Friday, May 22, 2015

How Sweet Suite Can Be

A Review from Special Guest Troy Turner!

Suite: a set of selected pieces from an opera or musical, arranged to be played as one instrumental work.

The most recent release from this talented Columbia, Missouri trio, New Tongues, is a four-song EP titled Suite and should perhaps be taken at face value: a bona fide suite. These songs flow really well together in order but, regardless, the overall sonic result is textural, tribal, brutal and often beautiful. New Tongues are able wizards of post-hardcore heaviness with an obvious reverence for those great bands in the past who threw down the Noise gauntlet during the 1990's glory days of Amphetamine Reptile and Homestead Records.

"...These nets are here for safety!" 

Opening with "Suicide Nets," you're met with a tribal, Swans-like cut. Highlighting the work of a great rhythm section (Justin Nardy on bass/vocals; Mike Quinn drumming/vocals) in an exceptionally tight anti-dirge; more a plea to the living -- or those who might stay alive courtesy of suicide netting. The heaviness of Shane Johnson's guitars playing (which is great throughout this record) is equal to theseriousness of subject matter. 

Escape Hoods

Captivating instrumental. Grabs you from the jazzy opening, then it seamlessly glides into into an almost hypnotic space that lends positive comparison to the sound of early Don Caballero or Unwound before the pummeling crescendo. Yet another track on which Justin Nardy and Mike Quinn really shine. 

"Guilty on the ground, I'm guilty in the air..."

In the 1990s, the word "drone" was used more (deridingly or not) to describe the sound of many an Indie Rock band. Today, sadly, the term is known more for the collateral damage they -- drones -- inflict in the name of keeping the fight 'over there.' Easy to imagine and commiserate with a young man/woman tasked with being an "air-conditioned Templar" in a never ending Middle Eastern war zone. You'll find that this song genuinely conveys the frustration and anger felt by all who question this suspecpolicy. 

"The saddest sound"

From the opening lilt of "El Condor Pasa," a wee Spaghetti-western guitar tease, this novel cover of the well-known Simon & Garfunkel nugget soon gets the heavy treatment. Each line is accentuated by a heavy drumbeat; an angular guitar solo morphs into an ambient blast that ends before it has a chance to develop into a 20+ minute, quasi-psychedelic blowout -- which would've been cool, too! 

The saddest sound? Not sure but, no matter what, remember: New Tongues are the hammer and you're the nail, my friend. 

Four songs -- 22-minutes -- isn't long enough. This EP, the follow-up to 2013's We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For is so good, you'll want to put it on loop. 

This pedigreed band -- with Cincinnati kid, Shane Johnson (formerly of Caterpillar Tracks and No Good Heroes) together with Justin Nardy and Mike Quinn (both seasoned veterans of Columbia's hardcore scene) have released an excellent disc just as satisfying as it is short; much more visceral than eviscerating. 

Doubters beware, indeed. 9/10

Monday, May 18, 2015

I Am A Poseur

In 1990 I finally got to the point where the bands on Decline of Western Civilization sounded good, I went to my first punk show (Fugazi in Dayton, Ohio) and more importantly, I made my first Homemad GERMS shirt. In true fashion, I got a roll of masking tape, a couple cans of spray paint, a plain white T-Shirt, made a stencil of the famed GERMS Circle-1 symbol and made one. Later I had the idea to add long sleeves from a pajjama top, but got bored of sewing and only got one sleeve done, so yeah, the shirt only had one sleeve that, surprisingly enough, wasn't uncomfortable at all. I it was my favourite shirt in the whole wide world.

What I didn't relay though, is that I made my GERMS shirt and a CRASS one and a couple more Crass-type slogans because finding a band shirt was almost impossible. A few years later, my GERMS shirt vanished. I'm pretty confident it was my mom and dad who invaded my basement bedroom, retrieved the shirt, and threw it away. It's still a touchy subject that my mom and dad, to this day, haven't confessed to doing or more importantly, not doing it,

But society caught up to my size and before long, it wasn't so unheard of to find a bands shirt, in my size, AND readily available. So, eventually, I received a Unknown Pleasures T-shirt (Joy Division) for a present.

Now, every time I put it on I'm reminded not only how at one time I never thought I would own an 'official' band shirt and that one time I got interrorgrated at a Starbucks at 9am from two guys who were really into Faith No More about who, what, why, where and how Joy Division operated. I just finished Peter Hooks' Joy Division book so I guessed that I did ok because they still talked to me every now and then, and when the occasion arrived, the one guy with a pompdour would roll his car windows down, blast Faith No a More (or was it Ramstein?) at a loud volume waIting for me to look at him and validate his coolness being represented by that loud volume that sounded uninteresting.

I never looked at him.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

R.Ring News and Tour Dates

Hello, I'm in pretty tight with a Public Relations firm called PR PAVEMENT, who seem to run a tight ship with an up-front attitude. The vast majority of this post is from their press release for a set of upcoming split 7" ep's with a local Dayton/Kentucky (<Cincinnati=Greater Cincinnati) band called R.Ring and Quailbones (SWKY) and Detroit based band, Photomartyr. Keep on reading to find out more information including tour dates and three area appearances) of R.Ring.
Shawn Abnoxious O-3 (...!)
R. Ring is Kelley Deal and Mike Montgomery. It is voices, guitars and keys. It is sparse, chaotic, abrasive and lulling, often within the same song. It is new. It is, at the very least, a stark departure from the music they make in their other bands (Kelley with The Breeders and Mike with Ampline).

Kelley lives in Dayton, Ohio. Mike lives in Dayton, Kentucky.

R. Ring's 7" split-single with Kentucky-based garage rockers Quailbones will feature the two respective songs "Singing Tower" & "A Tip to Trick the Tide" and will be released this July in 7" vinyl & digital formats via Sofaburn Records. While this won't be available for a few months yet, R. Ring will be producing an extremely limited (100) handmade, custom-packaged version of it as a 12" vinyl LP with screen-printed artwork just for thier upcoming tour (dates below). 

R. Ring's Mike Montgomery had this to say about their new split single with Qualibones, "Way, way down in the southwestern tip of Kentucky is a sleepy town called Murray. Through an entanglement of dark thoughts and festering boredom oozed a creepy outfit called Quailbones. Kelley and I stepped into their muck at a show in a record shop on an R.Ring tour and instantly fell in love with their music. It was brash, squirmy, drenched and moody… you know… great! We decided then and there to work with them on something… hence, the forthcoming split 7 inch due out this July on SofaBurn. Their track is called, 'A Tip to Trick the Tide' and it’s exactly the Cramps, Echo and the Bunnymen condomless orgy you’d expect! Our song, 'Singing Tower' is a meandering lullaby to a wayward spectre. The single's illustrations were all done by our friend Ali Calis at Able projects.To pre-order the vinyl, go to:

In addition, R. Ring also have a new 7" split-single titled "A Half Of Seven" with Detroit-based post-punk band Protomartyr coming out on vinyl June 16th through Hardly Art and is available to pre-order here. R. Ring's song from it "Loud Underneath" is available as a digital download now here, and Protomartyr's track "Blues Festival" is available digitally now here.

"We’re stoked to have this new song on a split 7 inch with our friends in Protomartyr," Montgomery explains. "They’ve got a stellar song called, 'Blues Festival' that we recorded with them at Candyland in Cincinnati over a couple of snowy days last Winter. All around, it’s been such a great process; we took care of wrangling all the audio and masters, the Protomartyrs did all the artwork and Sarah from Hardly Art took care of all of the manufacturing logistics. Go Team! Both bands will be touring through April/May."

R. Ring will be on tour all spring and will 
be joined by drummer Jose Medeles (The Breeders /
1939 Ensemble
) for a week of dates in the Pacific Northwest, before drummer/professional skater Kristian Svitak (The Heartaches / Swami Records) joins them for their leg back home from L.A.

4/18 - Wooster, OH - Lucky Records w/ Buffalo Killers and Ampline (noon)
4/18 - Dayton, OH  - Omega Music w/ Buffalo Killers and Ampline (6pm)
4/21 - Cincinnati, OH - Northside Tavern
4/30 - Dayton, OH - Canal Public House
5/01 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
5/02 - Madison, WI - Frequency
5/04 - Fargo, ND - The Aquarium
5/05 - Billings, MT - Pub Station
5/06 - Spokane, WA - The Bartlett
5/07 - Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern
5/10 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios (w/ Bed)
5/11 - San Francisco, CA - Elbo Room (w/ 1939 Ensemble)
5/12 - Los Angeles, CA - Satellite (w/ 1939 Ensemble)
5/14 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
5/15 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive
5/16 - Omaha, NE - O'leavers
5/17 - Lawrence, KS - Replay Lounge
5/18 - Columbia, MO - Cafe Berlin
5/19 - Louisville, KY - The New Vintage (w/ Quailbones)
(more dates to be announced soon)