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Orphan Donor – Unraveled Review

Orphan Donor – Unraveled Review

“Sometimes, the promo sump can be an overwhelming place. A bit like an oversized car trunk sale, there’s a huge amount of scary junk that you know you don’t want (but recognize you’ll end up leaving with at least some of) and a few frustratingly well hidden gems. The trick is how to spot those gems. Sometimes though, one simply does not have the time and you have to trust your luck and grab the first thing that catches your eye. One such visit led me to the sophomore outing by Allentown, Pennsylvania-based two piece Orphan Donor, which spoke to me because of the combination of a grindcore tag and the unexpected accompanying note that it would appeal to fans of Isis.” Garage flail.

The Armed – Ultrapop Review

The Armed – Ultrapop Review

Only Love was The Armed’s Vexovoid. For the sliver of readers who have heard both, that probably makes as much sense as it does to those who have heard neither. Vexovoid (the Portal album) was a push. Portal were driving their sound even further into clotted murk, draining that last drop of pus from the wound not with a syringe but with a vise. Vexovoid was crushed and suffocated by the band’s own attempt to solidify its sound, with the musicians resting their weight on an extremely thick and compressed production. In retrospect, that wasn’t a great idea; the record loses a lot of impact on repeated plays because the production is so dense. It becomes a massive pile of sound that obscures the band’s most interesting ideas. Now, maybe a sliver listeners get it. With Only Love, The Armed slammed their eclectic hardcore into synth-driven pop and told Kurt Ballou to make it sound like an absolute nightmare. He did. There you go. Blown-out ambitions, blown-out production: Vexovoid. Fresh popcore for all.

Yashira – Fail To Be [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Yashira – Fail To Be [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

It’s difficult to bounce back after a massive loss. Jacksonville’s Yashira were riding high on not only an excellent debut album in 2018’s Shrine, but also via fervent word of mouth about their abrasive live shows (including a coveted spot in that year’s Welcome to Rockville), and a split with metalcore legends Zao. However, with the tragic death of drummer Seth Howard later that year, you’d be forgiven if you expected Yashira to call it a day.” Failing upward.

Neck of the Woods – The Annex of Ire Review

Neck of the Woods – The Annex of Ire Review

“Do you ever have that feeling of listening to an album and feeling that it’s somehow better than you’re giving it credit for? Or, as GardensTale put it to me, the feeling that “I’m probably just not good enough for the album”? That’s how I felt about the second full-length from Vancouver’s Neck of the Woods, until about 4pm today.” You’re good enough and people like you.