Whilst I’ve always been a massive fan of Patrick Kindlon’s projects, I’m one of those people that prefer Drug Church over Self Defence Family/End Of A Year. Fittingly, it was always work commitments whilst juggling University that made me miss their stints in the UK in 2015. This would have been a time in my life where I thought I wanted to be a news reporter for a major newspaper, but quickly ditched that idea once I graduated, and I’d be lying if I still told you what the hell I’m doing.

There’s this alienating mindset, particularly from people of older generations, that you shouldn’t complain about your job; that you shouldn’t be able to switch career paths, and now more than ever there’s an increased pressure to ‘pick something’ because it’s bad to not know what you want to do with your life.  Even when we might find entry-level jobs, there are mistakes made along the way and the narrative of ‘Weed Pin’ suggests, the halt of progress is blamed on our generation. It’s nice to have a slight sardonic relief from this with the ever-relatable mantra of “Hard to choose a career, when you’re bad at everything.”

 

Do you need some Loud music from Chicago? Look now further than No Men. The songwriting pair of D.B. (bass) and Pursley (vocals, drums) relocated from Texas in late 2015, joining forces with local drummer Eric Hofmeister to form No Men. No Men can be described as queer, femme-fronted, the androgynous opposite of “yes men”, and anti-everything. Equal parts 69, 420, and 666. One bass, duelling vocals, dual drums. No “guitar rock” allowed.

If you’ve been to see No Men live you know the energy they bring, and the audience that follows them that seems to just radiate that energy back to the band. It’s quite possibly one of the best live music experiences you can have in the city. Their new release ‘CUT’ was recorded on one Wednesday afternoon at the Minbal studio on Sacramento Blvd. with engineer Doug Malone. It’s out on Let’s Pretend Records on October 27.

I spoke about the agony of patience with new bands when featuring the latest track by Parting Gift recently and here’s another similar problem. Moderntears, from Tuscany in Italy, serve up a heavy hitting single with ‘Wasting Away’, which leaves you wanting so much more, but painfully it’s the only track they’ve released to date.

This is melodic hardcore done right: passionately screamed vocals, emotive chords and lead lines, and pulsating drums that curl you into a ball of angst, before a clean chorus uncurls you with its melody, inviting you to sing it as loud as you can. This is a fantastic debut from Moderntears; certainly a band to keep an eye on.


Check out all of our POV songs from 2017 on our Spotify playlist.

When bands decide to try something new, it’s often at the expense of alienating portions of their fan base, and Veil of Maya couldn’t escape this inevitability on previous album ‘Matriarch’. The first album to feature new vocalist Lukas Magyar, his arrival also introduced clean vocals to the band’s sound for the first time, taking them away from their deathcore roots and inviting widespread comparisons to Periphery.

Not to be dissuaded though, Veil of Maya are back with phase two of this altered sound and ‘Overthrow’ signals an impressive upward trajectory. Magyar’s clean vocals integrate themselves into this track much more naturally, giving ‘Overthrow’ a fantastic sense of flow, helped on by huge amounts of djent-like groove in the instrumentals. It’s a healthy balance of melody, technicality and heaviness, making me very excited to hear more of the new record ‘False Idol’, out on October 20.

Songs don’t need bone-shattering, downtuned riffs to be heavy. Heaviness comes in many forms and Movements’ ‘Colorblind’ hits you with impact where it matters: right in the chest. The trebly guitars and jangly, emo vibes are unlikely to make your speakers shake, but vocalist Patrick Miranda’s impassioned vocals might just put a lump in your throat.

“Save yourself, I’m not worth the time. This failure is built deep into my design” sings Miranda, a feeling I’m sure we can all relate to from some point in our lives. ‘Colorblind’ is taken from the band’s upcoming album ‘Feel Something’ out on October 20 and with songs as powerful as this one, you’d have to be pretty numb not to.

 

Recently the subject of Brand New’s mysterious air has made me think about a band whose very career is shrouded, even more so, in an enigmatic cloud. This band is none other than Baltimore, MD post hardcore act Lungfish. Since 1987, this group have delivered a vast output that is mesmerising, innovative, repetitive and cryptic. It is all guided by the seemingly omniscient and modest mind of frontman Daniel Higgs. This rare 2005 interview with Higgs from WYPR’s The Signal, which followed the release of their tenth album ‘Feral Hymns’, takes a curious peek into the inner workings of the band.

Interspersed with cuts from their discography, it is an interview that sees Higgs offering a contemplative and thoughtful lecture into Lungfish’s origins and their music, as well as his thoughts on the impact, interpretation and legacy such art has on people and culture as a whole. Definitely a must hear documentary into one of the alternative scenes’ most profound and spiritually strung groups.

Discovering bands early can be such a bittersweet experience. It’s amazing to see a band grow from embryonic state to fully fledged, touring band with a fantastic back catalogue behind them, but it comes at a price: patience. This is only the second track that Parting Gift have released and it’s the second time that I’ve featured them on POV; you could say I’m a little excited about this band’s potential.

‘Asleep’ gets right under my skin with its pulsating rhythm and emotive vocals; the same way I feel when listening to Crooks and Holding Absence, who are both good barometers for Parting Gift’s style. As much as I’m loving what I’m hearing so far, it’s excruciatingly painful waiting for the next song to come along. It can be an impatient process watching a band grow, but I’ve got a very strong feeling that when Parting Gift are ready to explode onto the scene, I’m not going to be the only one proud of what they achieve.


Check out all of our POV songs from 2017 on our Spotify playlist.

‘Queen Over Plegethon’ from London psychedelic metal newcomers Five The Hierophant hits way over the eight minute mark, but refuses to let up for even a second. The entire track is an instrumental sludge assault, bulging with ambient guitars that pierce some kind of eerie brass section backdrop.

With some funk elements infused with a magnificently heavy bass groove, if the sound of impending doom could be put to record this is precisely what it would sound like.

One of the compelling aspects of instrumental post-rock is the reflective, ambient atmosphere that it creates, making it ideal for escapism and allowing yourself time to think and reflect. Nordic Giants have perfected the art of creating such a feeling and with ‘Taxonomy of Illusions’ they’ve gone one better by including a Terence McKenna speech of the same name, within the song. For those who find unprompted reflection difficult, McKenna’s speech about the types of illusions that we face in life will provide all the stimulation you need.

I’ll be honest, despite Nordic Giants being around since 2010 and having six records to their name already, they’ve somehow managed to evade my attention till now, but thankfully our paths crossed at this year’s ArcTanGent festival. Their cinematic combination of music and video blew me away and now that I’m hooked, I’m thoroughly looking forward to ‘Amplify Human Vibration’, the band’s upcoming album due out on October 20. Don’t miss the chance to see them live when they tour the UK in November as well, it’s a feast for the eyes and ears.


Check out every POV track from 2017 in this Spotify playlist.