SLAVEDRIVER – MARAUDERS OF THE WASTELAND

I feel like a lot of you will be aware of this band already, but for those poor souls who aren’t, you just came across one of the heaviest bands in the southern hemisphere.

Hailing from the depths of Auckland, New Zealand, Slavedriver are a 5 piece band that could be described as something like blackened hardcore meets sludge meets grind meets powerviolence. Their self produced debut album MARAUDERS OF THE WASTELAND is one of the most pissed off records I have heard in a very long time, from the first song this band takes you by the fucking throat and doesn’t let go until the end. Despite the blend of influences Slavedrivers sound is surprisingly cohesive and the record has a great flow to it. Musically I like all the songs (the intro of course being fucking crushing) but I’ve found myself thrashing SYNAXIS OF A PARIAH the most. Lyrically MARAUDERS is my favourite:

Marauders of the wasteland,
ride forth and fade to black.
We’re cursed riders of avarice
And scavengers of dead remains.

Smile fuckers,
It’s a nuclear winter.

Dig the ditches, bury your wealth,
Thieves & liars, arm yourselves.
Dig the ditches, bury your wealth,
Await the day your death is dealt.

Avarice.

You can buy Marauders of the wasteland on cassette through Life.Lair.Regret records by clicking HERE (If the link is dead you’re too late and that shit has sold out)

BANDCAMP / FACEBOOK

CURMUDGEON – MARTYR DEMO

By some weird stroke of luck I saw this band while I was in New York recently and they left a pretty strong impression because I’ve been thrashing their records ever since. Curmudgeon are based in Boston and play fast aggressive hardcore punk/powerviolence with a surprisingly big sound for a drums/guitar/vocal 3 piece (this is based on how they played when I saw them, for all I know they have 20 members, I don’t research these things very far) The Martyr demo is likely to be re-recorded for vinyl but it’s definitely worth picking up in its current state, the last track is a great cover of the Cro Mags classic Hard Times. My favourite track both musically and lyrically is FLACID:

Contrived controversy. perfectly fabricated rebellion against real radicals who can think of nothing more boring than those who purposefully offend. Who lead sad lives to defend: their father’s stances, church-sanctioned romances, childish dances with fascistic ideologies, oppressive language renamed edgy comedy.

Their record Amygdala is definitely worth checking out as well, and the band has made it free to download HERE

Support this band! They destroy!

BANDCAMP / FACEBOOK / WEBSITE

GANGRENED – WE ARE NOTHING

Gangrened are a Finnish doom/sludge/d-beat band that I want to describe as sounding “monolithic” although I’m not entirely sure why. We are nothing consists of 3 songs over about 25 minutes, with the last song “Kontti” being a Finnish sludge cover of 6 pack by Black Flag (Kontti is slang for a 24 box in Finland)  You can order CDs and cassette tapes from their bandcamp or email them directly through their website to order shirts, DIY as fuck.

BANDCAMP / FACEBOOK / WEBSITE

I’m not tracking down a free download for this one, they only want four euro, help some Finnish punks buy some beers

VOWELS

DL

Vowels are from Dresden, Germany, contain ex members of Vitamin X and play tough as fuck fastcore/powerviolence. The two 7″s above were recorded at dead air studios in the same session but I feel that they differ musically. CHxxNxD is more on the PV side of things, while CHxxNxD (SxSSxxN) sounds like more of a fastcore/hardcore punk record, I see this as being positive though and they’re both interesting and worth checking out. Musically I like all of the tracks but my favourite is probably “xWN DxCLxNx“, I had intended note my favourite song lyrically but my dyslexia makes it extremely difficult to decipher any of the words, for example here are the lyrics to MxTxLxTxD:

DxxPLY xSHxMxD
TxRTxRxD FxR WHxT
xBxSxD / xXPxLLxD
x DxSTxYxD xXxSTxNCx
STxLL STRxGGxLxNG
STxLL xN PxxN
Nx RxDxMPTxxN
xRRxPLxCxxBLx
PxCK xF CxWxRDS
xRxxSxD HxTRxD
xNFxCTxD HxxRTS
WxTH RxTTxNG FxRY

Anyway, solid band, I will be hanging out for further releases.

BANDCAMP  / WEBSITE

The download link above is from another blog, if you like these records don’t be an asshole, buy them.

MANIFESTO.

Recently something has really been getting to me.
People I know (or am aware of thanks to the Internet) glorify the early days of punk, hardcore, powerviolence, sludge etc in a way that suggests that nothing that follows could ever be as good. People seem to be obsessed at the moment with re-living the past, be it reunions of long dead bands or just talking shit about “how much better things were when I got into this”
Bullshit.
The only real difference between hardcore/whatever when you got into it and hardcore/whatever now is your attitude, perception and involvement. There are still countless underground bands pushing creative boundaries and writing music that means something. Everyone has more access to alternative music these days and the world keeps getting worse. If that’s not the perfect breeding ground for intensifying waves of well written, pissed off music then I don’t know what is.
This year I turn 25.
Personally I don’t really care about age, or what you are expected to have accomplished by which age etc, but I have noticed that 25 seems to act as some kind of crossroads for people I know and heavy music. It seems that when people hit that magic number their participation in heavy music either begins to decrease or increase tenfold.
Admittedly I gave both routes some consideration, but I’m already too deep down that left hand path.
Head down and burn.
Low places is the first step in a series of projects that I’m becoming involved with this year, it will be a platform to share music that I think is relevant and important. I won’t be posting reviews in a traditional sense, you’ll have to make up your mind as to whether or not you like these bands on your own, I’m just here to bring them to your attention.
To back up what I said at the start of this rant I will be posting a band a day for the 31 days of January.
If that doesn’t prove that there are still good bands active then I don’t know what will.
Please direct any suggestions, submissions, dead links, removals, complaints or abuse to tom@lowplaces.org
-TH