Posts Tagged ‘experimental’

Cavalcade “Dear Entrails…” review

After almost two years of languishing in development hell after being recorded for release on Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Records, Lansing’s Cavalcade have finally released their second studio album “Dear Entrails…” on their Bandcamp page.

Cavalcade, on this release, is: Zachary Warren (vocals), Cale Sauter (guitar), Craig Horky (bass, backing vocals), John Bruce (drums) and Brad Van Staveren (guitar).

Here’s a review of their long overdue sophomore LP.

An album about failure never sounded so successful in its vision. The self-described “weird metal” band have been combining disparate genres like avant, jazz, sludge, doom and even traditional instruments like tuba and saxophone since at least 2006 and here, after releasing their debut album a few years ago, finally show what their twisted vision is capable of.

“Agents of Bolivian”, with a backwards guitar effect in the intro, puts Cavalcade’s sound in an angular, skewed template. Guitar solos that could fit on a modern day thrash inspired-metal record clash with tuba and glockenspiel, although the latter is minimal while the overall tempo here is sludge and doom-inspired but maybe a little bit faster.

The album was mastered by Pig Destroyer and AxCx’s Scott Hull and the results fit the band’s sound perfectly. “Bury Sanders” pulls Warren’s vocals into the middle of the mix while guitar effects and pounding drums swirl around his raspy barks. “Cancer Fantasy”, one of my favorite tracks on the album, features guest vocals from The Break Ups’ Francesca Pierce, adding a beautiful, calming effect to the guitars and vocals, which are farther back in the mix. The drums here are fast, driving and fierce; they even have quiet a groove, showing groove metal’s influence here. You can probably dance to it if you wanted to. The mastering fares well, too, on “Untie These Vines” where acoustic guitars in the intro and distorted, white noise-layered guitars later on mix perfectly. Warren’s vocals later take on a spacey effect at points and the bass is punchy yet smooth. The guitar solo is loud and clear.

This band never shies away from horror movie and gore-inspired imagery and sounds. Instrumental “Poltergeists on Motorbikes” is no exception with a zombie groaning “I want your brains!” as sounds of a man being eaten alive by the zombie play before the encounter. The band also never shies away from sheer experimentation, as on “Big Sack of Tspiders” has the most danceable groove on the album. It’s fast, cathartic and even has hand claps, as guitar tones from previous songs make their way back here.

After a few more tracks of similar sounds, vocally and otherwise (“Walk Like a Magician” and “A Lifetime of Sick”), the experimentation takes a turn on the Russian-language titled “Призрак Захария”. With acoustic guitars, brooding synths with sounds recalling “Poltergeists on Motorbikes”, the second instrumental piece gives me the vision of wandering through a 13th century village in Transylvania at night (or something like that, and hey, that’s just me).

The latter third of the album really picks up in intensity and catharsis. “Michigan Winters” has pounding, fist-pumping power chord strikes with more power provided by a tuba in the chorus. That’s my favorite part of the track. “Bolivia Tremor Control” has some of the most powerful guitars on the album. They sound brutal and drenched in death metal fuzz and crunch. Bruce’s cymbal crashes sound bright and powerful and his bass drum kicks add a heavy weight to the song.

The album’s final two tracks showcase a lot of what the album has been about up to this point: bright instruments (bells, tubas, shimmering guitars, etc) and the contrasting, brutal vocals by Warren working together and sometimes clashing (but I think sometimes that’s their point). “A Jillion Years” has a cathartic chorus as Warren belts out the title of the song in only the way he can, then after the chorus, instrumentals take charge. Ringing guitars and bells close out the song to a sort of anti-catharsis.

“Cursing in Binary”, featuring Small Brown Bike’s Mike Reed during the chorus, pulls everything the album has achieved into one song. The guitars are the most powerful they’ve been so far, the drums are powerful and the bass is heavy. The chorus is drenched in layers of guitars as Reed’s yell of “This failure feels familiar” lays across Warren’s rasps of “Cursing in Binary”. The song ends with familiar brass instrumentation heard before and the backwards guitar heard at the beginning of the album.

I said earlier this album is about failure. The band stated in an interview with The Impact 88.9 FM a long time ago that this sentiment carried over the album. “Losing all desire. Losing, losing and losing some more” go some of the lines in “Bury Sanders”. Granted, a lot of Warren’s lyrics are hard to make out due to the rasps but from what I can pick out, there’s a lot of despair here. “What if those stories were right about me? What if those tales were as true as they seemed? What if I’m hating myself in a dream and what if it’s all a lie” Warren asks amid radio-like static coating his voice. “This Michigan winter chills me to the bone,” Warren screams on the track of the same name. The failure and despair culminates on “Cursing in Binary” with the already mentioned, and audible, audible chorus of “This failure feels familiar” by Reed.

Now that this album is out, it’s finally a contender for LMTV Album of the Year. If you’re a fan of sludge bands like Down, Eyehategod or Superjoint Ritual or even experimental bands like Mr. Bungle (or any of Mike Patton’s experimental projects), check this out.

Cavalcade return from hiatus, announce album downloads and live show

Lansing’s Cavalcade have returned from hiatus after original and longtime vocalist Zack Warren left the band earlier this year.

 

Catch Cavalcade with Jucifer at Mac's Bar on Friday June 7. Wastelander's Sean Peters debuts on vocals. Flier by Craig Horky.

Returning to the stage at Mac’s Bar with Jucifer, Shackle the Giant and Dozic, the band return with Sean Peters (of Wastelander, Dark Psychosis and Summon) on vocals and now-permanent drummer Christian Urabazzo. Check out the Facebook event here.

Along with their live return, the band have released their long-overdue albums Dear Entrails and 15 Year Dog Plan on their Bandcamp page for pay-what-you-want for a limited time. Get their discography, including their debut album Into Bolivian, here.

Look out for reviews of Dear Entrails and 15 Year Dog Plan soon.

Be apart of the Lansingmusic.TV Band Database: Here’s How

Bands, singer-songwriters, rappers, instrumentalists from all genres in Michigan! I (Sean) am updating and expanding the LMTV Band Database page and want your band or act to apart of it.

Here’s how you can get your band listed on our site:

Send an email with the following information to lansingmusictv@gmail.com. Please include in the Subject Line the following: LMTV Database and your band’s name

1. Please attach a most recent photo of your band

2. The band’s genre (please do not say “Other” or something similar)

3. The first and last names of members of the band along with the instrument and/or vocals each member plays

4. A few of the bands your band has played with (can be both local and national acts, and preferably bands similar to your style)

5. Links to your band’s social media sites and/or band website

 

Thanks!

New 3-Way Singles Club split featuring Calliope, Curent and Stargrazer

Check out the new 3-Way Singles Club split featuring new music from Calliope, Curent and Stargrazer.

artwork courtesy of the It Takes a Village to Make Records' Bandcamp Page

Listen here: http://music.itavrecords.com/album/3-way-singles-club-volume-14

Music of Mount Pleasant: Moses

Sorry for the missed post last week. I’ve been busy working on a lot of (coincidentally) stories on the local music scene in Mount Pleasant for CM Life. The stories will be published on Wednesday April 11 in this upcoming week’s Vibe section. Get stoked!

Back to the series, this time with Moses.

 

Playing a brand of folk rock which encompasses soaring and catchy melodies with an uncompromising experimental slant to their music, Moses has been making waves around Mount Pleasant since last year. With all members of the band being students at Central Michigan University, they take advantage of this fact. They often will play acoustic sets around the campus, further showcasing their DIY attitudes and willingness to just play music. Plain and simple. With songs like “Huron”, featuring hand drums and a catchy chorus, the members often switch instruments during sets and while writing songs, making the band a musical force to be reckoned with.

Their next show is on Thursday April 19 at Rubble’s Bar with Wavvy Hands, Delightfuls and Hour 24. RSVP to the show here.

Midwest Fest 2011 Countdown: Lightning Love and Nathan K.

LMTV is back with another Midwest Fest 2011 Countdown, here with Lightning Love and Nathan K., both of whom are making their first appearances at the festival.

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathankmusic

Having seen Nathan K. earlier this year for the first time at Middle of  the Mitten 2011, I was immediately awestruck by him. I loved the live sampling, where his instruments (including a floor tom, tambourine and other instruments) were strewn about, resembling the sprawling chaos that became Nathan’s set that night. Not a bad chaos, however, but a chaos of melody, instrument layering and an eventual noise that engulfed the room. Expect the same kind of visceral excitement at Midwest Fest 2011.

Courtesy of the Lightning Love Facebook page

Lightning Love, out of Ypsilanti, are a three piece indie pop band. Earlier this year, they were selected by Billboard to participate in Billboard’s Battle of the Bands in Las Vegas. The band has been playing gigs all year and hitting up the Midwest. Be sure to check them out at Midwest Fest 2011.

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