MPLS Rulz Ur Buttz /// Falcon Arrow, Pestifere, Hardcore Crayons
A handful of killer Minneapolis bands have released new material recently and this is a simple reminder that my city is better than yours and I would like to fight about it.
Immediately after seeing Falcon Arrow make a wondrous and sparkling wall of sound with nothing but drums, bass guitar, and a small ocean of fuzz/ loop pedals, I typically am left wondering why anyone even bothers with other instruments or voices at all. Listen for the bass to play a melody, then loop that melody at double or quadruple speed to create glittery arpeggios that stack higher and higher until they form a starry monolith of booty-shaking tunes. Listen for the drums finding innovation in the mundane, alternating hi-hat voicing to create subliminal swing and layering hypnotic rhythms more like a DJ than a rocker.
Falcon Arrow have found a lovely balance for themselves in between common aesthetics in the instrumental world; they’re not too somber, but not too saccharine either. With Tower, Falcon Arrow hits a sweet spot between lush post rock and peppy math rock that makes me want to cha-cha my way through the solar system. Join me, won’t you?
I arrived to the Liminal release show on a balmy November night hot on the tails of heartbreak; I was struggling with irrational anger and a sense of intense loneliness. Mercifully, by the end of Pestifere’s performance these emotions had been condensed into an electric fury and expunged from my body into the cosmos, all thanks to the mighty wailings of Minnesota’s finest new black metal band.
I screamed into The Void, my friends, and The Void screamed back.
Pestifere play truly melodic black metal with exactly the right amount of frills. Harmonized tremolo melodies are of course the foundation of the record, but delicately technical guitar licks, acoustic breaks, and thrashing d-beats keep Liminal beautifully paced and fresh-sounding throughout its relatively brief running length. If you desire to go on a metal-guided arctic spirit journey to purge some inner demons but can only commit a half hour to doing it, this is the record for you.
This is not the first time I have geeked out to the blogosphere public about the best progressive dub-rock band in existence, nor will it be the last. Hardcore Crayons’ new record Zozzled is their noisiest, heaviest release to date, and also their most consistent.
While their previous album was formed around the push and pull between the disparate influences of angular Don Caballero riffs and funky dub grooves, this new joint refuses to make a distinction between the two worlds. Dissonant guitar chords may furrow your brow, but that powerful snare drum insists you stomp your feet as well. Ass-shaking fretless bass funk encroaches upon the whacked-out space vocals and washy hi-hats demanding that you bang your head. Watch music video of the year “WGYW” (above) to get a feel for what I’m talking about, then get to their Bandcamp to buy some shit ASAP.