January 31, 2014

TRACK FEATURE: Perturbator - She Moves Like A Knife (2014)

If you've been following our sleazy website faithfully and the New Wave Electronic Revival/Techno Dark Synth Pop Revival in particular, you're definitely familiar with Perturbator's music. He's probably the most notorious of the bunch (Kavisnky doesn't count because he's long ascended to a place unreachable by us mortals), and we've had the pleasure of asking him a few stupid questions last summer.

So what's Perturbator been up to, you might ask. Well, along with his daily routine of traveling to a post apocalyptic dystopian cyberpunk alternate-reality to fight cyborgs and giant robot dogs, he's been working hard on his next album, which should be out pretty soon. Meanwhile, he's teasing us. Hard. 

There's no point in telling you how bad ass this track is, because chances are you've probably already heard it and shared it with your nerdie friends already. You can download She Moves Like A Knife for free until the third of February, so stop wasting precious time accusing me of posting filler articles.

January 30, 2014

Breed Machine - A l'aube du 8ème jour (2013)

I´ll be honest, I haven´t the damnedest of clues as to what this album´s title translates to, or for that matter what the lyrics mean. What I know is that this band would be at home taking part in this kind of gig, where necks are prone to breaking and spines and likely to shatter from too much weight carried over the heads.

Ironically enough, when I first heard the album, it kind of bored me to death. This kind of over the top extremity has to be really good to get my attention in digital format, away from the comfort and caring of blowing my ears off at random metal festivals. So it happened that it fell in the rear end of my playlist and got the occasional spin here and there, background noise be praised. 

However, in the last couple of weeks I´ve found myself getting drawn to snippets of songs which, no surprise here, are spawn from the musical instruments of these fine french gentlemen. And every time this happens, I tend to turn up the volume. This and the fact that now I´ve been giving this LP some well deserved playtime, to the point of repeatedly hitting  the repeat button, must mean it has actual value. So yeah, shame on me for not being more attentive from the get go, but that doesn´t really matter as long as the record gets the spotlight on Tzeeeac.

What are you waiting for then? Get your first taste here then go and research these guys, as it seems they have more to their name than they let on.

January 26, 2014

Faunlet - Fauna of the Heart Flora From Beyond (2014)

One year and a few minor changes in their line-up later, Faunlet have finally released their debut LP, whose name I won't even bother to mention here due to its inhuman length. Still, I could have done that instead of making up excuses for throwing witty remarks in your faces, but oh well.

So, what's this about? I've already written an excruciatingly detailed (not really) review on their EP, so I won't bore you with the details. Suffice to say, Faunlet is basically a Romanian Placebo, with all the dark, disturbing lyrics and haunting instrumentals that come with it. Got it? Now forget about all of that shit, because it's no longer the case. Not quite, at least. Sure, the dark lyrics are still present, Peter's voice still resembles a young, rebellious drug crazed tutu-wearing Brian Molko and the the instrumentals, you guessed it, are as haunting as ever. So what's the difference, really? Take a look at the tracks - all of them, apart from two, surpass five minutes in length and if you listen carefully enough, you'll notice that they're vaguely connected. You know what this means, right? Yep, Fauna of the Heart Flora From Beyond meets all the requirements for a concept album. I'm not sure if they'd classify it as such, but I'm certain they'll agree with me after reading this article because I'm always right and perfect. In case you're still waiting for a climactic disclosure, well, that's kinda about it. It's basically more of the same, but enhanced, reshaped, expanded, more focused and tied together.

The overall thematic aspect of the lyrics remains largely unchanged from their debut EP. They usually revolve around depression, social anxiety, insecurity, tormented intellectuals, childhood abuse and some heavy sexual stuff, too! Peter has really outdone himself this time. The Poet And The Whore, especially,  reminds me of every cheap, pulp-ish story (don't get me wrong, Charles Bukowski is cheap too, and that's great!) I've ever read, The Boy Is Still Missing freaks me out and fuck if I know why and The Shape of Your Legs... boy oh boy, Faunlet, good job, you made me blush.

Fauna of the Heart Flora From Beyond is not quite a step forward from their EP, but more of an expansion. The big change comes in the format, so if you're into 10 minute long pieces about prostitutes and tree houses, go buy it.

January 23, 2014

SPACEPUNKS GO CHIPTUNES: crashfaster - further (2013)

Our inbox has been host to a slew of awesome music submissions as of late. I don't know what going on, man, but I love it! We can't even keep up anymore, it's just album after album. We're doing our best to catch up, though. The latest in this string of awesomeness is San Francisco-based outfit crashfaster, a 4-piece band performing an exciting mix of electro-rock and chiptunes.

As you may know, we here at TZEEEAC are huge fans of electronic music, as long as its underground, obscure and preferably about cyborgs murdering people with laser gauntlets. Perturbator, Umberto and pretty much the entire Aphasia Records roster comes to mind, so if you have even a passing interest in cyberpunk and 80s sci-fi movies, you should click all of these links, turn up the volume and prepare to have your house broken into by replicants.

Having said that, crashfaster come in less from a "dark neo-noir tales of sex, drugs and violence set in a dystopian neon-lit 80s vision of the future" angle and more from a "hey guys, not everything is bleak and horrible in the future" kind of perspective. Most of crashfaster's songs are highly danceable, featuring retro-sounding synths (allegedly created using actual Gameboys) and a mixture of serene female vocals courtesy of vocalist Keiko Takamura (whom I suspect is already in the hearts of starry-eyed computer geeks all over SF) and electronic vox from the band's mastermind Morgan Tucker, reminiscent of early Daft Punk. Their sound is further rounded out by an actual human drummer named Devin Nixon and guitarist Ryan Case, laying out some futuristic distorted guitar riffs to provide a harsh counterpoint to the chiptunes. Speaking of which, the chiptune use is fortunately moderate and they are well programmed, so if you're going in expecting those hard-hitting noises that made you want to turn your speakers off while you were installing your cracked copy of Earthworm Jim back in the 90s, relax - these guys know what they're doing. 

Each song on further sounds just a bit different than the previous, as the band doesn't confine themselves to one style of music - instead, they mix feelings, beats and atmospheres into a cohesive album that will keep its listeners on the edge. For me, the highlight of the album is definitely closer, a thumping, upbeat song with robotic vocals and a really cool groove.

Oh, and this video they made for beacon is one of the coolest things I've ever laid my mutant eyes on. Not only is it a bitchin' song, but the video features a dude exploring an abandoned space station where he finds a bunch of skeletons. Skeletons are cool! I'm also embedding an official live video showcasing their awesome stage presence.

PS: If you're looking for a more chiptunes-heavy sound, crashfaster have got you covered, too! Check out their first album disconnect on their Bandcamp page.

January 21, 2014

Upyr - Altars/Tunnels (2013)

Remember doom metal? That gloomy, abrasive genre from which I used to feature an album from time to time and haven´t really done so lately? Well, weep no more, as those joyful feelings of poverty and blisful ignorance are just about to come back and bang at your gates. Or destroy your altars. Or flood your tunnels. You get what I´m saying here.

For a demo, this is a rather carefully constructed piece of music. With three tracks and a bonus rehearsal jam, the record almost touched the forty minute mark, and it feels so damn organic that I´ve put it on repeat and just listened the hell out of them songs in the last few days.

But how does it actually sound, you ask? Well, dear minions, Upyr have taken a very bold approach with the first three pieces, as they slowly deconstruct their compositions, starting from some fast paced riffing and black elements introduced in in the first one, toning down to more traditional doom in the second track and finally going all out funeral in the third, leaving only voice, a droned out guitar and some samples. And I got to say, I can´t find any fault with this execution.

Now hurry and go check it out for yourselves at their bandcamp page, you lazy internet people!

January 17, 2014

Omri Dagan and The Wild Willows EP (2013)

As you might have already noticed, we here at TZEEEAC are still stuck in the past, mainly because we've been a glorious bunch of lazy fucks throughout 2013 and missed a ton of good releases. The guilt is killing us.

I'm here to repay a portion of that debt by dedicating my first review of 2014 to Omri Dagan and The Wild Willows' 2013 EP. What we basically have here are three indie-folk love songs. Now, you probably all know that I don't enjoy this particular genre because it's hard to discern whether the artist has put some soul and effort into his music or is just exploiting this niche in order to impress Pitchfork fanboys, acquire currency and plough wenches. It's easy to pick up a cello, punch the chords twice, write two verses about *some social issue that Oprah's been rambling about in the past few weeks* awareness, stick a '' folk'' label to it and call it a day. Anyone can do that, hell, even I did it. OK, I didn't, but you get my point.

But this EP is not covered in layers upon layers of pretentiousness and arrogance. It's quite soothing and chilling, actually. It's about, uh, feelings and stuff. Like, you know, love, nostalgia, sadness, happiness all mashed together in three beautiful love songs that will make you hug the first plush toy in the surrounding vicinity. But wait, Marco, how can a virile and masculine young man such as yourself get enjoyment out of a few silly love songs? Well, overly narcissistic self, I don't care about the subject of the song as long as it's executed well. In this case, they've added some local flavors (from Tel Aviv). Had I known more about Tell Aviv prior to receiving this submission other than that Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree splits his living time between it and London, I could have expanded more on the subject of how deep the relationship between their music and hometown really is. Having said that, you just have to trust me on this.    

The chemistry between Omri Dagan and Lia Sherman is nothing short of incredible. Guard My Keep is probably the best example in this regard, where they both allow each other to shine. Even when singing in tandem, they never get into the awkward situation where one of them becomes background noise for the other. It might seem simple to do, but trust me, it takes a fuckton of rehearsing. As for the instrumental part, I found Izrael Nizri's percussion work to be really good and Mihai Cernia's (hello, fellow Romanian! Your name sounds Romanian, I hope I didn't fuck this up) harmonica--- OK, I have nothing to say about this other than that it blends well with the rest of the instruments; I was just looking for an excuse to point out that you're Romanian. The guys do a great job of creating a warm, intimate atmosphere for you to contemplate on life, love and the prospect of happiness while sipping from a cup of coffee on a park bench in the evening.

The only thing that irks me about this EP is that I had to listen to a Mumford and Sons song for research purposes. Don't ask why, I just had to do it.


January 15, 2014

Mutation - Error 500 (2013)

Being heralded "the next step in the evolution of extreme music", this album could have been the best record of the past year - in theory. Napalm Death's Shane Embury in the studio with Ginger Wildheart of The Wildhearts and Jon Poole of The Cardicas, some highly illustrious guest musicians... well, that could have been pure sonic terrorism. However, the only uprest and agitation this causes is the ruckus a 12 year old boy with a fake beard screaming "Jihad!" would stir on the playground, which is - let's be honest - not very much.

Yes, it's well done. These guys know what they are doing. But at the end of the day, good intentions don't make good records. The supposed musical extremity here is nervous math rock riff after weirdo break (hey, it's on Mike Patton's Ipecac Recordings, what did you expect?!), with some effects here and there. This is not brutal, it's just annoying. I hated mathematics in school, so why the fuck would I listen to math rock? It makes no sense, just like these songs don't.

Given, there are a few good moments on Error 500. Merzbow brings the noise on a track, but it sounds so tame that his chickens could have done it - in a karada. Mark E Smith slurs some toothless gibberish about bleeding shoelaces. Embury is still funny to look at (am I the only one who thinks he looks and plays like a balding Buzz Osborne?). But... but... that's just not enough. I am sure that the boners of Bitch Pitchfork hipsters will be pressing hard against their skinny jeans, but sorry: the emperor just does not wear any clothes.

Nice try, next.

January 6, 2014

Jonathan's 2013 Musical Wrap-Up

This year has been rather stale for me. Sure, I´ve listened to dozens of both new and old records (with many of them reviewed here on Tzeeeac), however when it comes to awe inspiring releases I was hard pressed to find enough of them to compose a "List of the year". With that in mind, and also considering the three categories I´ve personally invented not so long ago, I give you the 2013 musical wrap-up, made up of only 3 LP´s (yes, I´m pretty much starting to like this number), one for each specific shenanigan.

First up, the ROTY Category:

Rogue Empire - Overlord

This beast took me completely by surprise. I don´t know if its the music itself or the fact the I wasn´t even aware of this particular genre, one thing is for sure: if you listen to this album, one might safely assume that your ganja loving hippie grandmother could very well turn into a metal head overnight. No small feat, I tell you! 

Full review here, just in case you happen to have missed it.

More on the blind side, the FOTY Category:

Protest The Hero - Volition

While every other member of Tzeeeac was busy composing their top ten, I was still trying to assimilate this fourth installment in the PTH saga, trying hard to figure out what they aimed to do with it. Turns out that after a gratuitously weak third album, these canadian proggers are still trying to follow in the footsteps of their excellent sophomore effort Fortress, and failing miserably while doing so. I don´t really care what other reviewers have to say, but if these guys don´t up their game and come up with something original next time, I fear they may be lost to me forever.

No review here, feel free to look it up yourselves.

And finally, the GETY Category:

Propagandhi - Failed States

Curiously enough, this age-old ensemble has eluded me until now and I can safely assume that this album would have caught the number one spot in the list from last year. But then again, I would be just short of stuff to post in this article, correct?

Full review here, and may it bother you in the same good way it did me.

And that´s it! The End, Fini, Sfarsit! 2013 is gone and may it be that this current year will catch me in a less grumpy and hopefully more appreciative mood.

And yes, that´s me on that motorcycle up there, in case you were wondering. I can barely walk and speak, yet I´m already writing better reviews than the rest of those old hipster members from Tzeeeac!

January 2, 2014

Promiscuity - Basic Instinct EP (2013)

The state of heavy metal these days could make a grown man cry: your have your skinny vegan boys with quasi existentialist café latte "poetry", third rate Nuclear Goatfago Blasphemy rip-off "war metal" or Darkclones, a whole lot of Nazi scum, and... well, not much else. And then there are bands like Promiscuity who fly the drunken flag of hate. Thank Satan for them!

Basic Instinct is full on old school raw and dirty Speed Metal (in capitals), the kind of Speed Metal you would expect from a record with the Banzai swirl in the top right corner. The first song here, The Beauty and the Bitch, starts off with a battle march drum beat that erupts right into riff-o-rama mayhem to make Cronos, Mantas and Abbadon blush like schoolgirls. Lyrically it goes along with the title of the EP and the amazing cover art and deals with a Sharon Stone-esque black widow who likes to fuck and kill men. I mean, come on... how can anyone not love lyrics like: "She had a wild imagination, master of deadly copulation"? I am pushing forty, but one can never be too old for teenage boy fantasies!

"Every midnight I get out my hole, to the sound of old dirty Rock'n'Roll" - yes! Yes! Yes! Fuck yes! Did you read the story of the man on meth who masturbated in public and fought off 15 cops before he was finally arrested that made the headlines at the end of 2013? The song Pedophile must be his theme song, no doubt. And before your white boy-or-girl guilt gets the best of you, shut up the fuck up please. It's heavy fucking metal, and if lyrics like these upset you, then - in the immortal words of Wagner Antichrist - "if you are a false, don't entry!"

Up next: Into the Crypts of Rays. It's rare that a cover song is so well picked. Honestly, after the first two tracks, I will literally expecting some Celtic Frost riffing along with "Ugh!", and there we have it. Makes perfect sense! And finally the last song here, Maniac's Blues, is about killing priests and raping nuns - which, let's be honest, makes me drool with pleasure. To some it all the fuck up: you need to listen to this if you like metal. If you don't, well... insert creative Romanian cuss words here.

The complete EP is available as a pay-as-you-wish download from http://infernalrocknroll.bandcamp.com and will be released on tape later this year by Dying Victims Productions. Don't sleep when we creep!

January 1, 2014

Shitfucker "Suck Cocks In Hell" (2013)

The latest (and greatest) offering in filthy, offensive and downright insane metalpunk hails from noneother than Detroit Motor City, USA, with Acid Witch members Tim Shagrat and Motorcity Chaz in conspiracy with bass/vocalist Demonbitch to perform some of the most fucked in the head tunes this side of the wasteland. The cover above is the European version, as the American version features the shitswastika, therefore banning it in Germany. A little bit kitchy? Yes, but suithing the music nonetheless.

After the ridiculously demented "Sexual Manic EP" a couple of years ago, I knew the album would be very unique and stand out, generally. For there are many other bands now in the scene that draw a lot from early-Bathory, G.I.S.M. and the likes of NME, but Shitfucker manage to soung really original and DIY for a change. Really really ugly riffs and infectous vocals hitting hard on this record, with some choruses that can actually sound really catchy in this steaming mess (not in the bad way). The only downside is that maybe this project is stealing some of Shagrat's time, time in which he can, um, WRITE SOME NEW ACID WITCH TUNES AAARRRGGHHH.
L to R: Motorcity Chaz, cocaine, Demonbitch, cocaine, Shagrat.