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.

Get in here with me early, because I think we’re going to be hearing a lot more about this band over the next year. Vespera will be releasing their 15-track debut album ‘The Thoughts That Plague You’ in 2018 and if ‘Obsidian Dreams’ is anything to go by, it’s going to be one to watch out for. The project was started by Jonathan Wolfe and has blossomed into something of a beast over the last year, helped by producer Taylor Lawson (who’s worked on Periphery and Veil of Maya, as well being a former guitarist with From First to Last). Now with a full band on board, Vespera are preparing to unleash themselves on the world.

‘Obsidian Dreams’ demonstrates a remarkable balance of heavy riffs and soaring vocals, pivoting from djent-style riffs and screamed vocals to wonderfully infectious clean melodies that are crisp and well-considered. I’m excited to hear more!


All of our 2017 POV selections are available as a playlist on Spotify. Check it out here.

Formed from members of well-known Italian bands Trick or Treat, What A Funk and Damned Spring Fragantia, Aquiver are certainly deserving of the title ‘supergroup’ on this evidence. From start to finish, ‘A Million Red Lights’ is bursting with life and thanks to a combination of excellent instrumentals and vibrant production, the track leaps out of the speakers with infectious energy.

The band will release their debut album ‘Frames’ on October 13 and based on this track, it’s not clear what a full-length might sound like. With elements of progressive post-hardcore, alt-rock and catchy hooks present in this one song alone, the album could pivot in any direction. With so much energy pumping through the band, I’m excited to find out what’s waiting for us on release day.

A full-length record from Wolf & Bear has been a long time coming, but finally the wait is over. I’ve been eagerly anticipating a substantial release since stumbling across ‘Oil Cup’ during a late-night trawl through post-hardcore bands on Bandcamp way back in 2015, and ‘Armillia Mellea’ is a great advertisement for why I’ve been so excited.

Anyone familiar with the Blue Swan Records family and it’s affectionately-known sub-genre ‘Swancore’ will know what to expect from the band, but for the uninitiated, prepare to be hit round the head with intricate, complex guitar riffs, pounding drum rhythms and a dual vocal attack that both punishes and caresses you at the same time.

The band’s debut record ‘Everything Is Going Grey’ is available now and if you like this track, you’re going to want to purchase a copy. There’s plenty more where this came from.

It can be painful, looking back at one’s youth and seeing one’s ideals lost in the struggle with reality. But it can also be fodder for excellent music, and Boston’s Choke Up have succeeded in dramatic fashion. Their latest full-length release, ‘Stormy Blue,’ is a concept album, retrospectively telling the tale of a young couple who steal a car and run away to build a better life together. The story takes some rough turns, as you might expect.

‘Borderland’ appears early in the saga, as our pair make their escape from all they hate. They imagine the life they plan to have, but they seem to know things won’t be as wonderful as they hope. The music is appropriately upbeat with gorgeous melodic lines and glorious sing-along parts, as the song lays out all the hopes and dreams of the kids at the outset of their journey. The brightness of the music matches the brightness the future seems to hold, before reality sets in.

The album shows a remarkable growth in Choke Up’s maturity, moving away from their previous focus on melodic post-hardcore and toward a subtler indie sound. ‘Borderland’ is a strong example of that maturity.