Lesotho, Summer Wars (Suspended Soul Tapes & Records 2021)

The instrumental trio from Boston, Lesotho, conjure the heavy from thin to thick in Summer Wars.

Lesotho is Kyle Loffredo (guitar), Cliff Cazeau (bass), and Zach Ganshirt (drums). They build instrumental constructs that are carefully engineered to be aurally received in broad range. That is, different people can get very different vibes from the same songs. You could tag this music in many divergent ways from shoegaze to ambient rock to … all sorts of other labels. On their Bandcamp page, the description reads in part “heavy instrumental post-everything.” There you go.

The EP has four tracks. In each one there are passages that are quiet among others that are loud. I don’t think I can be more vague about it. The progression is the former toward the latter (and back again) three out of four times, the odd track out being my favorite, “Pride & Sorrow.” The distinction here is more data than anything else.

What sets this music apart is its ability to make the listener more receptive to the self inhabiting the shell. The beautiful, melodic passages and the rougher ones could each exist separately in isolation, but they are both better when they are intertwined.

This music can show you a path towards whatever you have been avoiding no matter what it is or why you have been ignoring it. And, of course, if you would prefer not to ponder while you listen, the music can be enjoyed in the superficial lane, too. Recommended.

Summer Wars is out on Friday, August 20th, digitally through Bandcamp. Suspended Soul Tapes & Records will have a limited physical edition later on.

Band photo by Pine Street Studios.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://lesotho.bandcamp.com/releases

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/lesothoboston

Suspended Soul website, https://www.facebook.com/SuspendedSoulTapesRecords

Lesotho, Summer Wars (Suspended Soul Tapes & Records 2021)

There Were Wires, Somnambulists (Iodine Recordings 2021)

The long-remembered Somnambulists album gets a remaster and a re-release.

A somnambulist is a sleep walker. Not a label in common usage. Silent horror movie fans (are there any of those left besides me?) will recognize it from Robert Wiene’s classic German expressionist horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). Otherwise, it doesn’t come up much. Cool word, though.

The band There Were Wires goes back to 1999 in Boston. Releasing demos and a long-player on their own, they hooked up with Iodine Recordings in early aughts and the result was Somnambulists. The album came out and was well received but the label and the band fragmented just after. Now in a renewal phase, a remastered version of the notable incarnation is coming to life.

Let’s walk through the museum and make a couple of comments.

The music is a movement through a number of genres – metal, hardcore, punk – and it generally has a well-produced feel. I like the doom elements interspersed among the frantic cracks, and the thrumming percussion that appears and disappears in a way that sorts out your arrhythmia.

The opening track is “New Doom” and I spent the most time with it, appreciating its directions and miasms. Instrumental passages like “Walking” give way to songs like “Get Cryptic” where Primus seems to be channeled and then were on to short ruptures and enigmatic sidelines. “Gasp” is a meditation, ten minutes overall and filled with infections and inoculations alike – it is an event all its own. The closer here is “Tunic,” a cover of the Sonic Youth song.

The compositions contained in this set could easily have been created today. The music does not sound at all dated or out of place. If anything it is particularly resonant now. If you are coming back to it today or if you have never heard it before, now is a good time to listen in. Recommended.

Somnambulists is out on Friday, April 16th. Hit the label link below for the recording and merch.

Band photos by Erin McCown.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://iodinerecordings.bandcamp.com/

Label, https://iodinerecords.com/

There Were Wires, Somnambulists (Iodine Recordings 2021)

Inhalement, Live Resin (HPGD 2020)

Boston Death Metal smokers Inhalement push out their third EP, Live Resin.

In the throes of the public health-induced slowdown, Boston’s own Inhalement got together in October to record a live in the studio album. According to the press notes, the music was “Captured in one take – no edits, no overdubs, no punch ins and plenty of mistakes – to document the experience of Inhalement in the most primal form.” A very punk, DIY approach, and an accurate description.

There are five songs in the set, starting with “Charred and Stale” and then two each from Eternally Stoned and Grotesque Inhalement. The first song is a good warm up for the frenzy that follows. It really does sound like a live play through, and, maybe because of the mic placement, it has a dingy club sonic presence. You can almost feel the pit and smell the sweat. One song boils into the next, and they are “Exhumed for Edibles,” “Drowning in Reclaim,” “MJ Ultra,” and “Bong Rip Execution.” Every heavy thing we like about this band comes out in growling elegance.

Rolling up on twenty minutes of aggressive menace, the new Inhalement album might not cure you of all your ills, but it will help you forget some of your troubles for a while. Recommended.

December 11th is the drop date for Live Resin. Get yourself together by then so you are ready to crank it up when the clock strikes.

Links.

Inhalement Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Inhalementdeathmetal/

Inhalement Bandcamp, https://inhalement.bandcamp.com/

HPGD, http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/

HPGD Bandcamp, http://hpgd.bandcamp.com/

HPGD Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/pg/horrorpaingoredeath/posts/

Inhalement, Live Resin (HPGD 2020)

Cortez, Sell The Future review (Ripple Music 2020)

Album number three from Cortez is Sell The Future and it rides a heavy wave of riff-powered demolition.

From the Boston area, Cortez has been releasing music since their 2006 demo. They have had a couple of lineup changes over the years, as most bands do. For Sell the Future, earliest members Jay Furlo (bass) and Scott O’Dowd {Scotty Fuse} (guitar) are joined by long time players Matt Harrington (vocals) and Alasdair Swan (guitar). Alexei Rodriguez (drums) is newest, dating from 2017 (if The Metal Archives has it facts straight).

Harrington’s voice is powerful and fierce when he wants it to be and yet he can attenuate it for different emotions and effects. The compositions rely on solid grooves and big riffs, with well-placed and clever lead breaks adding nuance to the work. The rippling and surprising percussion bursts that you hear from Rodriguez in unexpected places are a fundamental building block to the unique sound of the band.

“No Escape” is a banger, and the perfect choice for an up-tempo lead off song. The title track is next and sets a serious tone with a purposeful riff up front then pushes on with a heavy swagger. The tempo gets a switch in advance of the lead break, which flays the carcass of reason. “Look At You” has a driving rhythm that just won’t let you turn away, and if you are not hooked on this album by the time the third song is over, I don’t know what to say to you. I cannot pick a single favorite, but I will point to the way the songs dissimilarities enhance the set as a whole – listening to the furiously paced “Vanishing Point” right after “Sharpen The Spear,” which has a more plaintive structure, puts you off balance in just the right way for the closer, “Beyond.” This album was worth the wait. Highly recommended.

Sell the Future is out now. Bandcamp is a good place to look for the digital, and there are couple vinyl variants there, too.

Band photo by Bruce Bettis.

Links.

Ripple Bandcamp, https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/sell-the-future

Cortez website, http://www.cortezboston.com/

Cortez Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/cortezboston/

Cortez Soundcloud, https://soundcloud.com/cortezboston

Cortez, Sell The Future review (Ripple Music 2020)