Friday, April 4, 2014

Bandcamp Picks: Menace, Idylls, Nuclear Summer, Amouth

The members of Napalm Death are known for their prolific output and eclectic musical tastes; in that spirit, while we wait patiently for the follow-up to Utilitarian, guitarist Mitch Harris rewards us with Menace. On the debut album Impact Velocity, Voivod and Killing Joke collide with Devin Townsend's best moments. Not that this is a complete departure from Harris' day job - the corrupted harmonies on display have a certain kinship with Napalm's nineties material. Wonderfully off kilter and stubbornly resistant to easy categorization, the songs have an insidious way of sticking in your head long after they've stopped playing... just like a virus infecting its host, you might say. [$9.99]

I haven't kept up with Brisbane's Idylls since they played Rumah Api in 2012; their new album Prayer for Terrene shows that our Aussie friends are still very much enamoured with Jane Doe's chaotic fury, occasionally ratcheting up the intensity to grindcore levels or down into the realm of discordant Albini rock. Like a trip to the dentist on PCP, in a good way. [$5 AUD]

Fellow Brisbaners (Brisbanians? Brisbanos?) and Rumah Api guests Nuclear Summer put out a three song EP last year that completely slipped past me. Death to False Sunshine Metal is an amalgamation of all things post (rock/metal/hardcore) that gets surprisingly heavy at times... the occasional death metal roars had this hesher nodding in approval. "I'll dress in black til I find something darker", and so forth, but there might be something to this "sunshine metal". As someone trapped in the furnace of South East Asia, I can vouch for sunshine being as brutal as winter. The EP is available as a "name your price" download.

If I'm ever in Italy and looking for someone who shares my love for Cult of Luna, I'll be sure to look up Arezzo's Amouth. Their debut EP Awaken has the same knack for doomy minimalism and post rock atmospherics. Considering how far Neurosis, Isis, and Cult of Luna have taken the genre, Amouth are playing it pretty safe; but for a debut, this is a strong start. Plus, it's free.