*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is West Virginia.*
When you think off West Virginia, the first thing that comes to mind is some good old backwoods bluegrass and country music. What you don’t expect is that deep within the hollers, there’s a band who’s music sounds will take you back to the beginning’s of punk with the fusion of the horror genre into their image. Ghost Road is a punk rock horror band that’s based out of Morgantown, WV and they will take you out of the stereotypes of West Virginia music. Continue reading
*This is part of our “Aftershock Festival 2018 Spotlight” where we branch out and focus on some of the up-and-coming bands that fans can see at this year’s Aftershock Festival on October 13th & 14th. This week, we’re checking out PLAGUE VENDOR.*
One of my personal philosophies is that if your music is difficult to categorize, you must be doing something right. Such is definitely the case with Whitier, California quartet Plague Vendor who fittingly classify themselves as “voodoo punk” to describe their style of dark and abrasive, yet often dance-able form of punk rock. At times emerging through are hints of Dead Kennedys, Nirvana, and Raw Power-era The Stooges, but never to an overwhelming degree that overshadows the band’s own uniqueness. Lead singer Brandon Blaine is like a pissed off Jack White with an aggressive and dissonant vocal attack that never fails to add a striking element of chaos or danger to every song. Plague Vendor’s combination of raw simplicity, aggression, and catchiness will have you tapping your foot, nodding your head, and humming along while at the same time feeling a horror movie-like tension pulling you into its sonic madness. This is music that refuses to be confined by a label – and thankfully so. Continue reading
City Of Industry is a hardcore punk band that was formed in 2017 in Seattle, Washington. The band is a three piece comprised of Jack Thompson on bass, Mauro Contreras on drums and rounding out the band John Suede on guitar and vocals. Though City Of Industry was just formed last year they have wasted no time getting material out to fans. In December of last year they released their debut EP and the band has now released their follow up titled ‘American Habits Are Hard To Break’ on July 27, 2018. ‘American Habits Are Hard To Break’ was recorded and mixed by Jon Lervold at Big Name Studios and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege. The band notes Coke Bust, Converge, Ceremony, Iron Lung, and Despise You as some of their biggest influences. Though you can easily hear the bands hardcore and punk styles meld together within their music you can also hear touches of the crust punk genre throughout their songs as well.
Maryland’s Hostile Array are here with their politically charged post-hardcore self-titled debut. Finding inspiration from their own political beliefs vocalist Brendan Fray explains, “I don’t consider myself to be very liberal or conservative, but I am passionate about addressing issues of corruption on both sides of aisle. Our hope is to motivate others to question the status quo and never compromise when it comes to demanding justice in our system.” Keeping their message nonpartisan, keeps a skeptic eye on both sides of the aisle.
Founded in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 2006 the three brothers known by their surname Dubé have found themselves the center of a wide spread and viral meme throughout Canada. There was an article about them within the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test which was given to 10th grade students in Ontario. The article was essentially a reading comprehension test and they had to answer questions about the article and band afterwards. Memes of the band then went viral causing the band to become drastically more popular within their home country, with many students saying it was their favorite part of the test. Dubé once also opened for The Beach Boys as they previously has a very clean image. Dubé’s sudden change from opening for The Beach Boys to smoking up in their video for “Alien” caught the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) off guard. The EQAO oversees the OSSLT and said the reading selection went through a three-year vetting process, but after the article was last vetted in September 2017, the band radically changed its image. In their video for “Alien” it depicts the band smoking a joint rolled up with a page from the bible. Not only their image but their music has also changed drastically, and for the better I might add. The brothers now have a much more heavy and faster paced alternative punk rock sound that is also sure to become a viral sensation for fans. Don’t think for a minute that these guys are selfish and that their rock and roll ambitions are for themselves alone. Their mother passed away after a battle with cancer and the brothers took to the streets busking as well as recording covers to raise money for charity. They subsequently raised mega-bucks for charity on the streets of Ottawa – they staged a drive that sent a whopping $150,000 to Haitian orphans after the 2010 earthquake. The band deserves a tremendous amount of respect for the work they have put in as well as for the risk they took in changing their image. The band has been on tour with English punk rockers Counterfeit here in the U.S. doing a cost to cost stage takeover. Continue reading
Formed in 1999, Bleeding Through have run the gamut of countries, labels, genre stylings and immense, genre-defining releases, influencing several generations of artists since their inception. This crushing Californian metal act seamlessly combine hardcore, symphonic and death metal in a maelstrom of magnificent aggression, weaving melody and mayhem together into a chaotic quilt. Dedicated to their craft in a way that has cast countless acts to shame, Bleeding Through are a band that many fans of extreme music may cite as one of their first truly “heavy” bands—and all these years later, they hold up just as strong, if not more so. While the band has been on a self imposed hiatus since 2104, reuniting in 2016 for a benefit show for The Ghost Inside following the bands horrific accident. As such the heavy metal landscape has changed a lot over the handful of years since the band called it a day. Metalcore has fallen out of favor with the mainstream, and theres been a sort of changing of the guard with “newer” bands like Bring Me The Horizon and A Day to Remember dominating the scene and heading in a more poppier direction.
Kentucky punk trio Baby Bones formed around 2016. Band members Dave Rucinski (guitar/vocals), Thomas Burgos (guitar/vocals/bass) and Badnewz Brandum (drums) are veterans in the Louisville music scene for years. In 2016 the trio recorded the song “Pay Us In Dimes” for the ‘We Have a Bevin Problem’ compilation under the mantle of Baby Bones, rocketing themselves into an unknown future. Of course “Bevin” refers to the current governor Matt Bevin of the Bluegrass state who hasn’t been too well received by the majority of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He is only the second Republican to hold the office in over 40 years. As we know punk bands are often inspired by political themes and rebelling against the powers the be, and Baby Bones is no different. That compilation created a consumer demand for more of what Baby Bones was offering; Therefore it ignited the trio to invest more time into the group and release more material. The band has went into the studio at Tin Pan Basement and recorded with Dave Rucinski. They have finalized their debut EP titled ‘Curse of the Crystal Teeth’ and it will release on April 14th, 2018 via Gubbey Records.
“Shit out your soul/Day by day/Accepting lies they throw your way…”
The quote above is quite bleak, isn’t it? Well if you were expecting something upbeat and swinging, then ‘Rotting Civilization’ by Septic Tank is definitely not for you! However, if you’re a fan of bleak, pissed off 80’s influenced grind core, then prepare to have your face melted! Septic Tank which features members of Cathedral, Trouble, and Repulsion was originally formed in the 90’s as a way for frontman Lee Dorrian to express his love of bands such as Discharge and Siege. A handful of live shows were played during these times, but it wasn’t until 2013 when Septic Tank finally released a self titled 7′ EP, the only problem, it was only released in Japan and even then it was limited to 900 copies. From that release we got ‘The Slaughter’ an early Celtic Frost sounding track that honestly could have fit on earlier Cathedral albums.
A scene that frequently gets shoved to the wayside by the heavy-metal community is the massively influential, thriving and certainly one-of-a-kind brand of underground music that was both a worldwide phenomenon commonly known as “Hardcore punk”, and more specifically in this context a significant subculture that had begun to emerge in the wake of Thatcher-era Britain, – indeed, “Hardcore punk” has now become a very generalised term yet it barely scratches the surface of what the community did for so many young people in an era of increasing economic crisis, political unrest and social inequality. This was a chance for young people’s voice to get heard amidst all of the unravelling chaos – yet it wasn’t always easy. Continue reading
DEAD CROSS debut a visual rebuke of organized religion, and take on it head on, in the band’s video for “Church of the Motherf***ers,”.
“We are not capable of understanding aspects of molecular genetics, let alone the universe,” said bass player Justin Pearson of the Michael Panduro directed clip. “I’d rather not fill in the blanks with outlandish oppressive morals, offensive social politics, and patriarchal garbage. In the year 2017 AD some humans still think there is a god.”