kwaai muziek op een arige manier

The perks of being a weblog/zine is sometimes you get a press mail thingy. As some of you might know, I've done an internship at an indie record label last year so it's funny how I used to mail stuff out to media and press for 7 weeks, and now I'm on the other end of the line. I am the media. I am the press. A very indecent, careless and irregular medium, yes, but I am the media. I am the press.

In all seriousness, I got a mail 2 weeks ago which contained the Ed Wood/Monolithian split. I feel like I have heard both those names before, and that's absolutely possible, but I've never heard their music before. Ed Wood are around since 2010 and have apparently already toured Europe, so maybe I've seen them on a flyer. Or, because they're named after a bad director, maybe I revognise their name from that. Important facts: they'll be back in April, 2nd to 13th, and will pass Belgium/the Netherlands between the 5th and the 10th! Kortrijk, Roosendaal, Antwerp, Leuven, Amsterdam. I'll be able to go to the three middle shows, so I'm siked!
Monolithian seems like a familiar name as well, though I can't imagine even hearing them. They formed in 2011 so they're a recent band. New music for me to check out, I'm siked!

So, all sikedness aside, let's review this shit
Ed Wood/Monolitian - split 7" (Don’t Shoot the Messenger/Atomsmasher/Made In A Meth Lab/Maximise, 2013)

Ed Wood side:
1. Talking To The Void
2. When Good Times Go Bad
3. Disconnection Notice
4. Little Mirrors

Monolithian side:
1. Sea Of Trees

I've never actually reviewed a split 7" before, I think? Have I? I don't know. Anyway, this is a real interesting one. For one, I'm a punkrocker and I like simple, fun music. Neither band is simple, nor fun. Also, I've never heard either of these bands, which is always the most fun cause I get to check out new music and that's basically the reason I do this shit. Finally, although both bands have similarities, their styles are very different. You might have noticed how Ed Wood has 4 tracks and Monolithian has 1, but they're both occupying one side of a 7" record. In fact, Ed Wood's side is only 30 seconds longer than Monolithian's. Fascinating! (Not really.)

Let's get right into this. ONE TWO THREE FOUR. That's basically how all my favourite records start out, but this definitely ain't no pop punk. These numbers are screamed at a slow rate, anticipating what is probably the apocalypse. A slow guitar/bass riff starts and the vocals come in howling/coughing/barfing, rather as an extra layer of instrumentation than anything else. Then the vocalist starts talking, talking to the void I guess. The songs picks up drums and transform into this bulldozer of desperation, that crushes your bones, starting with your toes, going up to your thighs. Then suddenly there's this part where they play fast for like 1 second. And I'm like, what? What'd just happened? How did they do that? How do you even come up with that. And then it's a rollercoaster of slow/fast parts. You want to just go with the flow, but the flow is something you've never heard before. The flow is not of this world. But it's so fascinating, and musically enjoyable, how they put together one-measure double-tempo changes without messing up the song.
The next song, When Good Times Go Bad, is with it's 2 and a half minutes the longest song on this side. It's also super cool. Ultra-distorted guitar playing a fairly standard hardcore riff, then going into a thrashy mayhemic song, back. Tempo changes are definitely an Ed Wood thing to do. Can't blame 'em. Vocals and instruments go really well together in this. Especially the drums are really cool. There's another burst of filthy guitar, angry vocals, wacky drums and rusty bass and the last song is just feedback with vocals on it. Ed Wood is one of the most peculiar and most interesting bands I've listened to recently. I'm really looking forward to see them on tour.

Monolithian is notably slower and less equipped. With just a drum kit, a bass and vocals they manage to make 5-minute long songs with influences from the likes of Cursed, Cult Of Luna and Immortal. Heavy and slow-paced, yet it kicks you in the butt like... like something that kicks you in the butt really hard. If you didn't know they didn't have a guitar in there, you probably wouldn't realise. As a 2-piece, they really do sound like a full band. Sea Of Trees is pretty straight-forward headbanging material, it has a certain addicting quality. It takes cues from black and doom metal but to me it sounds more accesible than those genres normally sound (to me). Everything about this band is heavy though. It's heavy, it's low, it's piercing. The symbiosis of drums and bass is played out very considerately. The vocals are kinda necessary though, to make this band worthwhile. Deep, grunty vocals with occasional black metal-ish shrieks really complement the song.
This band is as easy to headbang to as to slow-mo mosh to, and undoubtely have a live performance that stands as a house (dutchism).

Also, seriously, look at that artwork. Fucking rad.

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