No Sir, I Won’t Interview

NO Sir I Wont

 

– Hey there, hope all is well. Which member of the band am I speaking to?

All’s as well as can be expected, thanks! Or at least I haven’t read the news in a few days, so I don’t know just how bad things really are. Hope all’s well with you. I’m Dan, I do vocals and now I play bass as well.

– Can you introduce No Sir, I Won’t to the readers? The circumstances under which the band formed, the musical influences, fellow band members etc.

NO SIR, I WON’T started when I moved back to Boston in about 2009 (I’d been living in California and playing in a band called SURRENDER), and I got together with some friends who had a mutual interest in making political punk music. It was a rocky start, people had a lot of shit going on in their lives, but eventually we shuffled the line-up a little and started playing in earnest. At that point I was singing, Jeff (BRAIN KILLER, WITCHES WITH DICKS etc.) was playing guitar, Dominick (SUBCLINIX, SAVAGEHEADS etc.) was playing bass, and another Dan (LIBYANS, FOREIGN OBJECTS etc.) was on drums. That’s the line-up that recorded the demo, the first 7” and the first 12”. Eventually Dominick moved to drums, I took over on bass and our friend Kelley (FUNERAL CONE etc.) joined to do vocals as well. We’ve all been influenced by all kinds of things, and while the most obvious influences on the band are CRASS, CONFLICT, CHUMBAWAMBA, bands like that, everyone has brought their own interests in as well. For instance I was involved with the noise/experimental scene for a long time, I love prog rock, metal… I grew up as a total metalhead in the 80s before I discovered punk and realized that there was a whole alternative lifestyle available to me. I imagine it’s different in Pakistan, but in America the metal scene (especially in the 80s) was mostly a-political, mostly kind of braindead, mostly about partying, basically another version of mainstream society, with all the same misogyny and shitty attitudes. Punk opened up a way to make music and be involved in a community based around political ideals and personal ideals that were really different from what I saw around me every day.

– The Anarcho-Punk tradition dates back to the late 70’s and has been through several ups and downs. How do acts like yourself stay relevant in the current political and musical climate?

I’m not sure we do! But for me, anarcho-punk has never been a particular sound, it’s not as narrow and constrained as, say, D-beat is. It’s always been much freer and more creative, much more wide-ranging, mostly connected by a general political outlook. If you go back to the early days of anarcho-punk in the UK, you hear bands like D&V, HIT PARADE, RUBELLA BALLET doing all kinds of strange things, looking different, sounding different. It’s not only based off of CRASS. So likewise, when we started this band we took the political ideals and the goals and brought our own thing to it. We grew up playing in street punk bands, hardcore bands, pop-punk bands, grew up in a different time and place and so the result was naturally something different, something born out of the the here and now. The important thing was that we grew up with the same ethos as the old anarcho-punk bands in mind. Even if you weren’t an active revolutionary or something, it was hard to be involved in punk around here in the early 90s and NOT encounter anarchism, not be influenced by that day to day political outlook. In the end I think that by not trying to sound just like CRASS or CONFLICT, and by allowing the band to take its own course it naturally adapted to the current climate. That is to say, the current climate of the DIY scene. Neither our politics nor our music are at all relevant to what’s going on in mainstream society, as far as I can tell! I wish they were…

 

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– Do you believe Boston is a fertile breeding ground for politically and socially conscious punk acts?

I think it has been and it could be, but I don’t see a lot of that going on here right now. Boston has a really transient population because there are so many schools, and it can be hard to form a solid, lasting community like the kind that I think political activity often stems from. Also the trend in punk (at least in the US) right now seems to be towards a more nihilistic kind of attitude, and a more superficial engagement with (or outright rejection of) the political aspect of the music and the lifestyle. That’s a generalization of course, there are people in Boston and elsewhere who are doing great work and making great political statements, but particularly in Boston right now that seems to be the exception and not the rule.

– Apart from music, what literary, non-musical influences do the band members hold?

I can only speak for myself, but I’ve always been heavily into science fiction. Philip K. Dick is big for me, Ursula LeGuin… I think those authors have influenced my outlook at least as much as the bands I mentioned before. Science fiction has always been a forum for radical views, a way for people in repressive conditions (Yevgeny Zamyatin in Soviet Russia, for instance) to voice their ideas with just enough of a remove from reality that they could get away with it. I’m not a conspiracy theory person, at least relatively speaking, but SF has definitely contributed more or less to a certain paranoia I have about the state and about what’s really going on in the world. Lyrically and rhythmically I also take  influence from poets like Blake and Tennyson. I like their romantic, dramatic style, but I also like the more down to earth diction of people like William S. Burroughs. When I’m writing lyrics I try to balance those two things, the more poetical and the more vulgar, I guess you could say.

– Any upcoming plans? Splits, EP’s, full length?

Unfortunately we’re lying low right now, Dominick is out on the West Coast for a while. Planning to do a tour at the beginning of the Summer and hopefully make a new recording then.

– Thanks for your time. Cheers from Pakistan.

Thank you! It’s a rare treat to hear from someone in Pakistan, I hope people in the States can learn more about the music scene there through your work. Cheers! Get in touch: nosir.iwont@yahoo.com

 

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No Sir I Won’t on Bandcamp

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Imperial Savagery – Imperial Savagery

Imperial Savagery logo

 

 

Imperial Savagery; the Satanic Death Metal cruelty from Chicago, Illinois have recently come up with their first self-titled full length in one year after their declaration of existence. United States have always been the Eden of Death Metal blessed by the bands like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Incantation, Cannibal Corpse, Death, Master, Autopsy and what not! Following the path of the ancestors, Imperial Savagery have shown how promising they are.

 

The album has got 10 different tracks with a total duration of 26:28. Vocal Brice Dalzell did a great job I must say. He has got a very powerful screaming voice that made the songs real sick. Guitarist Tom Flanagan had come up with some vile riffs that totally reminds me the playing of legend like Trey Azagthoth. Throughout the album Tom kept declaring his supremacy with his savage distortion. The bassist Pat Clancy was really supportive with Tom. His powerful and strong output made the songs alive. Garrett Scanlan did a catastrophic job with drums. His devastating blasts made the songs real fast and steady. I cannot remember last when I heard such terrific drumming. All I can say is, Imperial Savagery have produced one of the vilest death metal violence in recent memory.

 

To conclude I would to say this record is worth collecting. I wouldn’t wonder if this album becomes a Death Metal classic in few years.

 

Score: 80/100

 

 

Imperial Savagery

 

 

Imperial Savagery on Facebook

Imperial Savagery on Bandcamp

– Asif Abrar

Sangus – Saevitia (2014)

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Sangus is a relatively new Black Metal/Crust hybrid out of Providence Rhode Island that has been leveling local audiences with show-stealing live performances. Luckily, they also translate well to recorded audio. The band features members hailing from all over the gamut of underground metal: Vovk (vocals) formerly of grind bands Paindriver and Ulcer, Executioner (drums) who also plays in black metal outfit Haxen, Barbarian (guitar) of the blackened doom band Churchburn, Vamakara (guitar) of the sludgy death-doom Sin of Angels, and Czarnobóg (bass) who used to play dirty black thrash in Nachzehrer. Looking at the pedigree of bands these guys have played in, the sound of Sangus makes total sense, the surprise being that apparently they had all been harboring some latent desire play something crusty.  Besides my own soft spot for the crust, I can say that their new album objectively and undeniably, rips.

 
Their previous EP Vengeful Brutality had a straight blackened crust/thrash vibe reminiscent of Dishammer, full of anthemic riffs found in more modern crust outfits. Brutal, yes, balls-out aggressive, yes, but also very much a rock and roll inflected sound. The new album Saevitia (Latin for cruelty), is a different animal. Sangus has traded a crusty black and roll sound for an album attitudinally aligned with bestial war metal, while still sounding somewhat displaced from the stylistic rudiments of the genre. If anything, the crust elements are more subdued and metallic than before, and overall this feels much more like a metal album than a punk album. They remain much more melodic than the likes of Revenge or Blasphemy, but the message, the relentless aural attack, and the near-grind pacing of the music put this album in rank with the best of modern war metal. The bloodthirsty attitude inspiring this album remains obvious throughout. They don’t concern themselves with the sharpening of swords, the vagaries of war, or pre-battle rituals, only the throes of violence in the midst of war. Not the impersonal war of the modern age but rather War of an epic and fantastical nature, where your killer somehow finds 30 seconds to raise his weapons to the sky, and shriek some barbarian screed, before driving two blades into your brain through your ears. This entire album pretty much exists in the moment between being cornered, and being epically fucking slaughtered.

 
The fact that the vocals are genuinely dripping with blood and hate helps keep the whole things from getting silly. In comparison to the previous album, Vovk’s vocals are mixed front and center, and he’s worked out a unique style of vocal delivery. Similar to the vocals in Burning Witch (although there is no doom anywhere on this album), Vovk’s shrieking vocals cut through everything else and are responsible for driving the songs forward. Most noticeable is the way the mixed English/Italian lyrics are delivered, with odd spacings between words and unusual choices for emphasis, which comes together as a peculiar dialect whose overall effect is pretty terrifying, and makes for a memorable listen. The instrumentation is no-nonsense, with the drummer making absolutely no unnecessary indulgences, and the guitars fluxing between stenchy grooves, raw thrash, and old school tremolo death mayhem. The guitar solos are short and dissonant, and every now and then, the guitars bring the song to an anthemic climax with a huge melodic riff, as is heard on the standout track “Live to Kill”. There is a 6 minute noise track at the end, that I can’t really speak to, but the 10 minutes of metal on this a album are brutal and fast, managing to stab in and pull out of before you have time to spit out your last words. Fans of the new Diocletian, later Darkthrone, and all things crust, black, thrash and death will be right at home with this album, kicking down the doors and lighting the walls on fire.

 

 

 

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– Arjun Ray

La Dispute – Rooms of the House (2014)

La Dispute album

 

When I first heard “Such Small Hands” by the band La Dispute back in 2010, I was blown away by the eclectic blend of poetry-grade lyrics, their relatively heavy sound, and the emotionally-driven style of lead singer Jordan Dreyer’s vocals. That song and the rest of the album “Somewhere at the Bottom of the River between Vega and Altair”  are my favorite releases by the band. Now, the quintet from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is back with another full-length album. Released March of this year, “Rooms of the House” sufficiently separates the band from their first full-length release with a cleaner, more mature sound.

 
If you’re anything like me, you’re sad to see the sounds of “Somewhere at the Bottom” fade away. But the changes were evident even in the band’s second release “Wildlife”, which in my opinion, is a solid middle ground between the band’s first album and this latest one. Change, however, isn’t something to fear as La Dispute’s roots and defining characteristics are still there. The vocals are still emotional and passionate and they still have their critically acclaimed “un-categorizable sound” that fuses many influences of different heavier genres and even outside styles like blues and jazz on previous albums, along with their tension-building compositions–a La Dispute staple.

 

 

livedispute

 
While many that have already reviewed the album call it “mature”, I say that it is in fact just much more simple than their previous releases. More than in Wildlife, Rooms of the House loses some of the lucid symbolism that I thought was their best feature from Somewhere at the Bottom. Instead, the band replaces this with more straightforward emotional feedback and sheds its literary symbolism. Still, Dreyer is an excellent writer and this shows within the band’s lyrics as they compose songs with imagery and narrative, which can be seen clearly in the album’s opening song “Hudsonville, MI 1956” and another song titled “35” which also exhibits Dreyer’s spoken word style (dominant in the songs “Woman (in Mirror)” and “Objects in Space” too.) My personal favorites of the album are standouts “Mayor of Splitsville” and “Stay Happy Here” which is one of the album’s singles. It seems that, more in this album, the band unfortunately scaled back their out-wright heart wrenching preferences like in their past songs “King Park” and “Andria.”

 
Except for some songs like “Woman (in mirror)” and “Objects in Space”, the songs on this album are structured around a basic crescendo as most songs by La Dispute are. Listeners become familiar with the areas where tension builds by following the vocals and the band as they lead up to culminate in some emotional outburst—sort of like a pattern of calms before a strong storm—rather than relying on verse/chorus structures. On this album, there aren’t many gaudy riffs, that has never seemed to be the intention of the band on any of their albums anyway. The riffs and melodies in their songs always seem mainly foundational especially in this latest album where the band seems to take a more simplistic style. They rely more on strong rhythmic variations to capture their audience. There isn’t anything flashy to cling onto. Just pure and strong instrumental use and deep, emotional lyrics.

 
Even though it’s not the Somewhere at the Bottom of the River follow-up that I wished for over these last 4 years, Rooms of the House is still a great album that simply shows the evolving style of a very talented band that never disappoints.

 

 

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La Dispute on Facebook

La Dispute on BandCamp

– Alli G.

Death Inquisition – 918 (2012)

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Death Inquisition are a fun band, and they make some competent thrash that has a feel of its own. What I like about this band, is that they don’t sound “modern” at all (see: Evile, Lazarus AD and their ilk) and they don’t sound too “retro” either, the way most other contemporary thrash bands sound. If I was to pinpoint their exact sound, it would lie somewhere in between Possessed and D.R.I. or Sodom and Crumbsuckers. It’s basically old school late 80’s extreme thrash with a healthy dose of late 80’s crossover injected into the bloodstream.

Despite carving out an individual sound for themselves, the band does not attempt to push any boundaries in terms of song structure and riff selection, preferring to craft songs that do their primary purpose to the point of perfection – the function being to induce front row headbanging and a maniacal circle pit. There’s even some Hardcore style mosh moments here, for those who like to throw some punches.

Deathinquis lineup

The 4 tracks follow seemingly similar patterns. The riff and vocal combination is quite catchy; demonic riffs are employed with the lyrics having a tendency to repeat a lot. However, to the band’s credit and the benefit of anyone catching this band live, that aspect ends up creates a ‘sing-along’ feel similar to a lot of hardcore bands. Another hardcore aspect of the music is their slower mosh parts, but they still feel quite ‘metal’ due to the riff selection, and the constant attack of the solos. This, along with the lengthy nature of the compositions, keeps bringing the band back into the metal zone despite its flirtations with the hardcore side. Rhythm section is tight, as it should be, the drummer providing some interesting fills in the more monotonous parts of the music to keep the track going, but my favorite part of the overall package of the music is the vocals. Special praise needs to be reserved for the vocalist. He has a unique raspy voice and is brilliant with both the lows and the high pitched parts.

Production can be best described with one word. Savage. And the savage aspect of the production makes the already barbaric music even more flesh-severing. It’s not some fancy job with clear-cut drums, nondescripit bass and industry standard guitars. Nope. It has personality, despite the rawness, and in this genre of Thrash Metal where more and more bands lose their personality the second they step in the studio, it’s a breath of fresh air. My only gripe is that the snare seems a bit too pushed back for my liking, but like I said it’s still tasteful. The razor sharp guitar sound is just addictive!

Anyway, this isn’t something you’ll be listening to often. But when you do, you’ll be thoroughly satisfied. Recommended to fans of Thrash Metal, as well as Hardcore Punk fans who like to hear some evil fucking metal.

deathinquislogo

Death Inquisition on Facebook

Death Inquisition changed their name to Dead Beat, you can read our review of their demo here.

– Hassan Dozakhi

Dead Beat – S/T Demo (2013)

Dead Beat previously went by the name of Death Inquisition and played thrash metal.

Dead Beat previously went by the name of Death Inquisition and played thrash metal. They then changed their name to signal a change of sound.

 

When you think of a Dead Beat, what comes to mind? Being a really shitty father figure, perhaps. Or maybe a musical note that didn’t do its job very well and had to be put down. If you said “NO!” to both of those possible explanations, let me introduce you to another meaning of Dead Beat.

 

Dead Beat is a metallic hardcore band hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States of America. Before you scoff at the hardcore tag, don’t be an elitist conformist and pass them off as a stereotypical chug-core hardcore band. This demo might only a lightweight three-track in length, but it packs a serious punch…enough force to push you through a brick wall.

 

My favorite part of this demo is the guitar work. The tone offers a heavy vibe that is fitting to the rank of hardcore bands, which is pleasing. But what keeps you really listening to each song over and over is the melodic edge that August Harper applies to his guitar riffs. It makes each track creative and pleasant, while still having that heavy edge. His technique took something that could have been simplistic and repetitive and turned it into something very memorable.

 

Aside from the crazy cool melodic touch, Dead Beat offers a heavy jam session in a short amount of time. There are plenty of breakdown sections that make you want to get up and move. Though there may be a few of these sections in the demo, they move at a good pace and don’t get old for the listener. Another nice touch is the abrasive vocals of Brandon Fitzgerald. There’s nothing pretty about his vocal style, which isn’t an insult. His screaming sounds angry and fierce, which gives Dead Beat that “I’m going to beat you to a pulp” hardcore sound. And lastly, when you throw in the technical drum patterns and blasting sections, drummer Chris Peters really drives the music home.

 

My last shout-out goes to the track “Leviathan”. Man, does that bass introduction really kick some ass. You’ll find the distortion to sound like something out of a sludge band, but it’s matched with a punk feel. That’s definitely a moment that gets a few rewinds in this release. Kudos to August Harper, who happened to also lay down bass tracks on this album (bassist Cameron Carrell was unable to attend the recording session).

 

If you’re looking to get into hardcore, or you’re a hardcore veteran, this is something for you to add to your collection. For only being three songs, this demo MOVES. Drop by their bandcamp and invest, you will not be disappointed.

 

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pictured above: August Harper (guitar), Chris Peters (drums), Cameron Carrell (ex-bass guitar, helped write bass lines on this release). Not shown in picture, Brandon Fitzgerald (vocals)

 

Dead Beat on Facebook

Dead Beat on BandCamp

– Matt Dorr

Sangharsha Interview

Sangharsha are a Hardcore band from New York with roots in Nepal. I’ve been a fan of ’em ever since a Nepali friend of mine made me hear their split record with Kathmandu based HC goons Jugaa. They’ve been a regular in my playlist ever since, and interviewing them was one of the first things on my mind when I started this blog/zine. I managed to interview Sangharsha’s guitarist and founder Kshitiz Moktan and talked to him about the past, present and future of his band.

Sangharha's self titled EP (2012) is a regular on my playlist.

Sangharha’s self titled EP (2012) is a regular on my playlist.

 

Hey Kshitiz. How’s everything at your end?

Enjoying Life and Fatherhood, dawn of a new era!

 

Despite being around for a few years, Sangharsha remains somewhat of an enigmatic entity. Can you give us a brief summary concerning the history of the band?

One night in the hot summer weather in 2004 in Alabama, a vision struck to me, what if four meteorites would stuck together hit the earth, what would happen, this is when the vision started to take a reality.

 

The sound has evolved quite a bit since the band’s nascent days. The first demo was no-frills hardcore but you’ve flirted with heavier, sludgier, doomier sounds since then. With this in mind, what sort sounds do you see Sangharsha exploring in the future?

Beautiful, minimalistic but powerful and spiritual songs of love and realization.

 

Sangharsha’s lyrics were expressed purely in the Nepali language in the past. You’ve started to incorporate English songs lately, however. What inspired this shift?

So that we can harness and fine tune some of our accentuated, articulated and grammatically perfect Eng-Lish!

 

You recently put out the Ghalazat (Urdu for Filth) compilation with a bunch of rad hardcore, grind and death metal bands from Nepal and Pakistan. What was the purpose behind the compilation, and when can we expect a sequel to it?

Ghalazat was envisioned as a love for humanity with a ray of hope of music to celebrate that we together can co-exist in this world full of extra terrestrial beings. Expect Ghalazat II to be back in 2014 with more songs and bands supporting our vision.

 

Ghalazat featured UgraKarma, Binaash, Terrifyer, Foreskin, Jugaa as well as Sangharsha.

Ghalazat featured UgraKarma, Binaash, Terrifyer, Foreskin, Jugaa as well as Sangharsha.

 

Despite making a lot of noise, you lads haven’t been too active on the live front, though.

We like to write and create history rather than be on the streets preaching about something.

 

Right, now let’s talk about your pre-Sangharsha musical endeavors. You and Vishal of Jugaa were in Inside 2 Stoopid Triangles, a really rad Punk Rock band from Kathmandu apparently.

Four wannabes trying to be hipsters back in those days playing hip punk music which people thought was anti-everything which was quite the opposite when we started it and ended it.

 

Not many people can claim being in kickass hardcore and punk bands in two different countries. What’s the biggest difference you noticed in the scene in Kathmandu and the scene in New York?

Never been a part of a scene, so no comments please.

 

You’re recording your next record in Kurt Ballou’s (Converge) studio. How’d that come across and when can we expect the new stuff?

Well Kurt does a super job of bringing out a Band’s natural sound to a record, since we are going to record songs that are emotional and full of love and realization, it was a natural choice.

 

What’s on your playlist these days?

Listening to a lot of MattyB, that’s all in my list, go check out MattyB in youtube, it’s awesome.

 

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Any parting words?

Keep the Faith (George Michael)

 

Kshitiz (L) dedicates this interview to drummer Dipesh Mote (R) as well as Vishal Rai of Jugaa (not pictured)

Kshitiz (L) dedicates this interview to drummer Dipesh Mote (R) as well as Vishal Rai of Jugaa (not pictured)

 

Read our review of the Sangharsha/Jugaa split here.

Sangharsha on Facebook.

– Hassan Dozakhi