Monday, June 28, 2010

Tiny Hawks

Tiny Hawks

Tiny Hawks was a two piece duo consisting of Art Middleton on guitar and Gus Martin on drums. Hailing from the Providence, Rhode Island area, the band's peers include the likes of Daniel Striped Tiger, Sinaloa, Ampere, and Death to Tyrants, although the Tiny Hawks sound is a bit less rooted in the hardcore tradition than the work of their peers. They combined a flurry of hardcore influences with a jangly, tumultuous rhythm and all the spasms of a thrash band to create a sound that has been emulated by bands all over the country, perhaps most notably the Lancaster based 1994!, who have helped blaze the trail Tiny Hawks began to forge.

Their discography is rather brief; one 8 song 12" EP and one full length, but both are packed with a dizzying array of off-kilter melody, jarring drumbeats, and innovative guitar riffs.

P.S. Notice Slingshot Dakota drummer Tom in the background of the band shot at the top of the post.

Both members current play in a band called Arcing, who as of yet, have no recorded music. There is a video on their myspace.

Fingers Become Bridges

Fingers Become Bridges (2005)

People Without End

People Without End (2006)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

NEW We Were Skeletons

Seeing as the cd release show for We Were Skeletons' full length is tomorrow, I figured now would be a good time to post this album. I've seen it up on some blogs here and there, but I know they were asked to put it down by either the band or Top Shelf Records.

I was given the unmastered version of the album about a year ago by the band and I haven't gone a week without listening to it the whole way through. When I received the mastered songs a while ago I got back into the habit of listening daily. Honestly, this is going to be one of those records that set the mold for a shit load of screamo bands sometime in the future. I don't want to go on and on about how great this is because I have a limited amount of time until my neighbor realizes I'm stealing his internet, but I will say that We Were Skeletons' Self Titled full length is "La Fine Non E La Fine" status. I'm talking about on par with records like "Il N'y A Pas D'Orchestre" and "Jokes".

If you don't know who they are, WWS is a screamo band from Lancaster that sounds like a mix of the european skramz bands and some of the later American screamo bands around the mid 2000's. I would definitely recommend this record to anyone who likes La Quiete, Off Minor, Kidcrash, Ampere or City of Caterpillar.

Tomorrow evening there is a release show for this record in Lancaster PA at Senorita Burrita with Boys & Sex, Merchant Ships, Snowing, my band and Our Parents Forgot Us. You should come check it out and buy some shit.



We Were Skeletons

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Q And Not U


It's often said that if L.A. invented hardcore, then it was D.C. who perfected it. Dischord Records has been a mainstay in the indie scene since it's inception in 1980, when two young men from the 'burbs named Jeff Nelson and Ian MacKaye were looking for an alternative vehicle to release and distribute material by their and their friends bands. Dischord's first release, The Teen Idles EP, which both Nelson and MacKaye played on before moving on to the enigmatic hardcore group Minor Threat, was recorded and released after the Idles had broken up and Minor Threat had formed. Several other bands had also appeared on the scene - bands like Government Issue, (which Minor Threat guitarist Brian Baker would play in while Minor Threat was on hiatus from 1981-1983), Youth Brigade, and a band called S.O.A., which featured a raucous man named Henry Garfield on vocals, who in a few years would be better known by the surname Rollins, as the controversial frontman of hardcore godfathers Black Flag.

Fast forward eighteen years and the makeup of the hardcore scene and independent music scene in Washington D.C. has changed drastically. Many have considered hardcore dead since around '84 or '85, when the genre became too formulaic and veterans like MacKaye moved onto emotive, less politically oriented music tagged "emo". Punk has been exploited and mass marketed, as something called pop-punk, engaging prepubescent teens in it's catchy hooks and misanthropic lyrics. About the only thing that has remained the same is the fact that the Dischord house still lies nestled quietly away on Beecher St. in the suburbs of Washington.

Enter Q and Not U onto the scene, whose debut in 1998 was as a band who apparently claimed to write music for house parties, a far cry from the visceral serious mindset of Mackaye's lyrics on the first Minor Threat EP. A new generation of Dischord bands was being born, and in the coming years groups like Q and Not U, Black Eyes, and Faraquet would re-establish D.C. as a booming hub of independent music, by making inventive and experimental post-hardcore without becoming disengaging, making connections to young and old alike that bands like Lungfish, no matter how critically acclaimed they may be, simply could not.

The band's 2000 debut No Kill No Beep Beep certainly would not sound out of place being played in the basement at a debauched house show. The sound of the record infused catchy post-hardcore with tinges of emo, a danceable beat, and socially and politically conscious (although often cryptic) lyrics. The album is unique in the band's repertoire because it is their only release (besides their debut 7") on which original bassist Matt Borlik appears, greatly altering the band's sound. Highlights on the record are, well, every single song, but some of the finer moments include the anti-fashion statement of "Fever Sleeves", the cathartic, introspective "Kiss Distinctly American", and my personal favorite song by the band, "Y Plus White Girl", a short snippet of a song with perfectly crafted guitar parts and edgy, emo-esque vocals.

Different Damage, was released in 2002 after the departure of Borlik. Guitarists Chris Richards and Harris Klhar would trade off guitar and keyboard duties both on the record and in live concert. The album is vastly different from No Kill No Beep Beep. The band is far more subdued, their melodies more off-beat, the music more challenging. The opener "Soft Pyramids" starts off with an odd sing-a-long: "S-O-F-T-P-Y-R-A-M-I-D-S-E-V-A-P-O-R-A-T-E at daylight," and is apparently about gentrification, or maybe homogeneous, planned communities. The second song, "So Many Animal Calls" is about the American healthcare system, and from there, the lyrics are a bit more open for debate, but obviously still retain the feel of their politically stamped trademark. The more experimental, indie, and keyboard driven sound of their second LP is something that would remain with them for the rest of their careers.

Unfortunately, their third and final LP, Power doesn't quite hold up to the first two albums. Maybe it's just me, but I've read plenty of other reviews that deem the album disappointing as well. Even if the band didn't quite go out with a critical bang, the album sold well, and Q and Not U had become established as an indie powerhouse before their breakup in 2005.

They deserve their recognition as one of the most influential D.C. bands of all time, and I have to say that their music makes me feel some weird sense of nostalgia, even though I was admittedly far too young to take any kind of part in what they or the Dischord scene at the time was doing.

* * *


Hot and Informed (2000)


No Kill No Beep Beep (2000)


On Play Patterns (2002)


Different Damage (2002)


"Don't Let It Bring You Down" by Neil Young from Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again, Vietnam Veterans Benefit Compilation (2003)


Book of Flags 7" (2003)


Power (2004)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sed Non Satiata

I first heard about Sed Non Satiata a while back when I first got into Daitro. It's kinda funny because I didn't really care about them until I realized that the tracks I had downloaded were mislabeled and all the tracks that I thought were Daitro's were Sed's, and vice-versa. I'm assuming that most fans of screamo music have the split I'm talking about, which is absolutely phenomenal.

SNS is a French screamo band who I believe are inactive at the moment. Their music is either driving or melodic, as most of the Euro-Skramz bands tend to be. They put out two splits, two full lengths and a demo, all of which are below. I don't have a comp that they did with The Third Memory and Gantz. Here is a video of them playing "Les Hommes Sans Visage".

This may be my last post for a few days, I'm moving back to Maryland for the summer and there isnt internet where I will be spending most of my time. I'll update when I can, but Chug is not dead.



Split with Aghast

Split with Daitro

Sed Non Satiata


Le Ciel De Notre Enfance

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Merchant Ships

Jack and I are best friends now, future blood brothers actually, so natuarlly he sent me their new album when they got the mastered tracks. These songs are different than their older material, a little heavier and more technical but still of sing alongs and all that shit that made The Shipsography dope. Personally, my favorite new tracks are the new version of Dying and Sentinel. I think Sentinel is up on their myspace, so if you are not sure if you want this album go check it out on their space. Count Your Lucky Stars is putting this little diddy out in vinyl sometime soon, I would imagine that they would have it for their tour(s) this summer. You should buy the vinyl if you like the tunes. While I'm here I might as well add that I'm putting out their Bummer Tapes tape for their summer tour too, so you should pick up a copy from CYLS or the ships this summer. If you're within driving distance of western Maryland you should come see them play with my band, Prawn, Our Parents Forgot Us, Spermwhales and Calculator on the 4th of July.



For Cameron