500 Word Review: Dwellings “Foreverest” – Single

foreverest

On November 25th, Modesto, California based post hardcore band, Dwellings, released the follow up to their debut single “Lemonade” with the release of their latest single, “Foreverest”.  For those of you who have been following the page you will know how excited I am to hear new material from this group.  Their debut single was nothing short of phenomenal, and based off that performance alone, I honestly believe that this group is the future of the post hardcore sub genre.  That being said, I was extremely excited to hear new material from this group because I’m still curious to see how their sound will develop throughout this debut EP.  This new single, “Foreverest”, definitely varies significantly from their debut release, “Lemonade”, however there are still consistent themes heard on both tracks that give listeners and fans of the group a sense of what this up and coming band will sound like!

As stated earlier, there are multiple clear differences that you can hear between the tracks “Lemonade” and “Foreverest”.  For starters, “Foreverest” is somehow even more melodic than the anthemic track, “Lemonade”.  To be clear, this is not a negative quality, but it is still a surprising feature, especially when considering how harmonious multiple sections and choruses were on “Lemonade”.  The guitar work is simply graceful and does a great job with complimenting the superb songwriting and vocal performance heard on “Foreverest”. However, the most significant and enjoyable difference between the two tracks is how the overall sound of the track ,”Foreverest”, is more unique to Dwellings.  As much as I love “Lemonade”, there were multiple instances where the track sounded a lot like previous Dance Gavin Dance releases.  “Foreverest”, on the other hand, sounds more unique to Dwellings and their specific style of songwriting, and in the process, shows off their own personal take on post hardcore.  The influences from DGD and other well known post hardcore bands can still be heard, but Dwellings’ personal and recognizable sound is without a doubt the most prominent aspect heard, and in return gives their fans a better idea to how their sound will develop and become even more unique with future releases.  “Foreverest” will probably be the most melodic and slowest song heard on the upcoming EP and it gives the project a good range from higher energy,  in your face songs to slower and even more emotional tracks.

However Dwellings, like most other major California based post hardcore acts, still show some examples of similarities to Dance Gavin Dance in this new track.  These similarities are not a bad thing, or show lack of creativity, but demonstrate how they are able to take this modern style of post hardcore and transform and mold it into their own unique sound.  The first similarity a listener familiar with DGD will hear when listening to “Foreverest” is that this song is heavily influenced by Dance Gavin Dance’s third full length studio album, “Happiness”.  “Lemonade” featured elements from both “Happiness” and “Acceptance Speech” (the fifth studio album by the Sacramento based band), but “Foreverest” appears to just draw influence from “Happiness” alone. This is not a surprise to me since they have already shown signs of writing in a similar style to “Happiness”, and Dwellings’ bassist, Anthony Pacheco, has even stated that this DGD record is his favorite to date.  That being said, it now seems obvious why “Happiness” and “Foreverest” might sound somewhat similar.  “Happiness” is one of, it not my absolute favorite, DGD record as well, so Dwellings’ use of mixing in elements from this legendary record is something that I definitely approve of.  These elements, which include everything from the sincere, emotion filled lyrics to to the slow, yet melodic song structure can be directly compared and sound similar to songs like “Happiness” off the album of the same name, but can also strengthen their own songwriting by combing their favorite moments from “Happiness” and their own personal songwriting sound.  However, it is important to note that all of Dwellings’ material has been recorded by Josh Benton, who used to play guitar for Dance Gavin Dance and now records some of their releases like “Tree City Sessions”, and has been mastered by Kris Crummett, who recorded most of DGD’s full length records and other releases by notable California based post hardcore groups.  Because of this, some of aspects of Dwellings’ material might be similar to DGD solely because their production process is almost identical to Dance Gavin Dance’s.  Regardless of where they take influence from, Dwellings is making some serious progress at becoming the next legendary post hardcore group.

In conclusion, this is another solid track from soon-to-be household name, post hardcore group, Dwellings.  My anticipation for this debut EP continues to grow with every single released and I simply cannot wait to see what they put out next.  I give their second single, “Foreverest”, and 8.9/10.  The release date for the EP, “Lavender Town”, hasn’t been posted yet by the band, but when it does the staff at Erik’s Album Reviews will be the first ones to share it with you!  Check out the review for their debut single, “Lemonade”, below and give the latest single, “Foreverest”, a listen and let us know what you think!

“Lemonade” Review:

https://eriksalbumreviews.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/album-reivew-dwellings-lemonade-single/

“Foreverest”:

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500 Word Review: “Nails/Full of Hell Split EP”

nails

Recently, grindcore and powerviolence legends, Nails and Full of Hell, released a split EP together.  The split EP is the first release since Nails’ “hiatus” and is also the follow up to their amazing full length record, “You Will Never Be One Of Us”, which was released earlier this year.  Ever since this split EP was announced I have been extremely excited to hear it, despite the fact that I had never heard of Full of Hell before.  I was also especially excited to review this project since I have never reviewed a split EP before or any project from either group!  The split EP itself features one song from Nails titled, “No Longer Under Your Control”, and two songs from Full of Hell titled, “Thy Radiant Garrote Exposed” and “Bez Bolu”.  However, even before hearing a single track from the split, I was almost certain that this would be one of the best EPs I listen to this year.

If you know anything about grindcore, especially the two artists featured on this split, then you will not be surprised to see how short this split EP is.  With a total playing time of just short of 4.5 minutes, the Nails/Full of Hell split EP is one of the shortest split EPs I have ever heard and will easily be the shortest release you hear all year.  And again, if you are familiar with grindcore, then you know that the short compositions are chaotic and intense to say the least.  However, this split between Nails and Full of Hell is far more than just chaotic, it is unrelenting, brutal grindcore and powerviolence from start to finish that perfectly fits the gorgeous EP artwork.  When listening to the sole Nails track on the split EP, “No Longer Under Your Control”, it is clear that the songwriting heard is very similar to their previous album, “You Will Never Be One Of Us”, with only a few exceptions that allow the split to differ from the 2016 full length release.  For example, “No Longer Under Your Control” is slightly less aggressive than “YWNBOOU” and is also more melodic with some riffing mixed in with heavy chugging sections, that happen to be a staple for “YWNBOOU”.  The vocals, lyrics, and solo heard on “No Longer Under Your Control”, however, are practically identical to what is heard on the 2016 full length release, which is actually a good thing.  The only negative aspect heard on this Nails track is the production quality.  The production quality is muddy, and by being slightly worse than what is heard on “YWNBOOU”, it fails to correctly exemplify the brutal, raw sound that makes Nails’ music great.  However, this production quality does not take away from the fact that this track is absolutely stellar!

As I mentioned earlier, I did not know anything about Full of Hell prior to this release.  After listening to the split 7 times through I am extremely glad Full of Hell was included in this split because I have really enjoyed their two tracks on the release, “Thy Radiant Garrote Exposed” and “Bez Bolu”.  Like Nails’ sole track, these two tracks are short, fast aggressive, and hard-hitting, addictive grindcore songs.  The sludgy, overall production and tone heard on the guitar and bass tracks accompanied by perfectly mixed vocals result in two phenomenal tracks by Full of Hell.  In fact, these songs are so well written and well recorded that I actually might like these songs more than the sole Nails track heard on this split!  I plan on checking out more of Full of Hell’s discography and if the rest of their material sounds like the songs on this split then I could definitely become a fan of them!

In conclusion, this a great split by Nails and Full of Hell.  In fact, this split EP gives Nails the potential to become the first band/artist to have both an EP and an album make it onto the EPs of the Year list and the Albums of the Year list on Erik’s Album Reviews in the same year.  The aggressive, chaotic sound heard throughout the release is near perfect grindcore that is brief yet masterful, and above all, unfathomably brutal that leaves the listener feeling like they got hit by a bus. I give the Nails/Full of Hell split EP a 9.0/10 and you need to give less than 5 minutes of your time to listen to and truly experience this remarkable split EP, regardless of your opinion on grindcore and this form of extreme music.  I’ve attached the soundcloud stream of the split EP, along with where to order the 7″ vinyl, below for anyone who wants to give it a listen and I’ve also posted the original post I wrote when Nails and Full of Hell first announced the release.  We’ll have a lot more reviews to post in the upcoming weeks so make sure to check back into the site to see what we review next!

Split EP Announcement:

https://eriksalbumreviews.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/breaking-news-nails-will-release-a-split-7-with-full-of-hell-this-december/

Split EP on Vinyl:

Nails / Full Of Hell "Split"

Full Split EP Stream:

Vinyl and Cassette News: Burial’s “YOUNG DEATH / NIGHTMARKET” Accidently Gets Released Early On Vinyl

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In case you missed it, Burial, the legendary English electronic producer and recording artist, recently released his latest project “YOUNG DEATH / NIGHTMARKET (HDB100).  The short EP, which was officially released only a few days ago, features an experimental ambient sound accompanied with reverb filled synths and multiple, altered samples that give the project an overall sound unique to Burial himself.  This new EP is very fascinating and is both relaxing and compelling, causing the listener to feel at ease yet never lose interest or focus on the material.

The release itself is stellar, and I will most likely follow up this post with an official review of the project, but the most prominent news to come from this release actually isn’t about the material, but how it was distributed.  Days before the EP was supposed to have a surprise release, it suddenly surfaced on Discogs.  Stunned, Burial fans quickly reacted to this update and wondered if this was a legitimate, new release from Burial and where they could get themselves a copy of this record.  It was soon realized that the Discogs update was made in response to a Toronto record shop, called Sonic Boom Records, accidentally selling the release early on Black Friday.  Sonic Boom Records, who received the new 12″ records by mail, assumed the new release was a Black Friday secret listing and because of this 5 copies were accidentally sold to Toronto customers.  This project, which was eventually officially released on Burial’s official Bandcamp page on November 28th, is the first solo project of 2016 by the British artist.  Once the vinyl EP was officially released it quickly sold out on Burial’s site and has since been selling extremely fast at local record shops in both North America and Europe.  There are still numerous places that have a copy left to purchase, including the 53 individual listings on Discogs selling the 12″ for as little as $8.57, however this record will definitely sell out completely eventually.

If you are an electronic music fan you need to listen to this release.  In my opinion, this will most likely be one of the best EPs you hear all year.  If you are unfamiliar with Burial this is a very good place to start, however his discography is extremely immense and filled with great material, so checking out any release from the South London based artist is highly recommended.  The link to purchase the 12” vinyl record from Discogs is attached below along with the full EP stream.  Give it a listen, check out the other electronic reviews and music content posted on this site, and be sure to visit often for more electronic, vinyl, and cassette news!

https://www.discogs.com/Burial-Young-Death-Nightmarket/release/9412422

500 Word Review: Flume “Skin Companion EP I”

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Following his successful release of his sophomore full length album, “Skin”, which came out earlier this year, Australian EDM artist Flume is back with his latest EP “Skin Companion EP I”.  The EP, which apparently seems to be a continuation of “Skin” made up of what appears to be b-sides from the record, is a short, 4 song project that was released only a few days ago.  “Skin”, which in my opinion is an album of the year contender, saw widespread positive approval from his fan base and became Flume’s most successful release to date.  I personally was not familiar with Flume until after the release of “Skin”, but he has since become one of my favorite electronic artists and “Skin” is easily one of my favorite EDM albums of all time.  That being said I was both surprised and shocked when I recently opened my Youtube app to see new material from Flume.  “Skin” itself is a 16 track album running over an hour in length, so the fact that there is still material left over to be released is shocking to me.  However, I was still very excited to hear this latest project from Flume!

The songwriting on “Skin Companion EP I” is slightly different from “Skin”, but as the EP’s title suggests, it is still fairly similar to the sound heard on the 2016 full length.  Overall, “Skin Companion EP I” is a collection of upbeat, almost trance like songs.  The song structure for each track is eclectic with a heavy use of unique, peculiar beats and synths that is fairly similar to “Skin”, but is rather a perfect match to Flume’s signature style and the subgenre, wonky, that Flume often writes in.  Some percussion is mixed in in an odd manner, like for example what is heard throughout the track “v”, but this ultimately further compliments Flume’s signature style of electronic music.  The jittery randomness that flows well with the rhythmic beats can be, at some points, reminiscent of Blank Banshee’s material.  Honestly, despite the fact that pop influenced, high pitched female vocals are heard in nearly every track on “Skin Companion EP I”, this EP in my opinion, is actually closer to sounding like a vaportrap release than a radio friendly edm release, which is not a bad thing at all!  This collection of songs seems a little more experimental than what is heard on “Skin” and even though these tracks sound similar to the material on the 2016 full length, I can see why they are grouped together in a separate release altogether.  However, these variations heard from “Skin” are very slight and these four songs could easily have been mixed into “Skin”, and in fact, they could’ve served as trance like, calm sounding interludes or tracks that provide breathing room between the more intense songs heard on “Skin”.  This would give “Skin” even more range, from a song structure perspective, and would ultimately improve “Skin”.  Regardless, “Skin Companion EP I” is a great release on its own and is another phenomenal project from Flume.

In summation, I give “Skin Companion EP I” an 8.3/10 and I can without a doubt say that this release will be a fierce contender for the EPs of the year list!  This latest project from Flume is interesting, compelling, and extremely relaxing and enjoyable to listen to.  If you are a fan of electronic music you need to give this EP a listen.  Also, if “Skin Companion EP I” is the first installment to a list of projects associated with “Skin” to be released, which I am assuming it is, then I cannot wait to see what Flume releases next during this “Skin” era. Each of the four tracks from the album are posted below for those who want to check out the project and be sure to visit the site this week for more album reviews and music content!

“Trust”:

“v”:

“Heater”:

“Quirk”: