BATEMAN - SMUT
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Bateman are a 5 piece hardcore band that dish out a simple and noisy hardcore drenched in sarcasm and misanthropy. Smut is their debut album, marking their first real foray in to the ever growing and ever evolving Australian hardcore scene. The album is chocked full of slammin' riffs and catchy songs, but doesn't really come out above the many other noisy hardcore and grindcore bands coming out from down under.
Their weakest link in my eyes is their vocalist who can belt out some great growls and some really wicked, gargling highs, but decides to sound like an angry pirate through 75% of the album. I thought it would be something I'd get used to after multiple repeat listens but even now, a month after first hearing it, it's as jarring as I originally found it. Smut is worth a listen to for fans of the Australian hardcore scene, but unless Bateman step their game up for their next release, I doubt I'd keep up to date with their goings-on. Visit them on Facebook and Bandcamp. Overall Score: 2.5/5
WINGS DENIED - MIRRORS FOR A PRINCENovember of last year. I grew out of prog metal a couple years ago and have kept a fair distance away from most progressive metal bands (save for Meshuggah) that think the rhythmic chugging of the lowest string of their guitars makes music. Wings Denied's debut comes in as a cross between the djenty Periphery and the grandiose Protest the Hero. Contrary to Bateman's Smut, Mirrors for a Prince benefits from a pretty solid vocalist. I find his growling and screaming a bit lacking, but his clean singing is top-notch.
The instrumentation on this album is nothing to scoff at, but really doesn't grab me or prove to me that I should be listening to Mirrors for a Prince instead of Volition or Traced in Air. That being said, overall I enjoyed this album, and I'm interested to see where they'll take their sound. I see Wings Denied on the cusp of becoming a band I could seriously care about, but I'm going to need some convincing. Check 'em on Facebook and Bandcamp. Overall Score: 3/5
BOTFLY - PARASITIC OSCILLATION
Another band in a big hardcore scene, but this time we've got a familiar name. Keegan Goodspeed of bluebird and The Wides has been keeping himself busy with another hardcore band, this time taking a heavier and more aggressive route with his project Botfly. Parasitic Oscillation is the band's debut release (after a single song release in 2013), and comes across as dark, frustrated, and melancholic. There's an almost psychedelic vibe to the tunes as different riffs slither their ways around, going from droning crunchy guitars to full blown high gain riffage. The last song on the album "days late" is one hell of a closer, without a distorted guitar in sight, but Goodspeed screaming bloody murder overtop. It's something that seems odd written out, but it grabs your attention right away and makes sure you're paying attention as the last chords fade out on the album.
Keegan takes up the mic here as wall as guitar duties, and dishes out some '80s style hardcore vocals that border on crust punk sounding. I'd be willing to bet Botfly was inspired by bands like Amebix, Discharge, and Nausea as well as some darker indie rock bands. I'm really digging on Parasitic Oscillation, and I really want to hear Botfly with some better production. The rawness and grittiness of this album definitely adds character, but when there are big crescendos and dynamics in the songs, I think some thicker, clearer, and heavier production will do them wonders. As far as I know, Botfly do not have a Facebook page, but you can check out Parasitic Oscillation and any of their other releases on their Bandcamp page. Overall Score: 3.5/5
That's all for now, folks!