Reviews

Album Review: Nails – ‘You Will Never Be One of Us’

Album Review: Nails – ‘You Will Never Be One of Us’

Band: Nails Album: You Will Never Be One of Us Genre: Powerviolence/Hardcore/Hm-2core Date of Release: 17/06/16 Location: California Reviewer: Benjamin Muir For Fans Of: Full of Hell, Code Orange, Weekend Nachos Track Listing: 1. You Will Never Be One of Us [1:30] 2. Friend to All [0:46] 3. Made to Make You Fall [0:56] 4. Life is a Death Sentence [1:39] 5. Violence is Forever [3:27] 6. Savage Intolerance [1:47] 7. In Pain [1:02] 8. Parasite [0:55] 9. Into Quietus [1:34] 10. They Come Crawling Back [8:15] It’s hard to say anything about Nails that hasn’t been said before. So let me put my best foot forward. I personally don’t mind Nails, but if you weren’t a fan of Nails before You’ll Never Be One of Us – well, you’ll never be (One of us?). The contentious title of the album and several interviews surrounding it have ruffled a few feathers on the internet, prompting accusations of elitism and scene bullying – what little of the media isn’t already raving about the record that is. Unprofessional Twitter responses from the band aside, the general consensus from what I can gather as to what is inferred by said title is that “us” are people who have “dedicated themselves” to music and who are “doing it for the right reasons” (to borrow Jones’s own words on the matter) – whatever that means. It definitely won’t get album title of the year, that’s for sure, but with the hype that is already brewing, it may already be a contender for heavy album of the year in a lot of people’s books. As... read more
Album Review: Save The Clock Tower – The Familiar // The Decay

Album Review: Save The Clock Tower – The Familiar // The Decay

Band: Save The Clock Tower Album: The Familiar // The Decay Genre: Alternative Metal / Metalcore Date of Release: 01/06/2016 Location: Launceston, Tasmania Reviewer: 5StringSamurai For Fans Of: Underoath, Poison The Well Track Listing: 1. A Ghost Heart (2:19) 2. White Cross (4:02) 3. Breathing For Beasts (4:15) 4. Kensington Ave (3:18) 5. Autobiography Of A Fever (5:17) 6. Rungs In The Ladder (3:00) 7. Suneaters (4:04) 8. The Familiar Decay (4:09) 9. Heres, Abaddon (4:34) 10. It’s Over, These Bones Are Picked Clean (3:00) Launceston’s Save The Clock Tower have returned to us with another powerful record, The Familiar // The Decay. While their previous efforts have always carried with them strong messages and driven performances it is clear that something else drives this particular album, something that gives it a certain Shigeki or motivation. Save The Clock Tower were struck with tragedy between the release of this album and 2014’s Wasteland with the passing of their bass player, Alex McNulty. STCT remained respectfully quiet around the details of his death in mid 2015, choosing instead to honour his life by continuing on with the ambitions of the band after taking a hiatus from playing live shows to mourn their loss. I am unable to ascertain how the band now compensates for his absence in a live setting, but on the album his battle brothers – guitarists Joel Hallam and Billy Bennett – cover bass duties as tribute to his memory. The bass sits relatively low in the mix, perhaps also as to be respectful but still maintains a warm presence throughout a record that is infused with... read more
Album Review: Too Late – Too Late [Self-Titled]

Album Review: Too Late – Too Late [Self-Titled]

Band: Too Late Album: Too Late [Self-Titled] Genre: Modern hardcore Date of release: 23/06/2016 Location: Auckland, New Zealand Reviewer: Benjamin Muir For Fans Of: Staunch, Life’s Ill, R I F F S Track Listing: 1. Nothing (1:02) 2. Morality (2:08) 3. Belial (1:39) 4. Leviathan (1:38) 5. Damocles (1:56) 6. Congregation (2:14) 7. Void of Sin (2:54) 8. Doctrine (2:41) 9. Abraxas (1:57) 10. Thamas (1:57) 11. Cursed (2:05) Before taking on this review, I hadn’t heard of Too Late. Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, the band was described to me as a “hardcore band with no weird shtick or bullshit”. All too often phrases like this are thrown around with a certain air of insincerity or uncertainty about them; but this is not one of those cases. As advertised, Too Late’s self-titled release is precisely that. I was almost fooled into thinking that this was a metalcore album based on the intro track; I was however pleasantly surprised when instead of Gothenburg harmonies I heard the comforting mid-range growl of of a 5150 (probably with a Tubescreamer in front) that is almost suggestive of hardcore itself in the 2010’s … and good lord does it sound good. It’s formulaic, but it’s hard to not appreciate how perfectly said formula is enacted in this album. While I wasn’t particularly keen on the intro track, the second – ‘Morality’ (which I have a feeling may become a single at some point) was absolutely fantastic. The riffs, as mentioned before were prime and the solo was impressive. While not every song on the album stood out in that capacity, I enjoyed... read more
Song Review: Tomb Of Doom – ‘Worm’

Song Review: Tomb Of Doom – ‘Worm’

Band: Tomb of Doom Song: Worm Genre: Deathcore Date of release: 27/06/16 Location: Brisbane Reviewer: Benjamin Muir For Fans Of: To the Grave, A Night in Texas Before we go on, let me state that I haven’t listened to a lot of deathcore on record since I was a kid, at which point my taste in the genre was entry-level at best – but due to the proliferation of mixed-bills I have attended in recent times, I have heard enough live to be partially aware of what the trends and nuances are these days, but it’s definitely not my area of expertise. With that in mind, in spite of their size I hadn’t listened to Tomb of Doom before this review although I had heard my band’s vocalist, an avid deathcore nerd as well as our other guitarist rave about them. I won’t lie, for the first ten seconds of the song, I was lulled into thinking this might have been quite generic – until at about a twelve seconds when the guitarist employed an inventive use of harmonics to devastating effect which was when I realised that this track was something special. The band label themselves as death metal/hardcore, which I found at first to be a bizarre label, but it became apparent at about a minute in why this was the case. While there are two metalcore-esque breakdowns in the song, at about thirty seconds in and at about a minute-thirty in, at a minute, the song transitioned into a hardcore-influenced two-step passage that still had lashings of death metal – but ultimately presented a more organic... read more
Album Review: Tiffany – The Away Game

Album Review: Tiffany – The Away Game

Band: The Away Game Album: Tiffany Genre: Pop punk Date of Release: 18th June, 2016 Reviewer: David Coppi For Fans Of: NFG, State Champs, Farmer’s Union Iced Coffee Here at IPHYB we’re basically Pulitzer Prize winners in waiting. You know, because we write heaps good and that. When we’re not dissecting dross from shitty American bands from the mid-west we’re known for often tearing local bands a new asshole. Quite frankly, a lot of the bands who we review are worthy of the sphincter shredding they receive. Much like an annoying MILF getting a brown-town pounding from a guy named Chad with a Southern Cross tattoo and a goatee, they usually deserve it. However, Adelaide punks The Away Game are well and truly at the other end of the spectrum. Their five track EP Tiffany is a confident, accomplished slice of seriously well produced pop punk. With nods to Forever Came Calling, New Found Glory, and even early One Dollar Short, The Away Game have had a tune spun on Triple J and spent the last few years honing their craft while supporting bands such as The Matches, The Wonder Years, Motion City Soundtrack, and croissant-munchers Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! Tiffany kicks off with ‘Be Yourself’, a rousing sing-a-long celebrating the punk community as a whole while focusing on remembering to keep your own identity within said scene. I’m always impressed when a singer decides to throw caution to the wind and sing a line or two without music to back them. Singer Joel Torres does just that near the beginning of this song and proves he is confident... read more
Album Review: If I’m The Devil … – letlive.

Album Review: If I’m The Devil … – letlive.

Band: Letlive. Album: If I’m The Devil … Genre: Soul punk, post-hardcore Date of release: 10/06/2016 Location: United States Reviewer: Peyton Bernhardt For fans of: Counterculture Track Listing: 1. I’ve Learned To Love Myself 2. Nü Romantics 3. Good Mourning, America 4. Who You Are Not 5. A Weak Ago 6. Foreign Cab Rides 7. Reluctantly Dead 8. Elephant 9. Another Offensive Song 10. If I’m The Devil… 11. Copper Colored Quiet Over half the press coverage published in respect of the new Letlive. album If I’m The Devil … have said something along the lines of the act having chucked a 180 and become an entirely different band. “It’s a good thing”, they stress, that there’s more melody and less yell. “It’s just different”. We’re calling that out. Sure, maybe they’ve evolved. They’ve definitely experimented. But is that a departure from what they usually do? Is it a variation on the exploratory soul punk ethos underpinning their entire discography? No, no and absolutely not. We’d be lying if we hyperbolically said it was. First, the soul component. Underlying everything that frontman Jason Aalon Butler sings is a distinctly recognisable influence that prompts him to express himself with more skill than any other vocalist in the scene. ‘Foreign Cab Rides’ is your best representation of his mad pipes on this record, but a quick spin of any of these tracks should do the trick. Musically, while darker instrumentals dominate, they co-exist with eclectic shades throughout its whole run through; if you skip the intro notes of ‘Who You Are Not’, you’re missing out on this dynamism and you should... read more
Song Review: The Weather Underground – ‘Deathsinger’

Song Review: The Weather Underground – ‘Deathsinger’

Band: The Weather Underground Song: Deathsinger Genre: Metalcore Date of Release: 1st June, 2016 Reviewer: Chris Giacca For Fans Of: Pudding, Down-tuned Pudding, Rice Pudding Let’s talk about pudding. Everyone loves it – it’s tasty, sweet, and no-one has ever died from eating it (to my knowledge). But does that necessarily make it the king of all foods? Possibly, but probably not. Pudding, for all its merits, is still kind of boring, especially on its own. Now, if you add some sauce, you might have a meal worthy of some serious praise, maybe even a world beater. Pudding with sauce could very well be the greatest and best food on God’s green Earth. What’s my point? Surely you guys know me better than to assume I always have a point by now, right? I just really want to talk about pudding, to be perfectly honest. Now, your average pudding isn’t particularly memorable, I’m sure we’d all agree. It has that whole ‘I’m not really a cake, but sort of am’ deal going on, and that’s fine. It’s all fine. Pudding is a fine dessert, really. Rice pudding is kind of the same, but totally different. It’s sweet, and sort of gelatinous or whatever, but at the end of the day, it’s just rice with a bunch of sugar and condensed milk or whatever, right? So you see, pudding is pretty much just a standard dessert, no matter what the base component of it is. Without the sauce, it’s kind of just there, y’know? Whatever. So, right now, I’m gonna assume that you’re listening along to this track while you’re... read more
Song Review: Failure Of Faith – ‘The Prayer’

Song Review: Failure Of Faith – ‘The Prayer’

Song: ‘The Prayer’ Band: Failure Of Faith Location: Lithgow, Australia Date of release: 13/06/16 Genre: Blackened deathcore/Mosh/Slaughterhouse mix Reviewer: Champion13yron For Fans Of: Cradle Of Filth, Infant Annihilator Why They Aren’t Famous: a) They’re a band from Lithgow, wherever that is; b) Fucking Lithgow. I’m going to start off by saying that I can just imagine this being a Joey Jordison side project with the talented bloke from Infant Annihilator and one dude from Cannibal Corpse. All this aside, I must also apologise to my elderly neighbours. I sincerely hope y’all are still kicking about after this review. For a song titled ‘The Prayer’, it really should be one of those upbeat Christian folk tunes with that weird priest dude and his senile missus, but alas it is everything but. The song starts melodic enough – decent heavy tones ringing through – but it’s really when the filthy gutturals begin that you actually start listening. I understand that is that ‘screamo-hardcore crap’ Mum, but seriously, with lyrics like: “Everyday I wish for death and prey for genocide / This world needs a cleansing to be purified”, what more could you want? Taking into consideration how fucked up my generation is thus far, it’s nice to hear some meaningful lyrics every once in a while. Honestly, I swear these blokes rented out an abandoned abattoir and recorded ‘The Prayer’ on the drummer’s 8-track recorder. The mix down of vocals are too high and detracts from the guitar licks. There’s little to no variation throughout the piece until you get to the metal-core phaser which, in turn, brings about the breakdown... read more
Album Review: Driven Fear – Freethinker

Album Review: Driven Fear – Freethinker

Band: Driven Fear Album: Freethinker Genre: Hardcore/Hardcore punk Date of Release: 26/02/2016 Location: Gold Coast, Australia Reviewer: Benjamin Muir For Fans Of: Comeback Kid, Polar Bear Club, Defeater Track Listing: 1. Falling Awake 4:39 2. Fireball 3:40 3. Crisis 3:49 4. Dancing with Daffodils 4:03 5. In Care Of Pt. 2 4:27 6. Built to Fire 3:26 7. A Bright Flash 3:28 8. The Red Hill 3:36 9. Hold on You 3:59 10. Stumble 1:32 11. Reach 3:00 12. The Feedback Loop 5:28 Driven Fear are a band who would have been very easy to categorise a few years ago, but in this year I have real trouble pinning them down with a term specific enough. Ten years ago or more, you would have simply called this hardcore or even post-hardcore. There were a lot of bands in a similar vein. Nowadays, there aren’t so many. It’s definitely hardcore, but not in the way that the beatdown/mosh/modern hardcore kids would probably recognise – but they’re not doing the Turnstile thing either. They do, however emphasise the punk suffix of hardcore and while they’re at it, recall fond musical memories of the last decade, rather than the one before that. So, more circle pits and less downtempo. Will definitely sit well with the purists. Driven Fear reside sonically somewhere in between Defeater, Comeback Kid and Polar Bear Club – with the occasional echo of the less dissonant parts of early Frank Carter-era Gallows in the heavier sections. I like all of these acts enough individually, so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t enjoy a pastiche of all of them in... read more
Album Review: The Schoenberg Automaton – Apus

Album Review: The Schoenberg Automaton – Apus

Band: The Schoenberg Automaton Album: Apus Genre: Technical death metal Date of release: 03/06/2016 Location: Canada/Australia Reviewer: Mitch Alexander For fans of: Necrophagist, The Dillinger Escape Plan, John Zorn, arithmetic, not getting it Track Listing: 1. Year Zero 2. Swarm 3. Lost City Of Embers 4. Withering 5. …And Thus Spoke Helepolis 6. Master Of Obsolescence, Pt. I 7. Of Omnipotence 8. Prince Monopolist 9. Vengeance 10. Praise The Sun 11. Don’t Be Disputin’ With Rasputin 12. The Fragile One 13. Fear I shouldn’t like Apus. On principle, I don’t want to. If you tell me that an album takes a few listens to get into, or that a TV show really finds its feet in the third season, or that the last five minutes of Her more than make up for the preceding two hours of steaming horse piss, then I want you taken off whatever welfare scheme you’re rorting that gives you enough free time to waste your life on garbage. I’m also deciding that what you’re talking about isn’t enjoyable; there is nothing to say that art can’t be challenging or uncomfortable (we’ve all seen that sketch of Steve Busecmi with four eyes and two mouths), but it’s very rarely enjoyable at the same time. I once went to a Shrigley exhibit and his shit scribblings were so good and overwhelming I got a headache and had to go get lunch before I finished looking at them all. It wasn’t enjoyable, but it was good. And now I’m conflicted because The Schoenberg Automaton have released an album that is enjoyable in how challenging it is, and... read more

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