Each month offers up a number of month-end lists that highlight some of the best full-length releases. These lists are seen on a number of sites across the internet. However, what often gets lost in the commotion of creating these lists are smaller, independent releases that come in the form of 7-inch plays and split albums. These releases could feature songs from emerging talent looking to leave their mark in music or from prominent artists working with friends and other acts to create unique offerings for fans. We at Bearded Gentlemen Music thrive on digging through smaller releases, demos, and other releases that underground music has to offer. Therefore, each month we look to shed some light on a number of diverse releases you may have missed. Everything from garage rock to black metal to post-punk, and in between, could make an appearance. Take some time to sift through our selection and find something you might like from the month of June.
American Goon – Blood Eagle 7”
Fat Elvis Records
American Goon is the side project from The Blackfoot Gypsies drummer, Zack Murphy, but it is basically an outlet to plug in a guitar and rock out, just like the good Lord intended. Combining the unrelenting garage prowess of The MC5 and the sleazy blues rock of early-70s Rolling Stones, Blood Eagle consists of two songs that can be used as the soundtrack to an underground fight club or even a do-it-yourself monster truck rally. “Blood Eagle” kicks things into drive with distorted vocals and a guitar riff Jack White wishes he came up with. The B-side “Roundablackout” slows things down a little, channeling a late 60s Leslie West in a blues number under the influence of a homemade controlled substance. If Murphy follows this 7” with anything just half as fun as Blood Eagle, it is obvious he will have a promising career with American Goon ahead. – Aaron Cooper
Auroch / Mitochondrion – In Cronian Hour
Dark Descent Records
Two of Vancouver’s finest Death Metal bands share a lot more in common than just their home city. The two groups share members in Sebastian Montesi (bass) and Shawn Hache (vocals/guitar) and they also share a similar penchant for crafting unnerving extreme metal that has been lauded by fans and critics alike. This split has been a long time coming and it has certainly been worth the wait as both each track from the bands is some of the best material either have released. Auroch‘s “Leaden Words Sown” and Mitochondrion‘s “Gilded Words Reaped” come from the same lyrics sheet, but both songs are executed in very different fashions. It is the most intriguing notion about In Cronian Hour. I own a physical copy of this release. I advise you do the same. – Cody Davis
Goya – The Sun 7”
Being only a casual listener of Doom Metal, I was a bit apprehensive to fully listen to the Phoenix AZ band, Goya. I didn’t even know where to start! Thankfully the indie label Grimtale recently put out The Sun, a vinyl-only 7” featuring two of the best songs from the band’s Obelisk record. Not only does it act as sort of a sampler from the album, but as well as the best description of what the band is about. The title track is a furious wall of over-distorted guitars, wah effects and aggressive vocals that remind of a combination of Sleep and Black Sabbath. The most interesting aspect of the release is the versatility in just two songs. “The Sun” kicks down the door with a punk intensity I wasn’t expecting from a Doom Metal band, while the B-side “Obelisk” is more of a traditional prog instrumental dirge, complete with an ominous bass groove and sinister vibe. If you’ve never checked this band out, this is the perfect place to start! – Aaron Cooper
Hissing – Hissing 7”
Southern Lord Recordings
The deadly, Seattle-based trio of Hissing released a two-song 7” in the early days of June. The group combines many elements of Death Metal and Sludge into a murky mixture of dissonant music that made a sensational debut with Southern Lord Recordings. The first side contains the track. “Cairn”, while the second side has the song, “Husk”. Together, these two total roughly 11 minutes of vicious and visceral rage. Zach Wise, Joe O’ Malley (brother of Sunn’s Stephen O’Malley), and Sam Pickel are building something ominous, this self-titled offering makes that very clear. Consider my interest piqued for what is to come. – Cody Davis
Power-Take-Off /Multicult Split 7”
Learning Curve Records
In 2014 North Carolina’s Power-Take-Off released This Is Late. It is a sonically crushing piece of music riddled with pissed off lyrics. An album oozing with so much emotion I wondered if the band would have anything left in them to go on. Thankfully they did. They treat us to another wallop on the head with their musical hammer by way of a 4:23 track titled “Broken/Nick’s Revenge/So, This is What it is Like at The End?”.
“NOT HUMAN, I’M A HUMANOID, I AM A DROID, FEEL NOTHING, THINK NOTHING, I AM JUST A BOY. NO EMOTION, NO PAIN. NOTHING TO LOSE AND NOTHING TO GAIN!”
Yes! I love the way they drive a story right to your core. After two minutes of accelerated, pounding noise rock to the dome, the song flips you upside down with a spaced out mini-interlude. A moment to rest before the drums kick back in and round two begins. This is the home stretch. The song’s hero reflecting on his physical, spiritual and material life.
“THERE IS ONE THING THAT CAN NEVER BE FOUND WHEN IT’S GONE AND THAT’S YOUR LIFE.”
Multicult round out this 7” cathedral of noise with “Repeating Decimal Point Of Trauma”. I am a newcomer when it comes to Multicult and boy do I feel foolish. With previous releases on Sleeping Giant Glossolalia and Reptilian Records, I am shocked it has taken this long for me to get my first taste. The 5:10 song had me regretting all the lost time I could have spent smashing beer cans over my head while blasting this Baltimore band’s grinding style of noise rock. It makes complete sense they would put something out on Learning Curve Records since LCR specializes in badass. – Matt Jamison
Knows he doesn’t look like he listens to metal, but trust him. He does. He spends an overwhelming majority of his day listening to it. When he isn’t busy becoming a physical therapist at Duke University, he splits his time as a writer for not only Bearded Gentlemen Music but at Metal Injection, Noisey, and Treble as well. Cody can be found on Twitter or Instagram and if you ever see him in person, please buy him a cup of coffee.