Cowards - Hoarders
Straight from France comes the dark and dreary quintet Cowards and, unlike their name, do not shy away from the nitty gritty on their new EP Hoarders. This five track excursion into things most foul begins with the six minute “Old City”. The track is a crawling, crusty bastard that crushes bodies in its wake with enormous sludgy strikes that leave you bleeding. “Smell of an Addict” begins with the same principle as “Old City”, which dementedly dissonant sludge. But after six seconds Cowards jumps into full on hardcore assault with blood-boiling tremolo picking. The track varies between these two extremes for its entire duration, leaving no breathing room for the unlucky listener. The third track, “Fork Out”, kicks up a notch further. It rips right into with noisy, chaotic riffage that is drowned in dissonance and noise. The track even explores black metal territory at times, which makes the song even more sinister sounding. The tortured, ululation of the vocalist helps as well. “Where Lies the Anchor”s six minutes begins with a hellacious groove that eventually leads way into razor sharp, chaotic swells of maniacal guitars that sound like a swarm of otherworldly insects. A lengthy feedback infused bass line ends the monstrous track and paves the way for the opening bass-lines of the final track; a cover of 16 Horsepower’s “Blessed Resistance”. Cowards turn this alternative country’s depressing number into an even more depressing and sinister track. They slow everything to a creepy crawl, which in turn make 16 Horsepower’s track a doomy funeral dirge. All five of these songs are produced really well, highlighting just the right amount of rawness and grime without going overboard. Hoarders
is vile and heavy in all the right places and kicks your teeth in. It’s nothing revolutionary by any means but it is pretty stellar for what it is. Cowards are definitely a band to look out for.
Release Date: September 15th, 2013
Favorite Tracks “Where Lies the Anchor” and “Blessed Resistance”
For fans of: Seven Sisters of Sleep, Harm’s Way, Dead in the Dirt, and Primitive Man.
Death Engine – Amen
I now present to you another band that hails from France; the noisy post-hardcore act Death Engine. Death Engine’s debut four track EP, Amen, may be short but it leaves a lasting bruise all the same. Amen begins with the heavy hitter “No Hope”, which you may or may not have heard on our noise rock compilation. “No Hope” jumps into the fray with single note guitar bellows accompanied by grumpy bass lines and equally confrontational drumming. Angry, blood-curdling yells bring another dimension of heaviness to the down-tuned guitar assaults and dissonant melodic verses. The track’s ultimate climax is when the band launch into a melancholic and melodic wall of sound that it is strangely uplifting as it is punishing. It kind of reminds me of fellow French band Birds in Row at times. “Dallas” comes up next with dark and melodic, post-hardcore-esque chord play that sets the stage for an ultimately emotional track. This track is also short and sweet but glorious nonetheless. Death Engine break out the noisy tremolo picked madness and primal drumming on “Gun”; a track that rips through you like a whirlwind of glass. The song possesses this overall melancholic feel that just plunges you into despair while continually pummeling you. Death Engine closes off their debut EP with the nearly eight minute title track. The track opens with a simple forlorn, bending guitar riff that eventually gains distortion and becomes a powerful march. “Amen” becomes heavier and more headstrong as it progresses, becoming a marching titan of destruction and breaks down around the middle into a roaring sea of distortion, feedback and indiscernible audio clips. The track follows this suit until then and leaves the listener wanting even more. Though I feel the final noise section goes on longer than it should, personally. In closing, Death Engine have got a solid debut right here with Amen. It’s a powerful slap in the face to those who aren’t ready for it. Death Engine is yet another band to look out for.
Release Date: June 20th, 2013
Favorite Tracks “No Hope” and “Dallas”
For fans of: Loma Prieta, Birds in Row, and Converge.