beauty, where music of substance can have both heart and soul. ‘The Fever Of War’ delivers five passages of stirring melancholia, drenched in nihilism, primal, yet as ‘of its time’ as anything else out there right now. Vilkacis, the Latvian werewolf, has come to tear you limb from limb. Don’t go down to the woods today.
The final release in this triumvirate is the Anicon/Belus split. Influenced by the harmonic intonations of Finnish lore, Anicon employ Lev Weinstein (Krallice) on drums to power their visions of spectral beauty amongst the urban decay that surrounds them. Belus on the other hand, merely describe themselves thus: “We are a doom band that plays fast 90% of the time.” Co-released with Fragile Branch, all three titles are available in a bundle (see header image), which is both the most economical way to proceed, and the only way to capture the Vilkacis twelve on white vinyl (see link below).
Washington, DC, is home to Priests, a three-girl/one-boy outfit who stretch tired old formulas in interesting new directions. Hard on the heels of a brace of demos and a seven, ‘Radiation’ (Sister Polygon, Dec 2012), comes a new 12″ EP: ‘Bodies And Control And Money And Power’ (Sister Polygon/Don Giovanni Records).
Daniele Daniele (drums), Taylor Mulitz (bass, vocals), G.L. Jaguar (gtr), Katie Alice Greer (vocals), surf a wave of angular angst to land seven spiky songs in just under twenty minutes. Barely out of nappies, conceptually, Priests’ seemingly swiftly-developed collective proficiency should come as little or no surprise: guitarist Jaguar is a stalwart of the grubby DC punk underbelly, whilst Greer has served time in Ian Svenonius’ Chain And The Gang. Meanwhile, despite Jaguar’s Townsendesque arm windmills and Greer’s doubled-up contorted rage, it’s bass player and backing vocalist Mulitz, with her cardsharp haircut and her effortless cool, and drummer Daniele that impress, both visually, and aurally. Their impressively solid undercarriage effortlessly bears the load of Greer’s caterwauling and Jagaur’s rock and roll licks, taking Priests somewhere approaching quality.
Lyrically erring towards the side of social commentary, keynote speech ‘Right Wing’ aims squarely at the normalisation of the devolution of state responsibility and the invasion of your personal space in the name of freedom of the market. Ironically, the song itself is the most conservative contribution to ‘Bodies And Control And Money And Power’, and that speaks volumes for those of you weighing Priests’ integrity by psychostasia.
Seemingly a registered influence here in the UK on both Good Throb and Shopping, the injection of space that suddenly arrived on the former’s ‘Fuck Off’ long player can be heard throughout ‘Bodies And Control And Money And Power’ (especially on ‘New’, whose off-mic shouts echo those of Good Throb’s ‘Double White Denim’), and the bass-led spunk funk of the latter, shot through the closing ‘And Breeding’. This possibly makes Priests generationally seminal.
Priests may be a mass of contradictions posing as the answer to a question no one is actually asking, but, for what it’s worth, ‘Bodies And Control And Money And Power’ is a resolutely entertaining diversionary exercise in post-everything pop, and for that we should be mildly grateful.
Failures second full length, ‘Decline And Fall’, has been a while in the making. Following up 2008′s highly regarded debut twelve was never going to be easy, but vocalist Mark McCoy (Das Oath, Suburbanite, Veins, etc) and guitarist Will Killingsworth (Orchid, Laceration, Ampere, Vaccine, etc) have succeeded triumphantly with this incendiary collection. Aided and abetted by Ryan Abbott (drums) and Andrew Jackmauh (bass), Failures exhibit the ability to level built up areas like an advancing tank division with a rapid fire fourteen songs in fourteen and a half minutes.
The first couple of listens spin by in a haze of disorientation. This is the kind of intense racket that will effortlessly elicit grimaces of pain from trapped loved ones. The vocals are virtually screamed in your general direction, laced with passive aggression, coated in bile. The guitars are wedged firmly in the eighties in terms of tone, biting and snapping at your heels with their jagged fluidity: the epitome of economy. The bass and drums lock tight beneath this threatening squall with deftly executed precision. These boys have been round the block a couple of times, and it shows.
Despite a mission statement headed ‘total alienation’, there are moments the tightly crammed content of ‘Decline And Fall’ hits something that could be interpreted as a hook – ‘Errands’, ‘Introvert’, and ‘Barnacle’ – for example, all contain moments to kill for. Lyrically age-specific, subject matter focuses heavily on isolation, life lessons learned, personal authenticity, and the inevitable stickler of time erosion in a discipline that’s often regarded as a young punk’s game.
The lyric sheet provides insight with some ‘End Notes’:
I was better at that before, wasn’t I?
You misspelled my name on the ‘thank you’ card.
They said it couldn’t be done as I tackled it with a smile and couldn’t do it.
Studio Bar, Penzance, Saturday 21 June
Whoa. You don’t see many like these. King Creature’s hotly-anticipated Studio Bar debut proved to be both hot and well worth anticipating. The powerhouse potential that made the Par quartet a no-brainer for their recent ‘Band of the Week’ feature came roaring out of Pandora’s Box last night like a pack of raging hellions on an ether binge. From the moment they ripped into set opener ‘In Hell’, there was little doubt that any hype you may have read on this here website should not only be believed, but taken as gospel.
What makes King Creature so great? Point your pointy head in this direction and we’ll tell you what is. First up, in just over a year together they have already fine tuned a set that clearly identifies them as one of the finest exponents of heavy rock to come down the pipe in many a long year. This has largely been achieved by virtue of the group being comprised of four individuals that lock together to create something that is even greater than the already considerable sum of their parts. Each member of the band is supremely adept at what they do, and while technical excellence can often open the door marked ‘self indulgence’, there is a complete absence of that here. These people are steeped in rock’n’roll. It seeps forth from their pores – they do not ‘do’ it, they are it. And they embody the same joyous spirit of abandon that infuses all truly great rock’n’roll with its essential excitement.
Particularly impressive is twin guitar leviathans Dave Evans and Matt Vincent’s almost telepathic interplay – they switch from lead to rhythm with spectacular dexterity and to bewildering effect, imbuing numbers like ‘March Of The Creature’ and ‘Wasted Life’ with deeply rewarding layers of intertwined sound that shimmer and roar. This can be complex, but is never masturbatory, as the band retains an unshakable focus on delivering their material with enthusiasm, energy and no little wit, ensuring that their technical excellence is subsumed in the service of the song. These tectonic plates of overlapping guitars gouge valleys and raise mountains borne aloft upon the mighty beats generated by Jack Bassett. His flailing precision comprises one half of a consummate rhythm section completed by Dave Kellaway, whose awesome (and I use that particular over-used term advisedly here) bass mastery is matched only by the magnetism he brings to his role as the band’s frontman.
With their debut EP, packed with blistering behemoths such as the suitably entitled ‘Power’ set to drop on 5 July and a forthcoming high-profile gig at the Bloodstock Festival fast approaching, King Creature’s momentum is about to reach escape velocity. Get the EP. Go see them live. Take your place at the court of the Kings.
23rd June — The Caverns, Exeter
5th July — Band Rooms, St Austell
12th July — Flinn Fest, Britannia Inn, St Austell
26th July — The Hatchet Inn, Bristol
8th August — BloodStock Festival, Jagermeister Stage
23rd August — WayneStock , Gwinear
- trakMARX: ROCK AND ROLL, GARAGE PUNK, PSYCHE, HEAVY METAL, PROTO PUNK, KRAUTROCK, JAP ROCK, PUNK ROCK, POST PUNK, INDUSTRIAL, BLACK METAL, DOOM/DRONE, POST ROCK, NOISE, AVANT ET L'ART DE L'ETRANGER