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.

 

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.

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.