Photos by Ben McCanna
THE BODY (Oregon)
“There’s heaviness. There’s brutality. Then there’s The Body.” It has been said by more than a few intrepid listeners that The Body is the most brutal band on the planet. With ravishing grimness and impenetrable walls of noise, the duo of Chip King and Lee Buford create music that goes beyond what is normally considered harsh and violent, advocating a doctrine of misanthropy to those brave enough to take the plunge. Since their recording career began in earnest in 2004, The Body has expanded the definition of what it means to be a metal band, incorporating elements of noise, avant-garde composition, and experimental electronic music into their crushing doom and searing black metal foundation.
CLEAN (Rhode Island)
“Providence’s CLEAN submit their newest cassette, HELL SO STRONG. Clean continue to carve out their own sound; bottomed out, chiseling away slowly, revealing a twisted mix of primitive metal and noise under dense rock.” – Strange High House
Afraid are a trio from Portland, Maine that make paranoid, slowww pop, and though their debut long-player ‘Sinister Vibes’ is a distinctive album – it sounds unlike anything they or many others have made before. Building on a pair of distended slipstream r&b releases, these new tracks drift away from contemporary pop culture and back into the mid 70s and early 80s. Their more ‘refined’ acoustics invoke the end of a national cultural adolescence, half-hallucinations of murder and deprivation not unlike the actual, slow revelation mid-century that the American Dream had become grotesquely complicated. Afraid encase a collective vision of a dirtied golden age in amber, alongside all its echoes and acolytes, somberly scrutinizing each vein and whoever stumbles forward within.
“…Mugwort comes bursting from the gate with their debut release… the desolate soundscape is composed, not so much by the lack of complexity and movement, but more so with the dissonance of the chord structures and tonality… [The release] is an homage to the golden age of doom and black metal we all know and love, the days of Burzum, St. Vitus, and Sleep. It is a refreshing take on a genre that is now monopolized by bands that abandon structure and, in turn, replace it with experimental noodle-fests.” – Dylan Greene, The Portland Phoenix