AMBIENT WITCHCRAFT: Minerals - Gloaming

It’s easy to wallow in darkness. If you’re aiming to lurch through abominable muck, there are droves of records to suit your needs. Gloaming however, is of a higher caliber. The seven compositions on Minerals’ debut are crafted with a medley of nontraditional instruments; conjuring a collection of atmospheric passages that haunt as well as inspire. Hope lingers at the edge of spectral melodies, just as the dawn can creep through somber woodland. When caught in a dismal fog, Gloaming is a suitable meditative companion.

NEW NOISE: Fake Tyrants - S/T

Fake Tyrants have plenty of room to unleash a sonic onslaught, but instead chose a more refined approach. There’s a definitive thunder in their music, but it serves to underscore their nervous swagger. The restraint used, when they could easily be annihilating their instruments, creates urgent, infectious punk-rock. The rumble on their debut album facilitates a vehicle for social commentary that’s easily danceable if you’re not too caught up clenching your fists.

Fake Tyrant's S/T album is out now on Social Cancer. Grab a copy here.

NEOTERIC AMBIENCE: Balcony View - Technological Eschatology

Balcony View has been a mainstay in Birmingham’s experimental scene for the last half decade. The sole mastermind behind the project, J. C. Bridges has brought a rich diversity to the local DIY community both by offering his expansive soundscapes to eclectic show-bills or curating events featuring traveling artists from around the country.

Bridges’ employs a variety of techniques and instrumentation to create his music. If almost by a stroke of magic he can manipulate a guitar with a bow or loop ambient chimes to create haunting drones. As he constantly toys with his approach, it’s hard to predict the means in which Bridges’ will craft his work. On Technological Eschatology, Balcony View’s music was conceptualized with “source sounds generated using analog and digital synthesizers, violin and magnetic tape manipulation”. It’s a fantastic album that will find you well during meditative evenings.

Balcony View begins tour today to in support of Technological Eschatology, out now on Step Pepper Records.

10/15 Macon, GA
10/17 Valdosta, GA
10/19 Atlanta, GA
10/21 Nashville, TN
10/22 Louisville, KY
10/23 Lexington, KY
10/24 Dayton, OH
10/25 Columbus, OH
10/26 Mansfield, OH
10/27 Detroit, MI
10/28 Toronto, ON
10/30 Brooklyn, NY
10/31 Brooklyn, NY
11/1 Philadelphia, PA
11/2 Baltimore, MD
11/3 Richmond, VA
11/4 Charlotte, NC
11/5 Chattanooga, TN

STARK DEFIANCE: Laughing Sword - Demo

Laughing Sword's demo paints a bleak picture. Upon its beginning, the music’s tone is immediately stark. There’s a certain rattling quality that while being caustic, is also very catchy. The offering here is one of frustration –the compositions are classic punk that have been smeared with a dreadful muck. If you need a soundtrack for stomping around on a bad day, this demo is a fitting choice. Take solace in the fact that there are other freaks out there and they’re being dealt a shit-hand, just like you.

anti-matter / nothing matter / nauseation / fumigation

Jon and Corey of Laughing Sword performing with a previous effort, Deism.

Jon and Corey of Laughing Sword performing with a previous effort, Deism.

RAW BANGER: Heavy User - Demo

This past winter I was lucky enough to catch Heavy User's first show. As the initial notes of their set rang out, a basement packed with degenerates* went wild. While some bands may fumble their inaugural performance, Heavy User commanded the room with ease. One young punk in attendance worked themselves up into such a frenzy they over-exerted themselves into a regurgitative spell.

Heavy User's demo is out now! It's a pummeling deceleration about being fed-up. Equal parts retaliative and antagonistic, this demo is the perfect soundtrack for putting jocks and creeps in their place. Driving d-beat rhythms lay the foundation for pissed guitar riffs and searing vocals. Grab a copy while you can.

*We here at DIY Birmingham self-identify as degenerates. We use the word in a loving tone.

NEW RAGER: Fad - Demo 2016

Just in time for their Summer tour (dates are listed below), Fad has dropped a 2016 demo. It's been two years since their last recorded offering so we're quite happy to have something to listen at home after countless killer shows in Birmingham over the past few seasons. Their most recent demo finds Fad delving further into angsty punk-rock that's snotty and unapologetic. Moody keyboards weigh-out alongside ripping guitar riffs and a furious rhythm section. Get with it.

THICK LP: Null - Sleep Walking Days

Null’s latest offering is their most honed effort to date. The six compositions on Sleepwalking Days exude a nuanced maturity that drones on themes of disdain, doubt, and awakening. Null’s most recent foray aims to blow out your stereo speakers.

Sleepwalking Days is available on cassette via Social Cancer, on vinyl via IFB and can be streamed on Spotify.

NEW MUSIC From The Dearly Departed

Part of my pride as a Birmingham native stems from the lush output of fantastic locally based music. Friends and I have often joked that if Birmingham had a better geographic location so many of the bands here would blow up. That quip may hit closer to home than I’d like; but the truth is I see too many acts that don’t make it out of the deep-south before they dissolve.

Holiness Church of The Valley

Holiness Church of The Valley

Grandaddy Ghostlegs and Holiness Church of The Valley are two groups I would have loved to seen more out of. Despite both having logged some time on the road out of state neither got the recognition they deserved.

Interestingly, both bands released posthumous material this past week. Both offerings are fantastic, which makes it all the more somber that the music in focus is from defunct groups.

Holiness Church of The Valley’s Joy Relents, Reality Demands is a total ripper. These songs are stark and uncompromising. If dirges had blast beats, this is what it would sound like. Plastering vocals linger over dark melodies reminding you that pain is real and unavoidable.

On the flipside GGEP from Grandaddy Ghostlegs bring less bleak compositions to the table. While there are some bits of melancholy woven through Ghostlegs’ repertoire it almost seems playful at times. The music is dense, catchy and undeniable.  Thick-ass riffs give way to scorcher licks backed up by a water tight rhythm section. Listen to this shit and raise hell.

As much as we want to though, we can’t linger in the past. We must look to the future. Members of Holiness Church of The Valley and Grandaddy Ghostlegs are currently playing in Bulging, nnAnn, and Null. I wait eagerly to see what they ante up.

Grandaddy Ghostlegs

Grandaddy Ghostlegs