Archive for the ‘THAW’ Category

Noiseweek: Rollins on tape trading, TTOL crowdfunding, NYC hardcore and more

Friday, March 6th, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


After the overwhelming response to the Perth Needs More Music and Arts Venues Facebook group and the subsequent meeting in light of the impending closure of The Bakery, The West Australian is reporting that Culture and Arts Minister John Day has expressed his support for a new government-backed venue. The tentative frontrunner is Rechabites Hall, a former theatre on Williams Street. People power!


LIN favourites Tangled Thoughts of Leaving are edging closer to their Pozible goal of raising $5,000 to fund the pressing of their forthcoming second album, Yield to Despair. They’re over 80% of the way there with 10 days to go, so if you’ve got a few dollars to spare and you like vinyl copies of post-psychosis-prog-jazz-beardcore, help them out. They’ve also just announced a European tour — including an appearance at the jealousy-inducing dunk! festival in Belgium — alongside Bird’s Robe labelmates Solkyri in May. They’re also touring the country with 65daysofstatic starting Saturday at Adelaide Festival.


Speaking of jealousy-inducing festival lineups, All Tomorrow’s Parties have announced the next wave of acts for their Iceland festival this July, adding Public Enemy, Swans, Lightning Bolt, Bardo Pond and more to a bill that already includes Iggy Pop, Drive Like Jehu, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Froth.


Henry Rollins: Confessions of a Tape Trader | LA Weekly

“Almost as soon as I began gathering paper evidence of this emerging scene, I became aware of cassette recordings that bands and fans were making. The mere existence of these tapes — music you could play over and over again, which could not be found in a record store — was in itself a small miracle. That someone had the wherewithal to wrench these moments from the ether was like beating the odds and defying the bastards who would have been happy for us to go the way of the proverbial tree that falls in the forest, unheard and unwitnessed.“

Kid Millions Talks The Importance of Mentors | The Talkhouse

“A mentor is your trusted guide and companion. Some mentors have no idea they are providing this kind of service. Maybe they show you how not to represent yourself. Maybe they show up to a gig completely drunk and cancel the gig. Perhaps they are assholes to everyone they deem unworthy of their attention. But in the best scenario the mentor sees your truth before you can grasp it yourself. She holds up a mirror that reveals your pure, undistorted truth.“

United Blood: How Hardcore Conquered New York | The New Yorker

“The New York scene was never monolithic. Shows drew skinheads, punks, and plenty of average-looking young people in T-shirts; many of the fans who followed Agnostic Front also turned out for False Prophets, a sarcastic and theatrical punk-inspired band. Even so, many scene participants nursed an inferiority complex. The Manhattanites disdained the guys from Queens; the Long Islanders hated being thought of as “interlopers”; virtually everyone resented the scenes in other cities, where the band members seemed to have enough spare time and cash to tour and promote themselves. “The kids from New York, we were like these crazy fucking street rats,” Todd Youth, who played guitar for a band called Murphy’s Law, says. “The kids from Boston and D.C. were really well off.” While most other early-eighties scenes gave rise to influential independent record labels, New York’s generated war stories. “You were getting chased down the street by gangs of Puerto Ricans that wanted to fucking kill you,” Youth remembers; Avenue A was contested turf. Alex Kinon, who played with Agnostic Front, says that he was once shot at in Tompkins Square Park, and that Vinnie Stigma responded by rushing toward the gunfire, armed with only an improvised shield in the form of a garbage-can lid.“


Sannhet — The Revisionist

Boutique San Fran label The Frenser are off to an excellent start to 2015, first with the earthshaking King Woman EP and now The Revisionist, the pummeling sophomore album from the similarly quake-inducing trio Sannhet. Better watch that faultline.

And So I Watch You From Afar — Wasps

Is there a modern heavy label as forward-thinking as Sargent House? From post-rock to doom to shoegaze to noise, the LA-based management outfit covers every base of exciting guitar music. Belfast quartet ASIWYFA settle into a groove on this preview of their fourth LP Heirs, balancing the frenetic guitar work with some rare vocal harmonization before the absurd double bass drumming kicks in. And for once they finish a song under the five-minute mark. Set guitars to kill.

Elder — Lore

Not to be mistaken with Jimmy McGill’s latest attempt at legal specialisation, Lore is a ball-tearingly heavy offering from a Rhode Island power trio with just the right amount of moxie mixed with the obligatory Kyuss/Sabbath worship to satisfy all your stoner/desert/metal/psych cravings. Is it insecurity that drives all these power trios to write songs that sound fucking gargantuan? Whatever it is, don’t stop.

Flowers & Fire — Demo

Raw riffage energetic melancholy abound in this first offering from a Vancouver post-punk outfit with virtually zero web presence. There’s a distinct Siouxsie/Banshee vibe throughout but the notes ring with a panic immediacy. Uneasy listening, but it’s not supposed to be easy.

The Austin 100 — NPR

The nice folks at National Public Radio have gone to the trouble of rounding up 100 tracks from 100 artists appearing at this month’s SXSW so you can better navigate the veritable shit-show that is trying to decipher if a band name is real or made-up for a hipster-baiting Jimmy Kimmel bit. There are a few familiar names, though — including Slanted & Enchanted guests METZ and Melbourne weirdos Twerps.


THAW — Last Day

The Black Captain has written extensively about THAW, the Instant Classic label and the doom/black developments in Poland, but it’s a scene so far away, us Southern hemisphere residents are unlikely to ever witness it in the flesh lest you make the costly journey to the old world yourself. In lieu of such a pilgramage, here’s some HD footage of the sonic tyranny in action.

The Last Song Before The War

Tinariwen’s origin story might be the most rock ‘n’ roll in music history, but its members are merely one part of the Tuareg music tradition of Mali. In this hour-long documentary, director Kiley Kraskouskas documents the 2011 iteration of the three-day Festival in the Desert amongst political turmoil and sectarian conflict.

THAW — Earth Ground

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

The Polish black metal “wschodz?ce gwiazdy” that are THAW were touched on earlier this year when they released a split record along with Echoes of Yul. Roughly a year and half after their self-titled debut LP, they return with their second release of 2014: Earth Ground.

THAW have shown they have a capacity to deviate from the black metal scripture, particularly on the split release. But they are, first and foremost, a black metal band. With that in mind, one should generally know what to expect when you listen to one of their records, with dissonant open-string tremolo picking and conflagrations of speed aplenty. That is, after all, one of the reasons for following this path… Black metal bands are not out to create wholesale innovations. The posturing of certain sceners has created the impression that any such attempt is strictly verboten, perhaps unfairly. There have always been black metal bands attempting to create subtle shifts within a very tight auditory field whilst staying true to the genre’s essence. THAW are one of those who do it quite well, with phases of flourishes and progressive approach that move them closer to the distinctive with each subsequent production.

Earth Ground departs from the intriguing tangent of the similarly named split record and brings back the high-pressure livid aorta of ichorous black metal running through its core. However, throughout the twists emerge, always retaining their furious and swarthy elemental character. Tracks like ‘Sun’ throw a vocal change-up, breaking off from malevolent rasp to something more akin to Neurosis. As THAW have explored previously, there are also those wonderful streams of ambient noise and drone that the band have made a concerted effort to establish as a hallmark.

There appears to be a chronological arc in the progression of songs, at least from the titles, sonically traversing three days in a hellish world. The midpoint of ‘Second Day’ expresses something like a nod to hardcore punk. On either side of this, the songs shift between the familiar, but high quality, black metal and oozing downtempo menace. Tracks like ‘Soil’ in the second half of the album even dabble with a soaring element of post-rock, but without trying to be too pretty or shoegazey about it as to take away from the overall feel of the record for the sake of generic deviance. All the while, Earth Ground maintains a purposeful malevolence, with enough well-chosen kinks to keep you engaged, with ‘Winter’s Bone’ a great example.

THAW should win plenty more admirers as they traverse Europe on tour in support of Behemoth next year. Most black metal fans will love Earth Ground for its distinctive experimental moments mixed in with the dissonance and ringing open chords. Never mind the ones too precious to deal with a band that tries to stand out from amongst the overcrowded gaggle of peers. Whilst the album has already been available digitally for a couple of months now, pre-orders for the vinyl release are now being taken. Get in!

The Black Captain hosts RTRFM’s Behind the Mirror on December 24 at 11pm Perth time (+8 GMT) and Drivetime on December 31 at 5pm. You can stream both shows, and the rest of RTRFM’s lineup, live at

THAW/Echoes of Yul

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Not for the first time, and assuredly not the last, you are reading here that Poland has been hemorrhaging great music in recent times. Last week, the OFF music festival took place in Katowice, featuring Earth, Deafheaven, Chelsea Wolfe, Fuck Buttons, and Slowdive, and was also notable for the number of acts from the roster of the label Instant Classic that featured amongst such illustrious ranks. The label’s latest release, a split effort between experimental acts THAW and Echoes of Yul, is yet another fine production to their name.

THAW’s debut full-length LP, released in May of 2013, carried with it the black metal tag. Whilst this is obviously the path some of THAW’s music takes, the self-titled album had enough ambient and drone elements in it to get the usual suburban gatekeepers huffing and puffing with complaints about deviations from the familiar (you all know the drill). The stylistic delineations began to dissolve further on a subsequent split release with Outre, with THAW becoming even more willing to incorporate external influences into traditional black metal.

‘Earth Grounded’ is the band’s contribution to this split, providing the most interesting development amongst their efforts so far. Set to the foundation of a mantra of percussion that is inferential to the industrial motifs of early Godflesh and Swans, THAW add layer upon layer of tension to form billowing plumes of sonic darkness. The track’s elements remain subtle and atmospheric in contrast with the dervish-like motion of the drums, before reaching a point of dramatic cacophony in the final stages of the 14 minutes. ‘Earth Grounded’ represents a dramatic progression in the band’s experimentation, a pinnacle amongst their music that proves very encouraging as to what may be coming next from these guys.

Echoes of Yul are not as well known as they should be, having produced a swish body of work that incorporates drone, doom, and noise with some rather gorgeous atmospheric post-rock. They have two LPs to their name, and released an EP earlier this year that was extended by virtue of some very interesting interpretations of artists such as James Plotkin, Different State, and Stendek, amongst others. Amongst the growing list of excellent Polish bands, Echoes of Yul are another special one.

Much like THAW presents on Side A, ‘Asemic’ provides something distinct from Echoes of Yul’s earlier work, emerging from the delicate intro of a rasping relative of the sitar to burst into dominating heavy guitars that could have oozed straight from the sludge of the bayous of the southeastern US. The song bides its time with these accents of doom, eventually slithering into a haunting melody underpinned by Yul’s excellent use of synths and samplers. The second half of this 25 minute epic is an unstoppable lava flow of drones interspersed with psychedelic flourishes and evocative sampler work, pushed on by a percussion loop that ties in nicely with THAW’s work on the previous side. Fans of Earth should enjoy this.

Instant Classic’s limited edition hardcopy releases are nothing short of spectacular; and, with luck you may still be able to get your hands on one of the 200 copies of this release from the label’s Bandcamp. Otherwise, you should make it your business to get the digital version of this excellent split release. THAW and Echoes of Yul provide another example of how Instant Classic can seemingly do no wrong.