Sunday, October 1, 2017

Bandcamp Picks - Unsane, Squalus, Usnea, Helpless

The return of mighty Unsane is always a cause for celebration. No surprises as to what they've cooked up with Sterilize - the NY trio's 8th album (and first for Southern Lord) is still the crushing noise rock that they pioneered in the Eighties, with Chris Spencer's trademark twanging riffs providing the only respite from the blanketing onslaught. Three decades of total destruction and we're all better for it.  [$8.99]

A re-shuffling of DoC faves Giant Squid, Pacifica CA's Squalus continue the pelagic themes and inventive heaviness of their previous incarnation. The Great Fish takes inspiration (and dialogue) from the movie Jaws, using two bass guitars and spacey keyboards to re-tell Peter Benchley's tale of a carcharodon terrorizing a small seaside town. Anyone with a soft spot for prog metal concept albums will find a lot to sink their teeth into here. [$9.99]

Portland doom quartet Usnea have been busy carving out their own niche in the post-post metal landscape. Portals Into Futility finds a middle ground between the cerebral sludge of the Neur/Isis crowd with the more hesher-centric death-doom of Morgion. Who says cookie monster vocals and post-metal don't mix? [$10]

As with most of the recent crop of power violence bands, there's no denying the influence of Converge on Plymouth's Helpless. Debt takes its cues not just from the Boston band's heaviest moments, but Kurt Ballou's speaker-cracking productions as well; the result is as headache-inducing as the best of Nails and Full of Hell. Like a power-drill through the skull - get the Advil out now. [£7]