Tag Archive: “Glory Kid Ltd.”

Loss, anxiety and change are inevitable parts of the human experience. Some react with flexibility, but for most, these are a source of chaos, despair, and eventually growth and understanding. When Pennsylvania quartet Reservoir began writing Mirage Sower, their forthcoming LP for Glory Kid Ltd. the band was putting this experience on record. The result is a relentless combination of churning rhythms and bob and weave melodies that harken Slint and Sunny Day Real Estate that is especially poignant given its thematic context.

Rejecting the premise of their homestead, York, PA, which is a town 100 miles southwest of Philadelphia whose main export is business major undergrads, Reservoir have been churning and building for nearly a decade. Starting out as a more-conventionally leaning emo quartet, for the development of the unit’s output today, weight has begun to displace volume, twinkling plucks have driven out by a menacing drone, contorted forms sprawl and contract on their way out of the speakers.

Following a number of U.S. east coast tours in support of 2013’s I Heard You As I Walked Away, and a New England tour with Seattle, Washington’s Where My Bones Rest Easy, the band signed to Glory Kid Ltd., and released their debut EP, the haunted emocore masterwork Cicurina Vol 1 in early 2015.

The 2016 west coast leg of the band’s touring schedule unveiled a number of new cuts, equal parts menace and anxiety, and the band enlisted J Robbins to capture them at his Magpie Cage Studios in Silver Springs, Maryland over the course of a week in the spring of 2016.

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Josh Allamon (bass/vocals) and Justin Lutz (guitar/vocals) to discuss Mirage Sower, which hits the streets in mid-March, working with Robbins, and writing from experience.

What are the primary lessons you’ve learned as a result of being in a band for several years?

Josh Allamon: We started this band in 2011, so it’s been a little less than a decade but still a long time. I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to enjoy the struggle of it all. When you start a band, the sky is the limit. It’s easy to get flustered when things don’t come together the way you think they will or when a tour falls through or any of the countless things that can happen. You have to learn to cherish every show that you play and see every practice as your outlet after a tough week.

Justin Lutz: In a lot of ways I’ve learned that longevity is its own reward. Countless friends have started bands, toured a ton, and fizzled out. We do things at a pace that works for all the members, and it has allowed us to stay active in one way or another for a long while.

Did you begin writing Mirage Sower after your mid-2016 tour? What catalysts were inspiring this writing?

JL: Honestly it’s kind of hard to pinpoint exactly when we began writing the songs that eventually became Mirage Sower. We kick riffs around practice for months and sometimes they still never get used. We get to practice and jam out an idea that one of us has while recording it on Andy’s phone, and then that idea morphs and stretches and sometimes changes altogether.

A lot of what was going into Mirage Sower for me was a sense of loss and change. During the course of writing the record I lost both my grandmothers and a longtime pet, as well as changed jobs and living situations. The overall anxiety of all of those events drove a lot of my lyrical content and helped shape the tone of my guitar playing.

This record was tracked by J Robbins.  I imagine this was a highlight of your time as a band. What did J contribute to the process?

JA: This was definitely a highlight. There are a lot of moving parts in these songs and the dynamic changes quite a bit, we wanted the sound to accent those changes but we also wanted to maintain the energy we have when we run through these songs at our practice space. We feel like J nailed that aesthetic. Personally, tracking vocals with J was one of my favorite parts of the process. He focused on every detail and threw around ideas for different parts. J had a lot of layers of vocals to work with and we couldn’t be happier with how the mix turned out.

So many bands that I know seek out J because of what he does with the drum sound. What was your drummer able to learn by working the J?

JL: That’s hard to say without Steven’s opinion, but I know he liked being able to play the different kits J had and just experiment with the sounds and textures we could get by layering different elements of percussion.

What message were you hoping to impart with Mirage Sower?

JL: I’m not sure that we were trying to impart a particular message, we just wanted to write from an honest place lyrically, and musically create something that was engaging to play and record and hopefully listen to. We always just want to write from honest personal experience, and if someone is able to connect with that it’s a bonus.

What are your proudest moments on the record?

JA: There are a lot of layers on this record. I’m really happy with how they come through but remain subtle throughout the album. There’s not much that clashes, there’s more open space than we’ve ever had in our songs and I’m just really happy with taking that approach and how the production reflected that. JL: Vocally this is the proudest I’ve ever been of a recording. I tried some approaches that I was nervous about, and J helped us develop them in a way that seemed natural.

What has GKL done to nurture your band and your ability to make art on your own terms?

JA: Andrew’s band Slumberbox (formerly Where My Bones Rest Easy) toured the East Coast with us a couple years back and we helped with getting that together, then he returned the favor this past summer when we went out west. It’s cool to make connections like that through music and be able to put out music with someone who is also in a band and knows what it’s about.

What is it about York, PA, that has inspired your input?  Why not relocate to a larger city?

JA: York is where Andy and Steven grew up. We had a garage to use as a practice space, so it made sense to begin to practice and write there. The Skid Row Garage where we practice has shows all the time. Our first show was there, we’ve seen so many of our favorite bands there, even parts of a music video we just shot were done there. It’s truly ‘home’ for Reservoir. Everything we’ve written, for better or worse, came from the four of us in that tiny garage.

The small community that exists in York has allowed us to enjoy some cool opportunities and bands to play with. Central and South Central PA is in the middle of so many big cities, so you get a lot of touring bands that come through if they’re going from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, New York to Baltimore, etc. There was never really a reason to move.

This effort also reminds me a lot of another PA band, Ethel Meserve. Is anyone in the band fans of them?  How about Balance and Composure?

JA: Ethel Meserve I haven’t listened to, I’ll need to check that out. Balance and Composure is great, I still put on Separation regularly. It’s crazy to think that when we were all starting bands, there wasn’t a whole lot coming out of PA. Now there are so many amazing bands from this state.  JL: Steve Roche introduced me to Ethel Meserve when we recorded with him a few years ago, and I appreciate the connection.

Is there still a place for big, darkened emo records in the current indie climate?

JL: That’s kind of a tricky question for me, because I’m not the most plugged in, but I would really like to think so. Smaller trends in music ebb and flow so there’s never any telling what will be in favor at any particular time, but I think that people are always open to thoughtful honest records, and that’s what we were trying to do when we made Mirage Sower. Rather than making it to be any particular thing, we were just trying to make a record that sounded like something we’d want to listen to. The four of us have pretty different influences and tastes, and I think they all swirled together in a pretty interesting way.

(Preorder Mirage Sower here:

 http://www.glorykid.com/categories/reservoir

Visit Reservoir here:

http://reservoirpa.bandcamp.com

http://facebook.com/reservoirpa

http://instagram.com/reservoirpa)

Glory Kid Ltd. is proud to present the debut offering from Seattle Washington’s Slow Code for release on cassette and digital formats on December 18. Influenced by the pioneering sounds of ’90s post-hardcore, the Marketable Skills EP presents a direct approach to songwriting as the band makes their way through their debut offering. The five songs balance dissonance and accessibility not unlike their predecessors in Self Defense Family, Lungfish, Fugazi, and Unwound. They could easily be placed on a mixtape alongside any of those artists.

Marketable Skills was engineered, mixed and mastered by Nich Wilbur at The Unknown in Anacortes, WA. A studio renovated out of an early 20th century church. This record was tracked on 2-inch tape.

To celebrate the release Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of sharing “We Obey The Laws Of Thermodynamics, which you can enjoy below:

(Preorder the EP here: http://glorykid.com/shop/gkr036.)

Glory Kid Ltd. presents the debut offering from Seattle, Washington’s Slow Code for release on cassette and digital formats. Influenced by the pioneering sounds of ’90s post-hardcore, the Marketable Skills EP presents a direct approach to songwriting as the band makes their way through their debut offering.

The five songs balance dissonance and accessibility not unlike their predecessors in Self Defense Family, Lungfish, Fugazi, and Unwound. They could easily be placed on a mixtape alongside any of those artists. Marketable Skills is due December 18.

Marketable Skills was engineered, mixed and mastered by Nich Wilbur at The Unknown in Anacortes, WA. A studio renovated out of an early 20th century church. This record was tracked on 2-inch tape. This first press will be on 100 limited, “Goldenrod” colored cassettes. Comes with a download card, full color 3 panel J-cards. Preorders also comes with a 12-inch x 12-inch silkscreen print of the cover art. Which will be stamped and numbered.

Catch them live:

11/13 Seattle, WA @Victory Lounge w/ Ex Breathers, Gnarwhal, Chrome Lakes

11/20 Seattle, WA @Rendezvous w/ Merso, Spirit Award

11/23 Seattle, WA @The Funhouse w/ Xurs, Vacant Seas

 

Mercy Ties
Mercy Ties

Described as “a volatile, controlled explosion,” Mercy Ties deliver punk and hardcore that is derived from the heavy influences of Seattle’s chaotic mainstays such as Botch, Blood Brothers and Harkonen, Also from Seattle, Mercy Ties have taken what was already considered “complex structure” or “mathy” and have shot it into new altitudes and added elements of math rock and grind to create something unsettling, unpredictable and distinctive. Simply, they are redefining what could be done when heavy, aggressive music.

The debut LP, and second release for Glory Kid Ltd., was recorded in Oakland, California by Scott Evans (Kowloon Walled City) at Sharkbite Studios and mastered by Brad Boatright (Modern Life Is War, Nails) at Audiosiege. The album, Proper Corruption, will drop this winter.

Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of debuting the official video for “You Have The Right To Remain Violent,” which the band said will “satiate your patriotism and celebrate America’s birthday.” The video was directed by JP Schmidt and Andre Sanabria. Enjoy:

(Visit the band here: http://glorykid.com/artists/Mercy-Ties/.)

If there were one adjective that could be used to describe The Helm most accurately it would be enduring.  Through numerous lineup changes, destruction of body parts, adult failures, dwindling physical and mental health, and unmatched stubbornness to simply turn their amps down, The Helm have managed to keep their friendship intact, and stay on the road in the process.

Formed more than a decade ago, The Helm have been pummeling listeners with their dissonant and chaotic blend of hardcore, drawing influence from the brightest luminaries of the 1990s: His Hero is Gone, Bloodlet, Neurosis.  They’ve showcased this intense aggression on a string of consistent releases: The Helm 7-inch (Hex Records) in 2005, Grim Harvest LP (Indecision Records) in 2006, and Home LP (Hex Records) in 2009.

With Symptoms Come to Light, The Helm nourishes the crusty hardcore sound of their previous releases with an influx of Hydra Head-inspired drone. Working with Tad Doyle at Witch Ape Studio (YOB, Heiress, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth), the three-piece have honed their craft, sounding more intense than ever, but infusing a sense of melody into their songwriting.  Then end result is a five-song, nineteen-minute affair that balances the intense hardcore and trudging drone seamlessly.

This is released under the band’s own label Bronze Dogs Recordings, an imprint of Glory Kid, Ltd.

Music video for the track “Daymares (Symptoms Come To Light)”:

Preorder link:http:glorykid.com/shop/bdr001

Mossbreaker
Mossbreaker

Mossbreaker, a group of four charming young boys from Los Angeles who churn out fuzz-heavy post-hardcore/space rock in the vein of Hum, late Jawbox and Failure, recently signed to Glory Kid Ltd.

What Mossbreaker does is take a genre that lightly scratched the surface of radio waves in the mid-’90s and puts a youthful, modern punk spin on it. They crank out driving, bass-heavy songs with guitar tone that feels like it’s about to peel apart at any minute into a wall of noise, a constant drumming that’s so infectious you just have to move your head, and vocals that range from a soft coo to a sharp bite of angst with a mellow sing-song you would expect from a ’90s-influenced band. The lyrics make me want to know who hurt this guy. I wanna hold him…

Transmission EP is the band’s follow up effort to their debut 7″ single, “Separation Anxiety b/w Two Way Mirror”, that was released in 2013. This release delivers five tracks of well executed, pop-driven post-hardcore. Taking heavy influence from their mentors, Mossbreaker translates the very spirit of that sound for the modern age. Bringing the space rock phenomena that occurred in the ’90s back to the forefront of our consciousness, the effort is completely consuming and nostalgic. Mossbreaker resuscitates the feeling of a time where pop music and rock were in perfect harmonyt, and together the troupe is taking risks like none other before.

Originally this EP was self released digitally by the band. Now Glory Kid is proud to bring it to a proper physical release. Pressed on 100 colored cassettes, it comes with a full color j-card layout and a digital download card of the EP.

Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of streaming the EP today.  Listen to it below.

Buy Mossbreaker’s Transmission EP: http://glorykid.com/shop/GKR034

Catch them live here:
5/22/15 Riverside, CA @ Bloodorange Infoshop w/New Ruin, Sophie, Vril
5/30/15 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo w/Superheaven, Diamond Youth, Rozwell Kid

Visit them here:
Mossbreaker on Facebook
Mossbreaker on Twitter
Mossbreaker on Bandcamp

Where My Bones Rest Easy
Where My Bones Rest Easy

Floating in the murky air between tragic and transcendent, Seattle, Washington’s Where My Bones Rest Easy move along hallowed ground, paths worn into dirt by the emotive sojourns of bands like Thursday and The Smashing Pumpkins, all while crafting modern day love letters to shoegaze heroes of the past.

Held within melodically abrasive confines, Exercises In Futility matches sadness with buzzing guitars, quiet introspection with bombastic ecstasy. Starting quietly, the plaintive, amelodic opening of footsteps and tuning gives way to five tracks of chilling, emotional, and compelling indie rock that touches on shoegaze and post-hardcore, as much Pity Sex as Bright Eyes. Dual, not dueling, male/female vocals weave through each track, tying them together, even as massive, fuzzy guitars threaten to drown them out.

Taking what could all too easily end up a paint-by-numbers approach to an increasingly in vogue sound and finding new places to explore, Where My Bones Rest Easy find themselves under brightening spotlights. Having shared the stage with Self Defense Family, Single Mothers, and Lee Corey Oswald, all eyes are turning toward the trio of friends “playing really sad music.”

It was recorded, engineered and mixed by Jackson Long (Death Cab For Cutie, Shook Ones) at Soundhouse Studio, Seattle, Washington and mastered by Dave Eck. It sees the light of day via Glory Kid Ltd on June 23.

Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering the video for “Stutterstep” today. Enjoy it below:

(Visit the band here: https://www.facebook.com/wheremybonesresteasy.

Here’s the store link for the preorder: http://glorykid.com/shop/gkr032.)

New York’s own Divider has release a music video for the title track of their recently released Album All Barren. The band has just come back from a east coast tour with Hollow Earth. Divider – All Barren Music Video http://youtu.be/_hhxW9lmniM

The video was directed by Tyler Peck.

All Barren was produced by Will Yip (Circa Survive, Blacklisted) and Vince Ratti (August Burns Red, Balance and Composure) and mastered by Bill Henderson (Enabler, Most Precious Blood).

Link to release:http://glorykid.com/shop/gkr031

Divider on FB: https://www.facebook.com/dividerandconquer

New York’s Divider will be hitting the road this February with Hollow Earth. This comes after their recently released debut album entitled All Barren on Glory Kid, Ltd.

2/21/15 New York, NY @ ABC No Rio

2/22/15 Albany, NY  @ Fusebox

2/23/15 Allentown, PA @ Dusk

2/24/15 Allston, MA @ O’Brien’s Pub

2/25/15 Worcester, MA  @ Ralph’s Diner

2/26/15 Syracuse, NY  @ Gorham Brother Music

2/27/15 Binghampton, NY @ Fitzie’s Irish Pub

2/28/15 Clifton, NJ @ Clash Bar

3/01/15 Sayville, NY @ Soul Sounds

Stream Divider’s All Barren via Bandcamp.

Divider
Divider

Nearly a decade after its formation, Divider delivers its first full-length album: All Barren. Glory Kid Ltd. will release All Barren on September 23 as a vinyl LP and digital download. 

All Barren is Divider’s debut full-length yet the Long Island, New York band has been making records since 2006 – a Kurt Ballou-recorded debut EP and a split with Bone Dance, among others. Through many changes in personnel, the band has persisted almost ten years, touring the nation alongside other standouts of the DIY circuit like Capsule and Khann.

All Barren is the sound of a band plowing forward after years of internal and external turmoil: lineup changes, lawsuits, and, most recently, the complete destruction of frontman Chris Tzompanakis’ home in Hurricane Sandy. Not unlike the relentless advance of that hurricane, All Barren is a campaign of mid-paced devastation that blankets the senses and dwarfs the will. From opener “Crow Eater” onward, this is music that barrels forth unstoppably with a life of its own, radiating power. All Barren was produced by Will Yip (Circa Survive, Blacklisted) and Vince Ratti (August Burns Red, Balance and Composure), and mastered by Bill Henderson (Enabler, Most Precious Blood).

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Divider guitarist Anthony Fusco to discuss the record. This is what he told us about it.

When did you begin writing the material for the forthcoming album?

We started writing about two years ago. When we came home from Europe, we really focused on the material. We ended up with 11 songs for this LP, but we tossed about 15 songs after everything was said and done. We spent quite a while putting ideas together. However, as far as I am concerned, some of the best material on this record was written a week or so before we left to go record. The song “All Barren” was written the night before we left.

What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writingstage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?

There is a song called “Ruin” on this LP that doesn’t really let up. From beginning to end, it is fairly intense. For some reason, we thought it would be a good idea to track this towards the end of one of the days designated for drums. We must have played it at least 30 times. After a few meltdowns and psychedelic freakouts, we were able bang it out. Otherwise, everything went very smoothly. All the music was recorded at Studio 4 in Philly. We got through everything in four days. All the vocals were recorded at my place in New York, so we were able to spend a lot of time on them and really get them where we wanted. Everything really just fell into place. Mixing and mastering only took a few passes each and that was about it.

Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changedthe face of the record?

Will Yip engineered and produced. He had a huge hand in shaping a lot of the drums parts. On top of being an extremely talented engineer and producer, Will is an equally talented drummer. He was really able put his spin on the drums and how they should sound. Which parts might be too much and which parts need a little extra. There are a lot of dynamics in these songs, so the way he was able to help mold the drums really pushed everything to the next level. The awesome thing about Studio 4 is you really don’t spend much time on getting sounds. Because of Will and that Neve console, you plug in and play. You hit the drums and go. So that gave us a lot of time to really make sure everything was where it needed to be.

Which of the songs on the record is most different from your originalconcept for the song?

The track “Viscera” was totally different until the day before we recorded it. We had the song demoed and pretty set as far as the structure went. This was the last song we tracked on drums.  The night before we planned on tracking it, I went through it and changed it all. The original version wasn’t bad at all, but after having a general feel of how this record was going to sound, it just didn’t really fit. It was kind of scary to do because we had everything scheduled pretty tightly as far as studio time. Will had a huge hand in shaping this song. The middle of the song was written between Will and me, and the ending just kind of came together naturally. The only thing that is the same between both versions is the five accents in the beginning. Otherwise, they sound like two different songs.

Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?

We had our friend Tim sing on the last song that closes the record out called “Silently Marching”. He sang in that band Daytrader and currently in Some Stranger. This is a song that is meant to stick out. We had a lot of back and forth about how it should sound and where things should be. Ultimately, I am pretty happy with how it turned out. It is probably something we will never play live, but it definitely came together well. It is just about seven minutes. Tim sings on the first half, and Chris sings on the second half and ends it.

Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties therecord together?

Musically, everything is stripped down. If a riff sucked, we didn’t put a bunch of fluff over it to try and make it work. We threw it out and started over. So from the perspective of a guitar player, it is bare bones, and I think it carried out through the record and worked very well. Lyrically, a lot of terrible shit happened during the course of writing this record. There is an overt sense of hopelessness and emptiness. Our singer Chris lost everything in the Hurricane that hit Long Island. Actually lost everything. There was an empty lot where his house was for the majority of the last year and half. I was very happy to see him get through everything the way he did. You need to be strong to be able to handle that, but it will no doubt have an effect on you. All you have to do is read what he wrote, and you get direct insight into someone that was tested very hard by life.

Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicitedthe strongest reaction from your fans?

We have been playing a set of “Crow Eater,” “The Devouring,” “All Barren,” “Poisoned Arrows,” “Empty Beds,” “Salt and Bone,” and then one or two older songs. Those are the songs we all really enjoy playing. They are the most stripped down you could say. That is probably why they are so much fun to play. People seem to like them. I guess that’s supposed to be the point. We really like them though.

(Visit Divider here: http://facebook.com/dividerandconquer.)