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Following two projects with Kelut and Vi älskade varandra så mycket, dreamcore duo, mrtex are back with another split collaboration. This time, the duo teamed up with Baltimore-based screamo newcomers, SYNODUS HORRENDA. To get an idea of what this fusion sounds like, scroll down and enjoy the full premiere of the split record, which will be out on August 7 through Zegema Beach Records.



The liaison between the four-headed screamo pack SYNODUS HORRENDA and mrtex, marks the last release before renowned Dave Norman, writer of Saturated Brain / Open Mind, founder of Zegema Beach Records and vocalist of mrtex, leaves Canada for his new home, New Zealand. Besides Norman, the other half of the two-piece consists of YAPHET KOTTO’s bassist, Chris Story, who assumes the instrumental part of the band. Opening mrtex’s side of the split, Future Refract is the very first song of Story and Norman, eclipsing the four-minute mark. The song starts with a dreamy built-up, fascinating through its beautiful post-rock-fundament, only disrupted once, as wild drums momentarily throw everything into turmoil and chaos begins to prevail. The Truth About Human Design follows the well-orchestrated opener and sweeps across the listener within one and a half minute, offering a never ending fight between mayhem and chime.




As the last note of The Truth About Human Design has faded away it’s time to switch sides. Recently founded screamo quartet SYNODUS HORRENDA contributes five tracks, starting off with The Thrill of Living is Gone, a song, which indicates their spiritual and artistic proximity to hardcore and punk rock music. On the subsequent songs, Robbie, Juney, Nick and Billy continually embrace those influences, establishing a dissonant, sometimes abstruse sound. All of their debut songs harmoniously blend into each other, resulting in a coherent overall pattern, which will attract your ears at any time.





Dave Norman about the release: „The split features just over 12 minutes of caustic, screamy and sometimes atmospheric hardcore. The 50 cassettes are each housed in a unique photograph (so there are 50 different covers!) wrapped around a black tape, all within a plastic, resealable sleeve. Pre-Orders will be up on ZBR and orders will ship on the release date of Monday August 7th, 2017.“

Dave Norman about the side of SYNODUS HORRENDA: „From Baltimore, SYNODUS HORRENDA are a new band with members that have spent time in Eyelet, мища, Dawntreader and Sunners, to name a few. Their five debut tracks trade off vocals from June and Nick and generally are pulsating, raw and dirty screamo with a heavy emphasis on punk rock and hardcore."



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Four fantastic releases to fight your post-fluff depression are discussed right below. Besides the almighty Fashion Statements of the Socially Aware, the hype album of the Californian sasscore group SeeYouSpaceCowboy, we also recommend the latest release by Commuovere as well as the amazing debuts of Go Hibiki and Disney 69.





SeeYouSpaceCowboy... - Fashion Statements of the Socially Aware

03/06/17

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With their unmistakable sound, the Californian sasscore collective, SeeYouSpaceCowboy, currently makes hearts leap, leading a reinvigorated movement, once initiated through bands like Seattle’s The Blood Brothers. The five-some around the Sgarbossa siblings evolve a charisma, as probably seen for the last time since straight edge outfit Have Heart in 2002. Of course, musically either of the bands can’t be even approximately compared, but the capability of both to attract hardcore enthusiasts with their music and their undeniable presence seems to be quite similar. While the band consider themselves as a metalcore band, fragments of their sound and the aesthetics hovering around them strongly reminds of 90s screamo. With Fashion Statements of the Socially Aware the band from San Diego delivers a milestone of a sub-genre, that seemed to be forgotten not long ago.

Commuovere - Du besoin de disparaître de soi

24/02/17

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Recently returned home from their common US Tour with The Ultimate Screamo Band, it is time to examine Quebec-based screamo trio Commuovere and their latest Extended Play Du besoin de disparaître de soi, which was released earlier this year. The three songs, found on the record, are encircled by a claustrophobic atmosphere, whose crushing density unfolds right at the outburst of ’Consommer l’absence’. Subsequently, the one minute instrumental ’Dépersonnalisation / Déréalisation’ bridges to ’La dentition d’existe’, a high intensity song that - just like the opener - offers a gloomy setting, emphasizing the raw emotions in Marie’s vocals.

"May I go with you? May I just disappear?"

Go Hibiki - In the Years Spent

15/06/17

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Vocalist Uhl’s raspy voice opens the quartet’s debut asking "What's worse? If the world's gonna end or that it never will?“ - a significant question and the start of one hell of a six-song-collection, which musically leaves nothing to be desired. There are just few bands who have the prominent ability to craft moving melodies, without losing any energy or being overly obtrusive. Missoula-based Go Hibiki is one of those groups. Rob Cave, Alasdair Lyon, Elizabeth Taillon-Rogosienski and Ethan J. Uhl are serving the right dose of melodious tunes, shedding a strong punk rock attitude, which infuses every second of In the Years Spent.

"I lick my wounds, like a dog in the cold I am looking for a reason to ache I bite my tongue, while the radio reminds me that Life is a Highway." [Alex Jones and Me]

Disney 69 - Live Demo

23/05/17

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Disney 69’s firstling is a strong contender for the best demo recording of the current year. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, the screamo duo wrote seven sincere songs, which might sound a bit rough around the edges, but at the same time, they presage the great potential of the talented band. The intimate lyrics, once written by the band’s former vocalist Sarah, now are passionately screamed by Dove, who - just like Jeff Smith of Jeromes Dream - doesn’t use a microphone for her vocals. This definitely adds up to the raw and intense experience you will get by listening to the demo. From the opener called Midland to the very last song, the album is packed with a classy, top-notch screamo sound.

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On the latest episode we share our thoughts about two amazing debuts on full-length distance, as elite screamo from Richmond, VA meets top-notch screamo from Nuremberg, Germany. This is the fourth installment of Notes From A Smooth Talker featuring todlowski (FFO: Masada, Rêche, Lost Boys) and ostraca, formally known as Kilgore Trout (FFO: Old Soul, Youth Funeral).





ostraca - last

24/05/17



Right before their European tour, Richmond-based emoviolence outfit ostraca have released their first Long Player on Skeletal Lightning and i corrupt records. Since then, the groundbreaking album has rocked the foundation of the entire international screamo community. Recorded at Minimum Wage during the end of the previous year, last follows Faces of The Moving Year - a split with Denton’s Fflesh Born - and the band’s 2015 debut EP Deathless. The threepiece from Virginia establishes a dense and versatile sound straight from the beginning of “Waiting for the Crash“. While the opening stunner comes along with a well-structured composition, the following “The Orchard“ is forged out of chaos and incensement, before “Childlike initially returns to disentangled fairways. During the span of the whole album, Brian, Gus and John are able to master the balancing act between the genre typical dissonant sound and majestic melodies, which are brought to bear in songs like “Worn Away“ or the epochal ten minutes song “Nausea“. Last mentioned builds the centerpiece of the album, captivating through its ingenious buildup. This leads to a stormy climax, where Gus Caldwell begins to scream “Is there anything more to life than just trying to find what little joy in it you can?“ - only to notice that “You’ll get nothing and think you deserve it, fight and fight to cry at the outstretched hands of the angels in your life. Suffer through it all to find a friend and then recoil.“ shortly after. With last ostraca set new standards in songwriting, delivering a six-song collection, which will be thought of as a modern classic really soon.

“There is nothing more awful than the knowledge that you can and will hurt people, especially the ones closest to you. How much easier to pray for the meteor, or the quake, or the wave. At my worst, I am waiting for the crash so that there’s nothing to explain. To everything you made: wave goodbye. The hospital’s never going to call, it was you all along.” [Waiting for the Crash]

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todlowski - s/t #2

03/01/17



Nuremberg and its nearby cities have a little, but thriving underground scene, yielding stunning screamo acts such as Masada, Lilith, Lost Boys or Rêche. Attracting genre lovers from everywhere with their distinctive sound, they all have long made a name for themselves far beyond city borders. Originating from the same set as the above-mentioned bands, todlwoski consists of Oliver and Nico. The duo, known for their intelligent and humorous, yet crucial lyrics, have now digitally released their very first record on full-length distance. Just by looking at the cover, there’s a certain fuck you attitude floating towards the beholder, later manifesting itself within the band’s rough and minimalistic sound and lines like „PC spielen und porno, guten morgen, bon giorno, Einschlaflektüre serviert von Adorno, leben mit Sinn, ist nicht mehr drin, wer danach fragt, hat längst versagt!“. Todlowski puts emphasis on multi-vocals and mathy sound-structures, which unfold their full impact right from the start of pardon, the opening track of the self-titled album. Arranged by the distorted guitar, virtuosically played by Oliver, choppy melodies and changes in pace are drawn through each of the eight songs. In katze cola or mimimi moralia the two-piece seems to be on top of their game, refining their overall work on their energetic debut Long Player.

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We’re back with a brand new episode of Short But Sweet, Polite And Respectful. Besides the blistering, self-titled debut of Austin’s Portrayal of Guilt we also discuss the fabulous split between 5000 and cape light - probably two of the most underrated screamo bands out there - and In Memory, the very first release of Richmond-based Majorel. SBS #45 also includes Juliane’s double review for Massa Nera. As always, each of the releases is worth listening to.





Portrayal of Guilt - S/T

02/05/17

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With Miss The Stars Records and Contrition Recordings being the conductors of the hype-train, which currently rolls across the screamo landscape, it’s time for you to get your tickets. Austin-based emoviolence blast, portrayal of guilt, just released their debut EP on both DIY labels and it couldn't be a better departure for the rising newcomers from Texas. The self-titled EP features three vicious songs, combining screamo with nightmarish black-metal influences, where diabolic screams are hunted by the blastbeating drums. If you’re into blackened screamo or bands like Majority Rule and pg.99 you should not hesitate to head over to the group’s bandcamp and stream those three tracks, while clenching your hands like claws, raising them towards the dull sky.

5000 / cape light - split

17/06/17

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Classical screamo is alive and breathing. 5000 and cape light, both hailing from Tokyo, combined their forces to burn down a chaotic firework of tumultuous guitar work and raging vocals. The top-notch split record feels like a throwback to the golden era of the genre during the late 1990s, helping the Japanese duo to finally advance into the dimension of groups like Lord Snow, Cassus or Piri Reis. Despite their great ability to write songs on top-level, 5000 and cape light unfortunately still fly way below the radar of international screamo enthusiasts. From HELPLESS to mukishitsu, each of the six tracks is reason enough to make this change and to fall in love with the tremendous sound of the bands.

"思うのやめた 君のことを 考えることもなかったけれど"

Massa Nera - will it be enough for you to keep going
& no estamos separados


13/04/16

14/11/16

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The five piece from Linden, New Jersey, released their first two EPs over the course of last year. Massa Nera plays atmospheric post-hardcore influenced screamo. This band knows how to build up powerful songs with delicate melodies. Their first EP "will it be enough..." is composed with mostly English vocals. But on both tracks Hatsukoi and Hatsuyuki the band puts some Spanish lyrics into the mix as well. They keep up the good work on their second release ”no estamos separados”. Playing with quieter and more intense parts, Massa Nera puts together another three songs. On the second track "Surely, we'll see each other soon" Dean Scordilis of Our Wits That Make Us Men joins in with spoken word vocals. Besides digital download, both releases are available as cassettes at Adorno Records, UK. Massa Nera also recently recorded a full length, so keep an eye on this band.

"You live with vague ideas concerning limitless potential, ‘til you’re blindsided by the passing of time and realize you’ve run out of options." [I'll be the next to go]

Majorel - Restless in Memory

04/04/17

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Sass bands like SeeYouSpaceCowboy and gif. from god have found a formula to extract the best elements of metalcore and combine them with the iconic sound of late 90s screamo bands such as Jeromes Dream or Neil Perry. An interesting way of proceeding, also applied within the sound of Majorel. Haling from Richmond, VA, the quartet has released their debut In Memory on Canada’s Zegema Beach Records. The five songs on the Extended Play appear to be one mighty ebullition full of shrieking vocals and heavy guitar chords. Placed right in the middle of the EP “Attempting Coherence in Form and Intent“ is revealing the full potential of Majorel, marking the highlight track of In Memory.

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The Ghosts That I Fear of Vancouver’s dad thighs deserves so much more attention. Down below we tell you the reasons why. The new episode of Notes From A Smooth Talker also contains Juliane’s review about the German / Swedish collaboration between La Petite Mort / Little Death, Vivre Sa Vie and Young Mountain.





dad thighs - The Ghosts That I Fear

14/02/17



When it comes to emotional punk music it’s a convenient diversion to stumble upon something like The Ghosts That I Fear. The first album of Vancouver-based dad thighs sticks quite closely to the quintessence of the genre, without feeling like a cheap replicate of already existing works. Yet proved in the past with numbers like Left My Heart in Langley, the band once again showcases their ability to craft pure and sincere emo songs. Mastered at legendary Dead Air Studios in Massachusetts, the record starts with an anthology in the form of the binary epos, Going to the Dump to Watch the Bears. Both parts are beautifully arranged by the synergy of the group’s mathy instruments, caressing the vocals of lead singer Victoria. Every now and then the voice of guitarist Felix joins in, hereinafter leading to a breathtaking canon, where he finally confides “I can't say that I've never fantasized about my own funeral and who would be there“. The following tracks perfectly engage with each other, making The Ghosts That I Fear a coherent piece of art, temporarily culminating in My Favorite Valentine, a ballade sustained by smooth dual vocals, which flatter the listener’s ears. Characterized by a bright usage of all kinds of chants like spoken words during The Shadow that Desires is Left with Nothing but a Relic of Someone Else’s Dreams or rough, almost screamed vocals whilst The Rain it Raineth and Of Summer, the album’s composures are rich in variety, encircling the poetic lyrics. This record is a gem and it definitely deserves way more attention as it currently gets. So go and listen to The Ghosts That I Fear, spread the word and order a cassette from Damn Fine Tapes or Old Press Records.

“If this is love then we have learnt nothing, if this is love then where is life meant to lead us except in circles, and I'm pained and I'm dead and I'm going to bed with wide open eyes again.” [Going to the Dump to Watch the Bears Part I & II]

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La Petite Mort // Little Death / Young Mountain / Vivre Sa Vie - 3-way Split

05/03/17



We recently presented the song “Windchime” from La Petite Mort/Little Death here and now it is time to say a few words about the 12” split it is part of. Five record labels have this three-way-split in their catalog: Miss The Stars (DE), Zilpzalp Records (DE), Hardcore For The Losers (AT), Pundonor Records (ES) and Voice Of The Unheard Records (FR). The record kicks off with two songs from Gothenburg based Young Mountain. They start out with the atmospheric post rock influenced “Pilträdsvillan” fitting in well with the Swedish lyrics. Apart from a short ‘wohoo’ singalong part, the fivepiece dispense from singing altogether, as it was found on their first releases. Instead, they use different shouting and screaming variations which I totally dig. Their second song then sews catchiness with melancholy showing this band’s process of growth and “Bloom”. Following is the skramz band Vivre Sa Vie hailing from Stockholm. This second release for Wiljami, Jóann, Tobias and Osborn covers elements they used on their previously released demo. The song “Ehler​-​Danlos” demonstrates their typical fast and hacking sounding staccato style. The second one, named “Shield”, uses various elements like calmer spoken word parts switching to intense screaming, expanding into chaos back and forth, but ends in a surprisingly calm guitar picking with a distorted female voice sequence. Last but not least, La Petite Mort/Little Death from Rodgau contribute three songs to the split. They remain true to the mathy, tuneful sound recorded on their debut LP “Dear Reader…”. The Intro, a short blast, blows up the energy giving a peek into what this threepiece is up to and capable of. Then “Windchime” starts off again with these short, throbbing melodies in repeat. The voice fits in with a rapping, terse tone, often slightly off-key, growing into somersaulting shouts. They close the split with a melodic beat, harmonica and singalongs on “This name rings a bell” making me grateful to see such thrilling bands working together.

“Breathe into the sky, through perilous clouds and towards a new tomorrow. I will be there for you always, even when crimson rain comes pouring down. I’ll be by your side, you will be safe and sound. Yes this is my love-letter to you. Cross my heart, hope to die, your gift keeps me alive. And if we’re drawn apart, it's only distance my dear. I’ll be back soon in your arms, you have nothing to fear.” [Distance]

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The split “Eight Feet Under Vol. 1” will be released on June 1st and unites 8 bands from 4 different countries. Now you can exclusively stream one of its 22 songs: “No Hugs For Lucas” from Hamilton, Ontario, based The World That Summer.


The five-headed group experiments with a blend of different genres, inter alia infusing metallic post-hardcore with hints of screamo. Their sinister and heavy sound already has been put on display among several releases, like a split 10 inch with Sweden’s Nionde Plågan. On “Eight Feet Under Vol. 1” they contribute three new songs, including “No Hugs for Lucas”, which stands out with its wreaking drums, rolling right off the start. Subsequently the guitars join in and prepare the scene for the vocals, which interchange between growling, shouting and recitative. This urging sound transforms constantly - what once was initially fast and aggressive moves little by little into decelerated realms, building an intriguing atmosphere with a downshift of tempo, massive guitar walls and passionate vocals.

Of course The World That Summer is not the only reason to look forward to the epochal split, as it also features fantastic bands such as Vi Som Älskade Varandra Så Mycket and Via Fondo from Sweden, Nous Etions and The World That Summer from Canada, Sleeper Wave and Youth Novel for USA, and last but not least some groove from Lamantide and Pastel representing Italy. Who needs an Eurovision Song Contest, when you are able to catch this multitude of impressive hardcore from around the world within a single release. “Eight Feet Under Vol. 1” will be available via Zegema Beach Records, Shove Records, Through Love Recs, IFB Records and Don't Live Like Me Records on 2x12 inch black vinyl, wrapped in a gatefold cover with art by Italian graffiti artist '108'.





Dave Norman on the World That Summer, their song 'No Hugs For Lucas' and how the 8-way split came about:

The World That Summer formed in the summer of 2015 following a Life In Vacuum/Joliette show in Hamilton, Ontario Canada. We played some shows, wrote some songs, released a split cassette, a split 10" and contributed to an 8-way 2x12" split. We have three more songs that we will record this summer before I move to New Zealand, as well as two more shows (May 27th & June 3rd). We tried to be a screamo band at first but realized that we were more post-hardcore folks who happen to generally like screaming music. The song we are premiering is called "No Hugs For Lucas" and it is about the inability to shield my son (and children in general) from the horribleness of the world. We play it at pretty much every show and it was our closer for quite some time due to the ending of the song. I incubated this project for nearly three years and it is my other child 😉 It was inspired by the Microwave Says To The Pacemaker 2x7" compilation that introduced me to bands such as Phoenix Bodies, Advocate, Textbook Traitors and Rats Into Robots. We haven't played with any of the bands on the 8-way, they were just all bands that I loved and thought would mesh well together.



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Mastered by Orchid’s Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios, L’Amour Au Temps De La Peste is the sophomore release of punk veterans, Potence. The screamo / crust hybrid delivered an LP, which is definitely worth writing about. So, scroll down and read what Juliane thinks about it.


“Punk is love” the band says. In times like these - with so many imbalances which remind of times of plague and cholera with all its ugliness - love and punk are essentially important. Just in time before the presidential election these French punks piped their energy into eight songs, giving strength to keep going despite all the Le Pens, Trumps, and so forth. In case of Potence “punk” names the attitude rather than the musical focus. Though French screamo with a thick crust edge might be considered as a special kind of punk. So, who is this band that mastered an admirable debut LP after just one demo in 2015?

Remember Daïtro? Yes, it’s their former singer Aurélien you hear. But the other members Anto, Nico, and Sylvain too aren’t new to the scene. Each of them plays in addition in crust bands like Géraniüm, Human Compost and Black Code. The sound which fuses into Potence makes perfectly sense keeping in mind Géraniüm and Daïtro: screamo-influenced crust. Or vice versa. Even if the band only formed in 2014, you hear the great experience joined together in this Besançon and Strasbourg based band. Three of the four songs on their demo made their way on the LP, including the name giving “L'Amour Au Temps De La Peste”.

Let’s look closer into this record with the medieval inspired cover design. The first song jumps directly in your face with 90s influenced guitar work and serious crust parts getting you headbanging and moshing around before you’ll know it. In the last third the song calms down with a spheric violin sound for a short moment, just to speed away again until the end. That design also works well on the following tracks, giving you a moment to catch your breath now and then before urging you to go wild again. Hard to name a favorite track, maybe number four “Le Discours de ta Méthode” mixing heavy riffing and desperate throat ruining vocals with lots of tempo variation and superb melodies? Not to speak of the fifth and seventh track, both with Converge-worthy uptempo drumming and intense breakdowns. Or “Le Conte du Facisme Ordinaire”, with a just epic build up. Potence got me and the volume can’t be high enough. Sorry neighbors. Or not, they should be heard!

I already had the pleasure to see Potence at Fluff last year, and soon they are touring Europe again so don’t miss out on them and definitely check out this LP, which is available via various labels including Contraszt! Records, Impure Muzik, Music For Liberation, Walking Is Still Honest, Subversive Ways and Dingleberry Records.