The Callous Daoboys, Celebrity Therapist (MNRK Heavy 2022)

Atlanta noise rock band The Callous Daoboys launch their third album into the zeitgeist, Celebrity Therapist.

The Callous Daoboys create music that is rather hard to define, despite the labels of metalcore and mathcore often applied to their output. It is unpredictable one song to the next, and also one bar to the next in any given song. There are sometimes long melodic passages – entire songs, even – and along the way there is prominent disruption. They have released two previous full-length albums so far, Animal Tetris (2017) and Die on Mars (2019), plus an EP right before the inaugural debut. The musicians are Carson Pace (vocals), Maddie Caffrey (guitar), Dan Hodsdon (guitar), Jack Buckalew (bass), Amber Christman (violin), and Sam Williamson (drums).

“Violent Astrology” wakes you up and directs your attention to what is about to happen. Noise, chaos, screaming, music. It might not seem like it at first, but there is a lot here that owes a debt to Zappa, and that is where the biggest appeal lies for me. There is a great deal of unexpectedness throughout, not the least of which is the melodic passage that coalesces from the midst of the violent careening. You have some thinking to do if you want to gather your thoughts on this song, or any of the others in the set.

Reviewing this music is a rather fruitless endeavor, in the end. What shall I do? Try to describe the weirdness? My mission here is merely to make you aware of the album’s existence. Across the eight tracks on the album, there are a multitude of samples and grabs, arranged in an aggressively artful way among the vocals and instrumentations. The work is frenzied and appears on the surface to be disordered, but it isn’t. I am not sure it makes much sense to look for patterns, exactly, but there certainly is an extraordinary amount of expression going on. If you like this sort of sound in the first place, and/or you are up for a challenge, then go ahead and press play.

Celebrity Therapist is out on September 2nd through MNRK Heavy, in cooperation with Modern Static Records.




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The Callous Daoboys, Celebrity Therapist (MNRK Heavy 2022)

Kneel, Ailment review (Raging Planet 2020)

Kneel has released a new album after many years of reckoning and introspection. At least, that is what Ailment seems like.

Kneel is Pedro Mau, with vocals by Filipe Correia. Mau handles all the other instruments and composition. The earlier album from Kneel is 2013’s Interstice, and the new one follows a similar Hardcore / Mathcore tranche. The music is a settled, punishing groove that keeps jumping the tracks.

Each song has a single word for a title which encapsulates the idea or feeling or story. Even more precisely (and generally) than that, Pedro Mau comments on the album, in part, this way: “The accumulation of small problems in our lives can lead us, sooner or later, to situations that can get out of our control.” Some of the songs build this into their own microcosm, and you can also see it as an arc throughout the entire set. It is a long run arc in the sense that your anxiety mounts the longer you listen – the only door you can see rattles on it hinges but instead of flying open to allow for escape it is fusing shut a little more with each passing song.

The halfway point, “Raptorial,” is so harsh and upsetting you start wondering if this is the mental equivalent of a cardiac stress test. But that is the hump, and once over it you have become one of the inhabitants of the world. By the time you get to the closer, “Acuity,” you are unshaken by the rage of the tortuous waves. It is no longer a cacophony. It starts to seem merely like the truth. In a fascinating way, it is the exact opposite of the quotation above – instead of the music spinning out of control, it has become more understandable.

Available now from Raging Planet (Portugal) and Planet K Records (Italy), conveniently sourced through Bandcamp, Ailment will not make you feel better, but it might help you get on with it.


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Kneel, Ailment review (Raging Planet 2020)