Review: ANATOMY OF HABIT – “Ciphers + Axioms”

Ciphers + Axioms cover art

When musical minds of various ilks come together, one can only assume that the byproduct of their union is one that is equally varied and experimental in scope. Anatomy of Habit is just that. The Chicago-based quintet is comprised of members who have shared their time in acts like Tortoise, Indian, Bloodyminded, Joan of Arc and Radar Eyes. With each member coming from a completely different musical background, what could their collective compositions sound like? The answer(s) is epic, dark, sprawling, traumatic and multifaceted. Ciphers + Axioms, the band’s proper sophomore full length is all of the adjectives previously listed and more. The 42 minute behemoth of an album effectively avoids being pigeonholed into one specific genre and provides enough twists and turns to keep the listener on the edge of their feet and interested despite the lengthy durations of the tracks.

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Review: EVERY TIME I DIE – “From Parts Unknown”

Seven full length albums in and Every Time I Die show no intention of slowing down and mellowing out. The band’s has changed their sound in small increments throughout the course of their existence, but have never once sacrificed their heavy and creative edge. The band were once more chaotic and unhinged than they are now, as heard on the The Burial Plot Bidding War and their first full length, Last Night in Town. The chaos carried over a little bit  into their second and breakout album, Hot Damn! Songs like “I Been Gone A Long Time” showcased a more hard rock inspired sound that would start to appear more in subsequent albums. Gutter Phenomenon took that hard rock style, injected it with some southern swagger, and poured all over the band’s already unique sound. The Big Dirty continued along this path but showed the band experimenting with more “traditional” rock structures, as seen in songs like “Buffalo Gals” and “INRIhab”. The band continued to experiment with different styles and structures while simultaneously returning to the more violent aggression of their earlier albums on New Junk Aesthetic and more so on Ex-Lives. From Parts Unknown, their most recent effort, is the culmination of what the band has been inspiring to do on their past two records. It’s a solid 30 minute aural assault that may be one of the finest records that they have crafted in their roughly 15 year career.

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Review: MALADJUSTED – “Death Is The Only Relief”

This review is far from unbiased. I confess I’ve booked this band before so I can personally attest to their awesomeness. But biased or not this review will give light to one of the most promising up-and-coming punk acts in So Cal or anywhere.

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Review: BULBUL – “Hirn Fein Hacken”

Hirn Fein Hacken cover art

The phrase “hirn fein hacken” translates from German to “get your brain chopped into pieces”. When a band names an album something of that caliber, they have a lot to live up to. Thankfully, the Austrian racket-makers Bulbul do just that. In the six-year gap between their last album, the eccentric trio have crafted a collection of 10 multi-faceted jams that are bursting with creativity and mild-schizophrenia. Hirn Fein Hacken is a gleefully weird, colorful and erratic album that defies categorization and places Bulbul at the forefront of all things weird.

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