REVIEW: MoE’s “3”

 photo MoE_cover_zpsf6a852b6.jpg For this Norway trio, MoE say their music should not be considered metal. If so, then their brand of sludgy rock could easily be the kind of punk bands like Melvins and Buzzoven are famous for, where they did deep into the crevice and continue to infect wounds as they go as deep as they can. 3 is their third album and before I go on, I should say that MoE should not be confused with the New York band Moe. Two completely different beasts. For the 3 album, they show that they’re not only a group that know how to plod in a slow way, they know how to speed things up and go in for a major car race as they do in songs like “Tephra” or a track like “Let Them Dance” which, true to its title, packs a mean groove that may surprise those who enjoy way these guys and lady love to grind. What appeals to me is how when they do change the way they play, it’s not just a faster version of the grind or just a funkier version of the dirge, there’s more to it than that. One of the songs may sound like Megadeth reaching under themselves while another song may have a D.R.I. or Poison Idea crunch. If MoE aren’t careful, they could develop into a much bigger monster than they are right now.


VIDEO: Monogamy Party’s “Crimes”

In reference to the song in this Monogamy Party video, someone commented “It sounds like elephants fucking. I like it.” If that isn’t a reason to watch and listen, I don’t know what is but Monogamy Party released their False Dances album a few months ago (my review of which can be read by clicking here, and these Seattle punks want to be sure to manipulate the senses with their music, along with how they’re presented in video form. Now watch “Crimes” and have a blast, even if it’s within the confines of your chair. Emily Denton directed this for them.

Pacific Northwest residents will be able to see them perform in the next few weeks so Seattle and Portland, prepare to get blasted. Everyone within the vicinity or heading to these cities, show love. For the Seattle show, they’re doing a collaborative set, something both groups have done before that involves each band playing songs back and forth from one another before they unite and become one band.

November 20… Seattle, WA (Black Lodge) ☀
November 23… Portland, OR (Dante’s) ♫

☀ = MP/MTNS (collaborative set) w/ Nah, The Joint Chiefs Of Math
♫ = w/ Gaytheist, Sons Of Huns, Vultures In The Sky

AUDIO: Monogamy Party’s “Ordinary Things”

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We’re only a few weeks away from September 17th, teh day Monogamy Party release their False Dancers album (my review of which can be read by clicking here), but you can have a listen to another song from it, being made available by Good To Die Records, and this one is called “Ordinary Things”. Is the song ordinary? No, and because of it, you may like it.

REVIEW: Big Black Cloud’s “Black Friday”

 photo BigBlackCloud_cover_zps6a36e300.jpg Black Friday (Eolian Empire) is an album that represents a nice chunk of what the Portland music scene is doing today, or at least representing the diversity of the scene that continues to grow, filtered through a trio named Big Black Cloud. What this two-man, one-woman band do is just churn up the power and go full on with how they play and sing to create something that feels suffocating, yet done with clear distinction. “Terror Of Cosmic Loneliness” is an awesome instrumental where you’re able to hear what they’re about with relying on the possible meaning of the song, while a track like “Bomb My Brain” could lead some to immediately making a list of comparisons. Part of it sounds like angst-y, itchy ass rock, playing off-key on purpose but taking on the Sun Ra philosophy that there are no wrong keys, they keep that fierce energy going and work it through. Speaking of jazz, when a trumpet opens “Barbaric, Mystical, Bored”, it may sound like something is out of place, but it fits in, as if it’s a call to arms. It may be a distant relative of Portland’s rich-but-sometimes-forgotten jazz music scene, or it’s there merely to be an addition to the heaviness of what Big Black Cloud creates, but everything has its place, and there’s a place for everything. Big Black Cloud are now looking for places to fill those voids. A song like the title track could bring up a number of comparisons: the minimalism of Pink Floyd’s “Interstellar Overdrive”, the raunch of Alice Donut, the force of the punch of this band and that band but after all of the easy comparisons one could make, the force of the punch here comes from Big Black Cloud.

REVIEW: Monogamy Party’s “False Dancers”

 photo MonogamyParty_cover_zps40df0365.jpg Ruthless, messy, raunchy, deep-filled, loud, vulgar and awesome. All of these things, and also somehow remain… fun? That’s how Monogamy Party rock and twist into the hearts of their fans, and False Dancers (Good To Die) has the right amount of angst that will make you feel like the music is entering you so it can create a permanent itch.

The band’s approach is one that is very loud and in your face, doing things with the graces of punk but adding different structures and textures to make their point. At first I heard elements of Jane’s Addiction and Unsane, but I also heard Green River, which perhaps represents the band’s Seattle roots. But I also hear pinches of Hellcows, a great Portland band from the 1980’s who were all about noise, rock, punk, and twisted forms of jazz. There’s even a horn (is it a trombone or a vuvuzela?) in “Ashamed” that sounds out of place at first, but as the guitar blares in the background and the bass just drives everything home, the unexpected becomes a part of the atmosphere and everything is good. At times, False Dancers sounds like it was recorded in Chicago in the mid to late 80’s, but what these guys are able to do with what they have is create little bursts, or arrogant ditties that are meant to be enjoyed in minute form and then bail out to move on to the next song. A wonderful album.

(False Dancers is scheduled for release on September 17th.)

REVIEW: White Suns’ “Sinews”

Photobucket White Suns are a Brooklyn trio who go to a number of extremes. They have a minimalist tendency, but they do it with volume. On Sinews (Load), they create music that can either be frantic, sonically loud, or so irritable because of how they pace their songs, that you want to punch your speaker or headphones. When they are noisy, they take it out on their instruments through distorted bass and guitar, along with drums that could make your ears bleed. They’ll chug it out in a fashion that may make White Mice, Alice Donut, Trumans Water Big Black and early Sunny Day Real Estate fans smile, but then they’re stop and let feedback take its own journey. Then out of nowhere they return and they’ll either go where you assume they will, or most likely they’ll flip you over and suck your eyeballs out. Imagine a rusty screwdriver going into the skull of a homeless man. Now imagine that homeless man surviving and returning the favor. That’s the sound of White Suns: the echoes of an attack worth watching like the musical voyeur you are.