It’s the end of the work week (unless I’m delusional and it’s really Tuesday or something … wouldn’t be the first time), and I’m shot. Just flat out of energy and ideas, and the fumes on which I was running expired a day or so ago. I’ve got nothing left. As frustrating as that is today, it’s also the sign of a fruitful, productive week, something I pined for last year at this time. So no complaints.
When I start to feel this way and just need some kind of boost to get me to the finish line, that’s when I turn to heavy, uncompromising shit that’ll spike my adrenaline and make me want to crumble a wall with my fists. Some blistering black metal often helps, or even some old-school thrash from my high school years, and that’s why having my iPod near is convenient so that if I need that kind of spike, I can find it, no problem. Two other albums, that we’ll discuss today, also can help me through the tired hours and exhaustion, when I’m pretty sure I’ll fall into a heaping pile if I don’t get a serious wake-up call.
Martyrdöd, and their Swedish blackened crust, along with Burning Love, and their Southern-friend punk and hardcore, are exactly what I need on a day like today. There’s no napping allowed, no deep breath permitted, no cool drink of water administered when these bands are at work, and their latest albums are worth your time even if you’re not super tired. Both are, as I’m sure you’ve figured out, hardcore-rooted, but both do a heck of a lot more than that, so you’re getting plenty of color as well. Plus, Martyrdöd and Burning Love are not even remotely alike in any way, so if you decided to take a trip with both, you’re going to have variety.
Both bands’ new records are out via Southern Lord, your home to D-beat, crust, hardcore-laced acts the past few years. While the label may seem a little obsessed right now with this sound, they’ve done a really good job hand picking bands that both fit their new aesthetic and produce quality music. They haven’t misfired once yet, so you can trust their word on this the same way you can about doom, black metal, and drone.
We’ll start off with Martyrdöd, whose new album is titled “Paranoia,” about the only word English-only speakers will be able to decipher on this thing. They recorded this hell bastard at the noteworthy Scandinavian institution Studio Fredman, and the band totally blazes through these new 11 songs with fury and abandon. The guitar work is quite melodic, so even when you’re being bludgeoned, you get something catchy to bleed along to, and that’s how the band gets that black metal influence attached to them. They play scintillating guitar leads that should fire up metal purists, but they keep it to-the-ground crushing enough as not to abandon anyone else.
As noted, these killer diatribes are in Swedish, but even if you can’t understand what’s being shouted, you’ll certainly identify with the rage and trauma imbedded in the music. The record opens with “Nog Är Nog,” a crusty anthem with a forceful tempo and raspy shouts, and that leads into “Överkom Er Rädsla,” a melodic infectious song that sometimes reminds me of envy. “Överkom Er Rädsla” is stuffed with metallic majesty, and it teeters awfully close to the black metal territory; “Det Sker Samtidigt” is heavy, thrashing, and wild, and sometimes sounds like the rails are going to come off the thing; the title cut sounds a little doomy at points; and “Avbön” certainly is heavy enough, but it takes on more traditional rock tones dressed with maniacal shouts that are damn scary.
Martyrdöd finally are getting their chance to make their mark in America, and they couldn’t have better partners in crime than Southern Lord. The CD is available now via the label’s mail order and next Tuesday in stores, and vinyl is out June 19. Links are below for all the commerce.
For more on the band, go here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Martyrd%C3%B6d/175670445796819
The funny thing about Burning Love is that they’re not Southern, despite those humid tendencies making their way into their music. Instead, they’re from the North. The Great White North. Canada. Toronto, to be more specific, and that is where I poke in that comparison to Fucked Up, another hardcore-based band that throws everything it can at the wall just to keep you guessing. The band has been around a few years now and contains members of notable bands Cursed and Our Father. Their latest full-length “Rotten Thing to Say,” the follow-up to their 2010 debut album “Songs for Burning Lovers,” is filled with chaos and attitude, and it would sound pretty OK if you were pouring loads of beer into your mouth or preparing for a scrap. It’ll make you hate people and feel good at the same time.
At 14 tracks, the record may seem a little overstuffed on first glance, but remember we’re talking hardcore here. For the most part, these guys get in and get out of these cuts and do a damn fine job with the time they have. You get a really good idea of what’s ahead on the seemingly innocently named “Intro,” as that’s where the swampiness sets in, and it sets the stage for the rest of the album. “No Love” and “Karla” both are really catchy and filthy songs, with singer Chris Colohan snarling all over these suckers. “Made Out of Apes” isn’t too hard to figure out conceptually, especially when the line, “Weren’t you the one who said ‘dust to dust’?” is spat out. Add that to the song title, and the message lands perfectly. “Hateful Comforts” is a really fun song and has a muddy, bluesy feel, while a battery of cuts “Tremors,” “Damage Case,” and “Pig City 1” are fast, furious, and totally mean.
Burning Love probably is the most likely of these two bands to find a larger audience – kids who have outgrown Every Time I Die might move onto these smashers – and their new record is a blast to hear. The album isn’t out until June 19, so that’ll give you some to get ready to get some exercise so you’re prepared for all the bruising. Once you have it, it’ll give you a late-week jolt so you can finish the grind.
For more on the band, go here: http://burninglove416.blogspot.com/
To buy either album, go here: http://www.southernlord.com/store.php
For more on the label, go here: http://www.southernlord.com/