The Birth Defects' live show unleashes an all out assault on pop sensibility and widely accessible music with their bastard child of punk, thrash, noise and every genre of heavy music that services the outcasts and the misunderstood of society. Ghost Ramp-signed and Ty Segall-produced, The Birth Defects sophomore effort is nothing short of a validation for the misfits of planet earth.
Lead singer and guitarist Jason Finazzo teaches a crash course on transforming suffering into a good time. He's the poster child for emotional paralysis and making good on the promise to get out of the house for a little bit today. Brothers in a battery of unrelenting sonic and rhythmic assault are bassist Philip Nielsen, drummer Anthony Drinkwater and, newest edition, guitarist Tim Dawson. Their riffs are rough and raw and make no requisite age for rage, yet remain oddly unpretentious about how hardcore they are. Everyone is welcome to the other side of the tracks where The Birth Defects live to laugh at you and cry at their own misfortune.
Beneath the fading town of Dirtmouth sleeps an ancient, forgotten kingdom. Many are drawn beneath the surface, searching for riches, or glory, or answers to old secrets. Descend into Hallownest, traverse the depths, unravel its mysteries and conquer its evils. The score for Hollow Knight captures the vast underground world of the game. The story begins with soft piano notes echoing the Hollow Knight theme, and as the player explores further, orchestral forces swell to an operatic scale as the fate of the knight unfolds. Destructoid says "[Hollow Knight's] soundtrack is one of the most memorable and whimsical scores I've heard in a long time. There are tracks here that I'd rank beside the music of Zelda and Star Wars. It is that damned good." Hollow Knight is an essential listen for all soundtrack fans, and this gorgeous deluxe double LP is the perfect way to experience Christopher Larkin's masterful score.
Stuart Chatwood's eery soundtrack serves as a terrifying companion to the gothic darkness of Darkest Dungeon. Deep, droning synths mash with jarring percussion and swirling strings to create a unique soundscape ranging from epic battle anthems to quiet, cave-dwelling ambiance. Chatwood's score not only provides a chance for players to relive their favorite moments, it also stands alone as a glorious piece of cinematic music not unlike something you would hear in Game of Thrones or a period piece epic.
Upheaval are a four-man wrecking crew from Boston, Massachusetts, who specialize in dramatic, blackened sludge metal - think Eyehategod by way of Mayhem after a cold New England winter. Founded in June 2014 by veteran Boston musicians Justin Doucette (guitar/vocals), Alex Betancourt (drums) and John Belmonte (bass/backing vocals), Upheaval quickly gained notoriety in New England playing a crushing blend of sludge and doom. In February 2015 an East Coast tour expanded the reach of the first demo beyond the northeast United States. A US tour in June 2016 saw the addition of Eric Struth on lead guitar, and brought the self released cassette "Summoning a Giant" across the United States.
With the line up sorted out, the band began working tirelessly to craft a new album. Adeptly maintaining the unrelenting heaviness of Summoning a Giant while fully embracing their black metal influences, eight songs were written and Alec Rodriguez of New Alliance Studios in Cambridge, MA was enlisted to produce and engineer it. The end result, "Altar of Ash", is a half hour opus of aural savagery.
The word 'brat' has followed Nathan Williams around for almost a decade, but at the age of 30, with a fully-fledged business to his name, as well as the ongoing success of band Wavves, his rebellious streak has proven not just purposeful but pretty damn inspiring. 'You're Welcome' is the soundtrack to this new lease of freedom. It's Williams' tongue-in-cheek rebirth as a self-released, self-actualized, self-promoting punk kingpin, and despite putting his money where his uncensored mouth is, he's emerged not just unscathed but with the upper hand.
Williams took himself into producer Dennis Herring's ['King Of The Beach'] studio in Downtown LA, and for the first time since the early records worked regular office hours and almost entirely alone. 'You're Welcome' is mostly comprised of Williams' oddball, sample-led brainstorms. He came up with 40 tracks, now whittled down to twelve, fat-free punk zingers. A sample nerd, Williams delved into his obsession with 1950s doo-wop and - surprisingly - international folk, including Cambodian pop and '70's psychedelia from South America.
The results make for one of the most diverse and intricate Wavves records yet. 'Come To The Valley' contains a Phil Spector meets Beach Boys '60s High School dance vibe, whereas title track 'You're Welcome' riffs on sound effects that could almost originate from Bizarro World, never mind Cambodia. Nathan Williams never went away, but now he's made sure he's here to stay far longer. And for that, girls and boys, you're welcome.
So Serene is an off-the-wall experimentation in instrumental hip hop from duo Sweet Valley (Nathan Williams of Wavves and Joel Williams of Spirit Club & Kynan), packed with crazy synths and warbling electronics. A beautiful score of symphonic tones, Sweet Valley lulls you into a dreamy groove. The album flows along as one extended track, effortlessly shifting its rhythms and tones without loosing its momentum. An exciting record that demands multiple listens.