HOLIDAYS

Somnaphon – Normal People (Ack Recordings, 2009)

Posted in Ack Recordings, Somnaphon by HOLIDAYS on September 26, 2010

Talk about something different- Normal People described as “normal music for normal people” is far from that- and definitely far from anything I’ve heard before. It’s actually probably one of the strangest things I’ve heard in a long time. Composed of 5 tracks, this 3″ CDr is like taking a rock/country/acoustic porch tunes and running them a digital bath to soak in. It’s confusing as all hell, but sheds a bit of brilliance at the same time.

The first track sets a standard of digital weirdness as some acoustic guitar work is completely drenched into a digital, bit-crushed mess. The second track stands out amongst them all in my ears with what sounds like a more traditional “band” set up that is once again completely destroyed by this digital sound, but still lends its self a huge, heavy jam. The third track presents clean acoustic with some odd, buried-within-themselves vocals that are a bit hard to find comfort in as a crunchy, fucked up rhythm enters in the rear, all ending slowly.

“blackbath”, the fourth track is of a darker- dark ambient throughout with some oscillating echos going in-and-out as more dark tones easy through making their presence known. Heavy-footed steps echo in just as the track concludes, leaving the last track, possibly being the strangest of the five. Starting off as a complete digital, atonal mess, some charming acoustic guitar work breaks through with some warm and wondrous vocal work like a group of hippies around a fire in the middle of nowhere finally leaving their digital lives behind.

On my own, I probably would have never looked into this release- it’s just not something I seek out on a usual basis, but I’m happy I’ve heard it. I tuned into it on a late night drive home on the interstate, and was pleasantly surprised at how it made me feel. Overall, it was a nice release with a big variety in sound, all drivin’ by what I described before as a “digital bath”. While strange, it’s extremely fascinating for a curious mind.

Artist page: http://myspace.com/somnaphon

Label page: http://ackrecordings.net

Where Is This / Werewolf Jerusalem (Bored Bear Recordings, 2010)

Posted in Bored Bear Recordings, Werewolf Jerusalem, Where Is This by HOLIDAYS on September 23, 2010

I’m not fragile by any means, but my first impression reminds me that I’ve recently overlapped by metabolism to the point that I should start harnessing my weight gain with protein supplements and work-out regiments- cause this guy looks tough! No clue who he is, but he has his shirt off and he’s on an RR-related release, so we can all draw our own conclusions.

The first side comes from Where Is This, to whom I’ve self-pronounced myself as a fan after reviewing Infinite Uh– which I adored. The sounds I hear on the first side of this tape though are a bit less satisfying, as it’s apparent immediately that we’re not going for any type of HNW style as before- more so a tamer sound. It’s not bad!- don’t get me wrong- just not what I expected. The side starts off sporadic and crumbling with mid-range distortion sounding like that of binary communication or faulty phone line that dance in and out with each other through a lengthy duration- wonderful low rumbles take place towards the end creating somewhat of a small wall of noise that I was hoping to hear, ending in a decent fashion. Interesting to listen to, but once again, not my favorite offering.

I’m familiar with WJ, and by no means is it my favorite project from RR. It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect- static noise. Though, I can’t project myself as being completely ignorant without pointing out that upon really paying attention, the track is extremely interesting with much more going on than what you may think, but if you don’t have your ear glued to your stereo, it goes by as just another piece of static noise.
Unless you’re a WJ enthusiest, this release may be passable. When it comes to Where Is This, do yourself the favor and grab Infinite Uh first.

Artist pages: http://virb.com/whereisthismusicyouspeakof, http://werewolfjerusalem.blogspot.com

Label page: http://boredbear.wordpress.com

Plastic Boner Band – The Way of All Flesh (Power Silence, 2009)

Posted in Plastic Boner Band, Power Silence by HOLIDAYS on September 8, 2010

Shame on me.

The Way of All Flesh is an example of my own hypocrisy behind frequent complaints aimed at the ignorance of others who refute music due to an artists name choice (mouth=full). Being a Chicagoland resident, I believe I’ve even seen Samuel Henry’s Plastic Boner Band in action, but didn’t think enough of it to pick up a tape at the time. With all that said, The Way of All Flesh for me equates to 48 minutes aimed at my own ignorance, and reminds me to just shut up and listen.

Composed of 4 well allocated tracks, each does a lot of good on different levels. The first track is a destructive one- long lines of oscillation are constantly bombarded with crushing distorted noise knocking out all other sounds, taming itself near the end. The second track is a bit less dynamic for my ears (sounding more like someone just left their mower on at the end of the season to get all the gas out of it), with some subtle sounds in the background that rarely making a full on presence. The third track is the calmest of the four, consisting mostly of long fades of wobbling oscillation with some eerie whispering creeping in- all of which doesn’t seem to go anywhere but end. The final track is a bit of a rhythmic mind fuck- like something you can bob your head to but still know you’re listening to some pretty harsh noise. In and out, overpowering sounds crush through the rhythm that eventually becomes fairly irritating and messy- evolving and ending in a more chaotic fashion.

Overall, this is a sound release. While CDrs aren’t the most popular medium, the excellent sound quality justifies it, as well as the professional presentation (No DIY here). The artwork is pretty eerie, looking somewhat along the lines of American Girl but with the feeling of Hansel and Gretel. There’s nothing to not like/recommend with this release. It may not be a priority, but it certainly work checking out, so please do so.

Artist page: http://www.myspace.com/plasticbonerband

Label page: http://www.somnimage.com/psintro.htm

A.R.GH – Santiago (Bored Bear Recordings, 2010)

Posted in A.R.GH, Bored Bear Recordings by HOLIDAYS on September 2, 2010

After reviewing A.R.GH’s Abuse awhile ago, I’m grateful to able to follow it up with his most recent offerings on Bored Bear, Santiago. While I wasn’t a huge fan of Abuse, Santiago is a huge step up.

This 3″ contains 2 harsh tracks, each sounding like a distorted radio feedback frenzy that rarely takes any time to breathe. Unlike how I felt about the previous offering, these tracks a thick and full, giving all ends of my speakers a work out- not like HNW full, but pretty close, as A.R.GH style, as I said before, reminds me of more traditional harsh noise- loud and distorted to the max, but still keeping a fast dynamic throughout the entire tracks. There’s plenty of metal junk and feedback to keep any harsh head pleased with the 24 minutes offered up. And once again, I can’t wait to hear what else he has up his sleeve. Highly recommended!

Packaging is minimum- just a silver 3″CDr with some blurry, distorted artwork in a little vinyl pouch.

Artist page: http://myspace.com/arghproject

Label page: http://boredbear.wordpress.com

Dead Neanderthals – Self-Titled (2010, Self-Released)

Posted in Dead Neanderthals by HOLIDAYS on August 31, 2010

This debut self-titled release from Dead Neanderthals is a quick one- spanning about 10 minutes in just 10 tracks- which is a bit too short for me, but it still leaves a lasting impression. Composed of 2 members- one on drums the other on just woodwinds, DN reminds me of a less populated version of the Coughs. Being an instrument group, I personally was left a bit disappointed from that standpoint, but it certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t any good, as I believe I’m listening to it for about the 6th time as I write this review since I’ve gotten it. All the songs are wonderfully structured- sometimes being very short with blasting drums, other times being a bit slow moving. Some songs have a serious feel to them, others come off somewhat cartoonish (a sense I get from a lot of just woodwind groups), but it’s not a bad thing at all, and it really makes the disc as a whole very enjoyable.

The packaging has some nice skull artwork and a 5cm sticker. The 3″ CDr itself is pretty appealing, being a factoring green (as in not painted). If you’re a fan of chaotic noiserock, definitely check this one out, as it can warrants many future spins.

Artist page: http://myspace.com/deadneanderthals

Where Is This – Infinite Uh (Bored Bear Recordings, 2010), Where Is This & Fire Island AK – Self-Titled (BTNR, Bored Bear Recordings, 2010)

Posted in Bored Bear Recordings, BTNR, Fire Island AK, Where Is This by HOLIDAYS on August 15, 2010

I’ve said it before- by no means am I fluent in HNW. Aside from a couple major players (The Rita, Vomir), I’m very underexposed to the genre, aside from the few things I’ve heard through this blog. I don’t necessarily want to clump myself in with the group who simply doesn’t understand the genre, but it can be a bit hazy for me. Regardless, my first exposure to Where is This was extremely pleasant, and allowed me to get past a few stereotypes.

First off, Infinite Uh is surprisingly dynamic. While it often drones through simple walls, there’s a lot of memorable parts. I was surprised at how often I rewound the disc to hear certain transitions again. The track transitions are awesome, with zero seconds separating the sound quality (at least to my ears) three tracks- each roughly ten minutes in length, making this an easy release as a whole to sit through, especially if you’re not as into the genre. Maybe Infinite Uh doesn’t quite follow the traditional themes (or maybe rules?) that I hear in the more popular HNW releases, but unlike a lot of those, I definitely anticipate spinning this disc a few more times, and enjoying each rotation. I would certainly recommend this to both fans, and non-fans of the HNW genre. It’s limited to 25 copies, so if you’re interested, you may wanna move quick.

Collaborating across the Atlantic, Where is This of Ireland and Fire Inside AK of the east coast throw together some pretty decent sounds, promoting it with some pretty risque artwork (excellent hand-numbering placement, by the way). While I was hoping for something more like Infinite Uh, I was still pleasantly surprised with what I heard. This C40 is a slow mover that requires some attention to appreciate. Self described as drone, PE and noise, the entire tape does a decent job of bending the genres and creating some wonderful sounds that are captivating- odd rhythms, destructive feedback, etc. While not coming of as too extraordinary, it’s still makes for an enjoyable first listen, but it may not promote as many future rotations as Where Is This’ solo work, and also makes me interested in Fire Island AK’s solo work outside of this collaboration.

Label page: http://boredbear.wordpress.com

TxQxB – Spontaneous Death (Hair on my Food, 2010)

Posted in Hair on my Food, TxQxB by HOLIDAYS on August 1, 2010

As of recent, I’ve noticed a lot more noisecore discussion floating around the internet. At the moment, it all seems rather murky to me in regards to where exactly it came from, and where it stands today- all I know is that for the most part, the sounds I’ve been hearing as of recent have been pretty appealing, and Spontaneous Death resonates in my brain as a great entry into the genre.

Spontaneous Death is a quick tape from Norway, spanning just 10 minutes of blasting guitars, fast drums and feedbacking microphones that spans over the course of a few different genres to create the overall “noisecore” sound. All instruments sound blown to bits as if each were turned up as loud as possible, creating a recorded cacophony that I can’t help but call anything short of wonderful . Throughout the course the the tape, the sounds range from grinding rhythms, to completely spazzed out noise/chaos/confusion that ends all too quickly.

It’s an awful shame this tape is so short, but it’ll certainly keep your ready for more. Being pro-dubbed with some bright and decent artwork, it’s a wonderful presentation of the music within by Hair on my Food, I can’t help but recommend this to all fans of extreme/chaotic music.

Band contact: TxQxB [at] hotmail.com

Label Contact: http://myspace.com/haironmyfoodtapesrecords, haironmyfoodtapes [at] gmail.com

Feather Ghetto Movers – F.G.M., Portable Noise Kremator – Moeilijk Doen (Knife in the Toaster, 2010)

Posted in Feather Ghetto Movers, Knife in the Toaster, Portable Noise Kremator by HOLIDAYS on July 29, 2010

Feather Ghetto Movers – F.G.M.

I think most listeners would be in the same position I’m in- “Feather Ghetto Movers”? What does that even mean? Either way, it didn’t stop me from putting this one in the deck, and even enjoying it.

F.G.M. puts forth some extremely sporadic concrete noise, which becomes immediately apparent on the first side. It’s loud, distorted, and completely jumbled up into little rhythms to complete chaos. While entertaining for the first few minutes or so, it does get awfully repetitive and less interesting as the rest of the side continues on. BUT, the second side redeems the tape well, delivering the same concrete style, but using far more interesting bits of sound, ranging from distorted messes to some fuzzed out guitar. You hear many of the same samples over and over again, but it’s the arrangement that keeps my ear interested.

It’s a bit tough to decipher what the image presented on the j-card actually is, as it’s just a xerox on thin computer paper, but whatever it is, it’s certainly something worth studying for a moment or two. Seems they had more to say on the inside, but it’s falls short in visibility due to the xerox. The tape itself is a recycled one, but it still sounds great and matched the length well. I can’t call this one a priority- probably worth a trade or bargain unless you really dig chaotic concrete noise.

Portable Noise Kremator – Moeilijk Doen

PNK is a noise artist from Belgium who seems to have been around for a few years, but Moeilijk Doen is my first taste. The english translation of “Moeilijk Doen” is “hard to do”, but the actual significance of this is beyond me.

I used to have a roommate in college who often poked fun at the music I’d listen to, describing it as “internet noise”. “Are you connected to the internet?” he’d often asked, and for the first time, he may be right. There’s decent chunk of the first side of this tape that literally sounds like someone having a conversation with their 56k modem. Thankfully, it doesn’t last long, as the rest of the tape turns into a slowly yet constantly morphing beast, going from slow churns, to rough rhythms and synth chirps, ending with a dreaming synth air raid.

The second side begins much like the first, and it’s here that what I’m hearing becomes more decipherable, as it’s not connecting to the internet, but it’s close! More like a cellphone too close to a TV. The sound is completely annoying and we’ve all heard it before. Wait, and what’s this? Yep, didn’t notice it off the bat, but sure enough, it’s the same as the first side. Despite the track listings giving A and B, it’s all jam packed on either side of the tape. Did I notice it at first? Not immediately, but it didn’t take long. So what does it mean for me? Well, either the first side was really, really good and I just enjoyed going through it again, or there was nothing genuinely memorable within, outside of the annoying modem/cellphone/TV sequence in the beginning.

The packaging follows what seems to be Knife in the Toasters usual- thin xerox. The tape itself is a recycled C34, but just as the other, it still sounds good. The artwork is beyond me, showing just a series of X’s and numbers that I can only assume have some value, but to me, they mean very little. There doesn’t seem to be too much offered here with this one, and I’d say it’s passable.

Holographic Beast – Perpetual Filth (2009, Know/Care)

Posted in Holographic Beast, Know/Care by HOLIDAYS on July 27, 2010

Starting off rather spacey and ambient, this debut release may comes immediately off rather tame and dreamy within the first few seconds like a call of sirens, but quickly pulls you into a two-faced journey of comfort and hostility. Perpetual Filth is a release to be reckoned with, presenting 40 minutes of juxtaposed styles, going back and forth numerous times before concluding so elegantly, making the entire listen well worth the time spent.

Rarely is filth so wonderfully matched up with blissful, memorable moments of softly handed sounds, as it rears its impeccable nature of tortured spurts of blunt desperation and fierce sounds, lending to best quality of this release- a wonderful array of sounds that can cater to most any fan of the noise genre.

Holographic Beast has initiated themselves wonderfully in the genre with a very presentable tape featuring great labels and very pro, glossy j-card. Limited to 100 copies, Perpetual Filth has been available for quite some time, and is still very well accessible and recommended for any fan under the rather large noise umbrella, as there’s plenty of sounds to appreciate. Future rotations are certainly in the forecast as well.

Band/Label Page: http://holographicbeast.blogspot.com/

Remnants – Skeptics, Santorum – Santorum I (Imminent Frequencies, 2010)

Posted in Imminent Frequencies, Remnants, Santorum by HOLIDAYS on July 16, 2010

Being my first exposure to both artists, as well as the label, I’ve found a nice soft spot for all fifty minutes worth of music that both of these releases encompass.

Remnants – Skeptics

Cutting right to the chase, Skeptics is a bit hard to put your thumb on an overall sound and feeling for the release when contrasting either side. The first side is warm but rather dreary. It’s not too dark, but certainly not a bright, feel good sound. Overall, it’s rather melancholy with slow moving synth drones that throb around and through one another. The second side takes a rather different sound, starting off very distorted and somewhat abrasive while some brighter synth sounds slowly break through, until a mash of fluttering sounds fully penetrate and then subside once again.

Both sides show different sounds, but in my ears, they both maintain a certain melancholy feel, which I think lends itself as a great quality to the release. The artwork is interesting, looking like astral charts or something of the sort.

Santorum – Santorum I

While Skeptics runs at an appreciative 30 minutes total, for my ears, Santorum I is nothing but criminally short 20 minutes. Just as you could expect from the artwork, which features dark image of a woman just standing on some stairs, the music is dark and lonely, promoting feelings of gloom and uncertainty. The first side may be the gloomiest of the two. It’s like a slow churn through an tenebrous passage to which there’s no expiration aside from the physical end of the tape.

The second side isn’t as gloomy as its predecessor, but it doesn’t come as much of a revival in feelings, as it’s more of a slow drift, sounding rather dismal, and once again, melancholy. Overall, it creates a wonderful conclusion for once again, criminally short tape. I suppose it may be a good thing, because I’ll certainly be looking forward to Santorum II.

Both of these tapes were a bit low-spirited in sound, but done so well. It’s certainly lonely music for lonely people. Essential late night drive or reclusive tunes that are worthy of many listens in the future, as well as anticipation for future sounds from both artists, and label.

Label Page: http://imminentfrequencies.blogspot.com/