Friday, May 29, 2009

Boys Life

Boys Life Live

When someone starts talking to you about "old school emo bands", there are a handful of bands that usually come to mind. Sunny Day Real Estate, Rites of Spring, Mineral, Embrace are just a few bands that might come up if they don't start babbling about the first Taking Back Sunday record. In a more perfect world, Boys Life would be mentioned too.

Forming in 1993 in Kansas City, Missouri, Boys Life basically helped invent a quiet/loud dynamic that would be emulated by bands throughout the decade, and well into the new millennium, but seem to have become largely forgotten. After putting out 5 7" releases on labels like Synergy and Secular Theme, the band hit the studio and recorded a full length for Crank! records, a legendary label that put out the first Cursive record, as well as material by Mineral, The Gloria Record, Bright Eyes/Neva Dinova, and Boys Life split-mates Virteous Humor, among others. The record is a promising one, and mostly lays the groundwork for the sound that would be explored on the Christie Front Drive split and the final LP.

By far, "Departures and Landfalls" is Boys Life greatest achievement. "Fire Engine Red" is not only one of the best opening tracks to any album I've ever heard, it's one of the best emo/post-hardcore songs I've heard anywhere, period. It flows into "All The Negatives" perfectly, before the album floats into a beautiful lull with spastic bursts of melody, finally erupting with two pop-length songs ("Calendar Year" and "Friends For That"), before finally melting away with "Painted Smiles".

Brandon Butler moved to D.C. shortly after the band broke up and released records with Canyon, a slowcore band akin to Red House Painters or Codeine (material from this band would be appreciated!). Members also played in the short lived The Farewell Bend, as well as the indie folk band Lullaby for the Working Class, which featured members of Bright Eyes, Mayday, and Cursive. Brandon Butler (lead vocals/guitar) has also released music under his own name; his website is located here.

Below I've compiled everything I have/could find by these guys. Feel free to add if you can.

Unofficial myspace here.

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Giant's Chair Split (1993)

Boys Life/Vitreous Humor Split

Vitreous Humor Split (1994)


Boys Life (1995)


Christie Front Drive Split (1996)


Depatures and Landfalls (1996)

(Don't) Forget To Breathe

"Don't Forget To Breathe" Compilation (Crank!( featuring "Sight Unseen Live at KXLU" (1997)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Storm the Bastille

Storm the Bastille

This is the first time I've personally updated the blog for maybe a month or two. I would apologize, but I was spending all that time having fun and making money, so I'll just say that I'll try to be better about updating, I've got a few posts in the works. This is one I've been promising to do for a loooong time, so here it is.

Storm The Bastille features members of Street Smart Cyclist, Boy Problems, Moister, and Harrison Bergeron, and started around the time that Harrison Bergeron was about to break up and Street Smart Cyclist was about to explode onto the scene.

EDIT: John Galm sez:

johngalm: pretty sure bastille and bergeron were happening way before SSC. sayin'.

The first few releases are semi-solid attempts at creating a mid-90's screamo sound. There are hits and there are misses. By the time the Turner Street Conspiracy split was released, STB had found some solid ground to stand on, and produced a record with a more accessibly lo-fi recording quality.

In 2006 Bastille recorded material intended for a 10" release, but never saw the light of day until a 2008 cassette release by Paul of Logs' Sleep Decay Tapes. These 5 songs are my personal favorite; chaotic, heavy, and blistering screamo with frantic drumming that sound like they were made to blow your tape deck up. The record has since seen a release on 10" by Ape Must Not Kill Ape.

The In First Person split is STB as their most evolved and experimental; "Found Comfort In This Fiction" broods and seethes as an acoustic guitar rides the momentum straight into "Suck It Up. Spit It Up.", which sounds like its just destroying your speakers.

These guys went on a short tour with Cassilis not too long ago, released a tape for the tour, and have been playing shows occasionally.

I've had the opportunity to watch them at Barclay House in Baltimore last summer when about 30 people were there, and I caught them at the Model Home in Philly when Suis La Lune rolled through the U.S. They do not disappoint, definitely check out a show. Nice dudes.


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Demo 2005

...And Let the Future Be Told (2005)

Demo 2005 STB

Storm the Bastille 7" (2005)


Storm The Bastille/Turner Street Conspiracy Split (2006)



Dismantled (recorded 2006, released 2008)


Storm The Bastille/In First Person Split (2008)


Cassilis/Storm The Bastille Tour Cassette (2009)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Neil On Impression

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Neil On Impression is a instrumental band from Italy. They share members with screamo giants
Raein, and were going to do a split with Kidcrash, but apparently that is no longer happening. I first heard them lurking Raein's shit, and then I found all their music on the blog Good Noisy Core. If you've never been to that blog, you should check it out, real good shit. Anywho, the band uses guitars, drums, bass, strings and other percussions, keys, and horns. Their sound is kinda epic, with all the build ups and heavy quasi-breakdowns along with really nice melodies, driving rhythms, slow pretty parts, and spacy shit. The horn reminds me of the horns on the American Football records. Theres some electric shit thrown in sometimes, but trust me, it sounds really nice. They have three albums out, one of which, L'oceano Delle Onde Che Restano Onde Per Sempre, just recently was released. I think they are signed to Denovali. I recommend that you should check these guys out if you are into Explosions In The Sky, K. C. Milian, Caspian, and/or 65daysofstatic. Below is a live video from a show they did in Italy. Sound quality rules. I also all three of their albums down there. On a side note, I saw Cursive recently at The Black Cat and it fucking ruled. I have no idea if they are still on their tour, but if they are I suggest you go see them, its fucking incredible.

Neil On Impression live in Arezzo

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For A New Grammar Of Feelings

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The Perfect Tango

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L'oceano Delle Onde Che Restano Onde Per Sempre

Sunday, May 3, 2009



If it seems like I've been posting almost exclusively 90's midwest emo bands and their scattered disciples and side projects, it's because that's pretty much all I've been listening to. There's something to be said for a scene that has produced so many amazing artists and spread it's influence across the entire country, if not by now (with the help of the wonderful internetz) the whole world.

Many would argue that the Kinsella clan stand at the center of this world; the OG's, the musicians that continue to push everyone else ever forward...or whatever. But there are other, although maybe more obscure, equally important players. Perhaps the one most shrouded in mystery is Victor Villareal, guitar wizard (seriously, this guy is one of the best guitar players I've ever heard, anywhere) and songwriter for legends like Cap'n Jazz, Owls, and Ghosts and Vodka. Amid a flurry of guitar riffs and sudden rumors of serious drug addiction, he seemed to fall off the face of the planet.

The world after Villareal must have seemed bizarre to those who had cut their teeth on Cap'n Jazz records: Braid was playing reunion shows, The Promise Ring released Wood/Water (much to many people's dismay), and MTV began playing Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday videos in between the new Jessica Simpson and the latest Nelly joint.

Sometime before the world went to shit, Villareal entered the studio, recorded a short, four song EP with the aid of Ryan Rapsys, (sonic guru responsible for Euphone), and released it under the Noyes moniker.

Noyes is like a more spacy Ghosts And Vodka, with compositions featuring jazzy elements, guitar riffs that are as spastic as they are pretty and subtle, and racuous drumming. The record plays through like a lost Pele EP, kicking in with a snappy drumbeat, and ending out with a punctuated picking pattern that repeats, and then fades into silence.

Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately, depening on your stance on the recent youtube videos displaying his solo acoustic material) for us, Villareal has recently re-emerged for a possible Ghosts and Vodka reunion (as previously discussed in the Ghosts and Vodka post on this blog).

It seems we have not seen the last of Victor Villareal.

View the myspace.

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Noyes EP (2003)