Category Archives: Music

Music Reviews from WOBC staff. Includes Best New Music and From the WOBC Vault.

Vault Workgroup Mixtape

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Hi WOBC!
Vault workgroup here! We have some exciting updates.

Our recent Disco party was rip-roaring success, a crowded event with lots of dancing and great DJs. In addition to this event, our group has been putting together a compilation CD of all the best tracks we’ve found in the vault this semester. Below you can find the tracklist — most of these songs cannot be found online, so we encourage people to come in and search for these albums in the station! A great way to get to know the vault. Have a great summer!

  1. Tempo no Tempo – State of Emergency from The Get Down
  2. sharkattack – charline.look.for.the line
  3. Jens Lekman – Waiting for Kirsten from An Argument with Myself
  4. Savages – Sad Person from Adore Life
  5. Art of Noise – Peter Gunn (the Twang Mix) from Peter Gunn
  6. Shelley Hirsch – The Aida Song from O Little Town of East New York
  7. Daniel Wang – Like Some Dream from I Was a Disco Malcontent
  8. Fursaxa – Clé Elum from Alone in the Dark Wood
  9. Slits – Earthbeat from The Return of the Giant Slits
  10. Blonde Redhead – Elephant Woman from Misery is a Butterfly

Rhythmically Gifted: An Interview with Nick Yacyshyn

WFW; RUFUS DRUMS; nick yacyshyn; al; tiina liimu photo

I’ve recently had the pleasure of corresponding, mostly via Facebook messenger, with Canadian drummer Nick Yacyshyn.  Like a lot of metal heads I’ve met and/or talked to, Nick’s a genuinely friendly guy, and he has graciously agreed to be interviewed for the WOBC blog. On top of that, he’s a uniquely talented, creative drummer.

I first became aware of Nick as a result of his involvement in post-metal super group SUMAC, where he plays alongside Aaron Turner of Isis/Old Man Gloom and Brian Cook of Russian Circles/ex-Botch/ex-These Arms Are Snakes. As I’ve said many times to those who will listen, SUMAC’s inaugural album, The Deal, is hands down my favorite of 2015. Since its release, I’ve listened to it at least 10 times. As a drummer, I became fascinated by Nick’s complex texturing and unconventional rhythmic patterns. One song in particular, ‘Thorn in the Lion’s Paw’, had my mind warped. Rather than submitting to my utter confusion, I decided to reach out to Nick and ask him what the pattern was. Despite being on tour on the other side of the planet, Nick got back to me with an hour. He clearly explained the drumbeat, and demystified that which would have otherwise remained totally opaque and indecipherable.

Following this exchange, I dug into Nick’s back catalog, including (but not limited to) his two albums with British Columbia based hardcore act Baptists. Needless to say, I was blown away, not only by the band’s explosive sound but also by their—and in particular Nick’s—breakneck speed. And as I soon found out, I wasn’t the only person who was impressed. Ex-Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighter Dave Grohl had posted numerous videos of Nick playing with Baptists online, accompanied by messages like ‘My favorite drummer’ and ‘Drummers beware’.  Drummers beware, indeed.

But enough with the stunning praise and all-star endorsements, and onto the interview!

Continue reading Rhythmically Gifted: An Interview with Nick Yacyshyn

The Best Shows Punk Workgroup Experienced This Past Summer 2015

Though it seems like too long ago to even recall, Summer 2015 was a thing. As some people are inclined to do, members of this semester’s Punk workgroup attended several live music shows during this period and experienced some things. More often than not these were good things. Here are the best of those things. And guess what! The shows were not strictly “punk”. There you have it. Also: Punk workgroup meets Mondays at 5pm in the station. Come!

Boredoms, courtesty of Ivan Krasnov
Boredoms, courtesty of Ivan Krasnov
Ivan Krasnov, Punk workgroup director, fourth year
Boredoms playing with 88 (!) cymbal players
as part of Doug Aitken’s Station to Station show at the Barbican Centre in London, England
27 June 2015
Yes, I will admit to dozing off during this Boredoms set. I was sweating and wriggling around in my seat in all kinds of bizarre ways, completely transfixed by the monster that was being birthed right in front of me, only to feel my eyes start to glaze over and blood rush away from my brain. This was not due to any sort of lack of sleep, however. No way. The Japanese noise-rock titans Boredoms, with the aid of eighty-eight (yes, 88) cymbal players surrounding them in a huge concentric circle, were pummeling each and every one of my senses. It became so exhausting that my body just gave in, I guess. Such was the visceral nature of this performance. Yamantaka Eye played the cult leader, conducting an orchestra of devoted cymbal players to create crescendos that felt like an ocean’s waves crashing right into you and sweeping you away. The 2 hour plus performance saw multiple guitars, drummers and noises enter in a most tasteful and surprisingly consonant fashion. The chords and short progressions they created together remain in my mind as bright, full-bodied pastel colors shining through the chaos. These were truly vital in grounding me, the listener and spectator, during an otherwise rhythmically heavy and thundering performance. Truly unlike anything I have ever experienced before.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuprpAurObA
Alex Chalmers, Punk workgroup devotee, fourth year
Numb Bats/Beat Awfuls 

at Bric-a-Brac Records in Chicago
Some time in July I think?
The opener was some Chicago band whose name I can’t recall – they weren’t all that good. Sort of off time and the levels were never quite right, so someone was always drowning out the rest of the band. But Beat Awfuls came on second and really blew me away. They played drone-y Southern garage rock with lots of reverb. Their songs are haunting and painfully beautiful, with heavy heavy lyrics (something along the lines of “I sold my little brother ecstasy, and now he takes it 5 times a week”). Their set paved the way for Numb Bats, a post-punk trio from Phoenix, Arizona. Like Beat Awfuls, their songs are big and reverb-y, but with more punk edge, wittier lyrics and a more driving rhythm. The bass player uses distortion a lot (so punk), their harmonies are on point, and they have an incredible energy on stage. Moments that stuck with me are basically just snatches of their songs: “You’re so pretty!”, “And he may walk with a grin, but he’ll shake you thin/his fits are so ugly, and his tummy so hungry/i keep waking up at night, and i feel like a child!”
Confession time: I bought their album Gentle Horror at the show, and have been listening to it on repeat in my car since. Definitely a band to listen to, watch, become obsessed with.

Staff Picks, Summer Edition

Summer programming is over! The small-but-mighty summer staff are here to share what we’ll be listening to while we’re waitin for fall @ WOBC.

Max, summer engineer: Jamie XX

Off of Jamie XX’s new album In Colour, this song combines an addictive beat, verses by Young Thug, hooks by Popcaan, and holds it all together with extensive sampling from The Persuasions’ 1971 “Good Times” to create one of the best songs of the summer.

 

Nandita, summer station manager: Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment

An ode to Chance the Rapper’s grandma, also feat. a gospel choir and the lovely Jamila Woods. The whole album is good vibes and I’m addicted. 

 

Wretched Wisdom: A WOBC Interview With Mick Barr of Krallice

Photo credit http://www.invisibleoranges.com/2013/04/live-photosvideo-absu-krallice/

With an all-star (and fully original) lineup that counts among its ranks multi-instrumentalist and producer Colin Marston (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia, Behold The Arctopus, etc), ever-busy bassist Nick McMaster (Geryon, Gath Smane, ex-Castevet), endurant skinsman Lev Weinstein (Geryon, Bloody Panda), and outre solo guitarist Mick Barr (Octis, Ocrilim, Crom-Tech), New York’s Krallice are nearly a supergroup at this point. The USBM pioneers have always possessed a single-minded drive for the experimental, drawing from yet ultimately eschewing both the riff-heavy paradigms established by the Scandinavian black metal progenitors and the occult dissonance of newer European BM. This approach is manifest in Krallice’s preoccupations with texture, atmosphere, and spontaneity, and it’s one that’s rendered the band controversial in the eyes of black metal traditionalists. But whatever your opinions may be about Krallice’s music, you can’t deny that it’s something different, and it’s only become more so over the last few years. The band’s last album, 2012’s Years Past Matter, saw the band traveling further outside the realm of BM conventions, incorporating clean guitars and a notable increase in aggression. WOBC Metal recently spoke to guitarist Mick Barr, who touched on some of the background of the group as well as on Krallice’s current pursuits and future plans.

It’s been almost 7 years since the first Krallice record came out. What do you think has changed most about your sound since then?

Our lives have evolved, and our brains and music must follow suit. However, our working methods haven’t changed much. We still write music using roughly the same methods; one of the 3 songwriters will bring forth a skeleton, and all 4 of us will write to it. We still practice and record at Colin’s studio Menegroth. We still have roughly the same gear. Writing-wise, we have been allowing more of our personal styles to rear their heads in our music: more death metal, more technicality, less repetitive black metal structuring. And I suppose the biggest change since the first album is Nick McMaster no longer just does “additional vocals”…

You all juggle a number of different side projects. Is Krallice your collective first priority? 

It seems like first priority usually goes to the band/project that books the individual member’s time the furthest in advance. This band is very important to all of us, but we aren’t the type of people to limit ourselves to one particular priority. Music is our first priority, and it takes many forms. And i don’t think any of us views anything we do as a “side-project”. However, Krallice is my personal first priority as far as “bands” I’m in. But I’m in way less bands than the other 3 members in Krallice, so I sometimes lament the lack of prioritization while we discuss scheduling.

One thing I find striking about your records is the sonic clarity that you achieve. How does this translate to a live setting? Does anything get lost? 

It seems to translate alright I guess. I strive to not worry much about live sound, as it seems to be a losing battle. I’m sure many things get lost, but many other things get found in the live setting. Things that might have been a bit clouded in the recording might ring louder. Also, how riffs are played evolve over time, which only gets a chance to be shown while being performed.

Continue reading Wretched Wisdom: A WOBC Interview With Mick Barr of Krallice