If you ever want to get some perspective on the insular, incestuous musical world we live in, spend some time lurking on the Metal Archives forums, especially the threads where they discuss which bands have been blacklisted. A group of self-appointed cultural guardians seeking to define an incredibly narrow, clearly broken definition of Metal by striving with one hand to fit those bands they don’t approve of into different labels, and with the other to think of excuses to justify the bands they want to include anyway, it is the perfect reminder that the walls between genres are not – SHOULD not be – as firmly defined as we would sometimes like them to be.
Steve Austin’s perennial hate machine Today Is The Day fall very much outside of the Metal Archives High Council’s definition of Metal (they are “noise rock” or “sludge-core”, or some other short-hand for “we do not approve”), but when Animal Mother’s (Southern Lord) first track thunders in on a wave of filth and despair the question is instantly rendered irrelevant. Animal Mother’s main musical coin is the filthy, heaving riff topped with Austin’s pained, furious roars and screams, but these collide with deliberate awkwardness into melodic passage, uncomfortable acoustic explorations and electronic noises.
Despite some surprisingly catchy riffs, Animal Mother is not the most accessible of releases, and there are moments which can sorely test the listener’s resolve. Repetition is generally used well, but some songs stretch a little beyond their welcome, and occasional jarring transitions between passages and tracks can leave the reader a little bewildered. These aren’t so much criticisms, however, as simply how Austin does things. He could write a catchy album of dirty riffs if he chose, but he’d much rather air his musical dirty laundry in public and drag you through the cramped, twisting, uncomfortable labyrinth of his thoughts.
Easily taking its place alongside Coffinworm, Indian and Primitive Man as one of 2014’s most overwhelmingly filthy and hateful albums, whether or not Animal Mother is Metal is a question entirely devoid of meaning.
Legendary noise, post-metal pioneers Today Is The Day are readying their new album Animal Mother, for release on Southern Lord. They have dropped a new single in the form of a malicious new video for the song ‘Masada’. The video was created with David Hall of Handshake Inc. Led by mastermind Steve Austin, TITD boasts a killer new lineup consisting of Sean Conkling (Regression, Burn Your Halo, Sprawl) and drummer Jeff Lohrber (Enabler, ex-Harlots).
From the Press Release:
The first single from Today Is The Day’s tenth LP, Animal Mother, has been released via Metal Injection through a disturbing new video for the ninth track, “Masada,” as the band begins to divulge the newest developments in their massive upcoming tour schedule.
Produced by visual architect David Hall of Handshake Inc., the disturbing accompaniment for “Masada” delivers the track in a vibrant, high-contrast collage of footage, combining imagery born of nature’s itinerary and humanity’s inherently sadistic and perverse ways. Cult leaders summon more flies to the fire while children learn to handle automatic weapons. Brains decay and maggots feast upon the flesh of mammals, while a twisted, obfuscated plot unfolds amidst several unnamed humans in this disgustingly satisfying slab of cinematic madness. Undeniable lust, seething anger, inward loathing and outward aggression all flow in an occult blend of Americana that is as unique as the song. In other words, it’s “Today Is The Day as fuck.”
Issued director David Hall of the video: “I’m always honored when Steve Austin asks me to create a video for Today Is The Day. Early on we decided that ‘Masada’ should be the track people hear first from the new album because it really represents the album in terms of rock and diversity and TITD insanity. Steve wanted a video that would infect minds and reflect the madness of the music. I ate some meatloaf and went on a vision quest and was shown a couple in a desert being corrupted by their dysfunction and desire to control one another. So this is what I made.”
Southern Lord will release Animal Mother on LP, CD and digital download in North America on October 14th, as the band’s first venture for the label. With Animal Mother still lurking in the shadows, the band prepares for an extensive bout of widespread live actions in support of the album. From October 7th through the 26th, Today Is The Day will shred through the US on a headlining tour with direct support from Chicago deviants, Lord Mantis. This is the first phase of touring which will expand in the coming days, taking the band out on several more excursions through the rest of the year and well into 2015. Stand by for more major developments about to be issued in the coming days.
Today Is The Day w/ Lord Mantis:
10/07/2014 Geno’s – Portland, ME
10/08/2014 Sonny’s – Dover, NH
10/09/2014 Spotlight Tavern – Beverly, MA
10/10/2014 Dusk – Providence, RI
10/11/2014 The Pinch – Washington, DC
10/12/2014 The Acheron – Brooklyn, NY
10/13/2014 Kung-Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA
10/14/2014 Church – Boston, MA
10/15/2014 The Depot – York, PA
10/16/2014 Cafe 611 – Frederick, MD
10/17/2014 TBA – Long Island, NY
10/18/2014 Jabber Jaws – Allentown, PA
10/19/2014 Hideaway – Johnson City, TN
10/20/2014 The Handlebar – Pensacola, FL
10/21/2014 Siberia – New Orleans, LA
10/23/2014 Ground Zero – Spartanburg, SC
10/25/2014 Hangar 21 – Shreveport, LA
10/26/2014 Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
10/26/2014 Hi Tone – Memphis, TN
As always, the dejected and vengeful hymns Today Is The Day delivers with their latest opus are among the most scathing passages of audio one will experience, as Animal Mother unloads just short of a solid hour of pure anguish. The band’s lineup features the rhythm section of bassist Sean Conkling (Regression, Burn Your Halo, Sprawl) and drummer Jeff Lohrber (Enabler, ex-Harlots), fronted by cult leader, founding guitarist/vocalist Steve Austin. Through fifteen diversified attacks,Animal Mother‘s wrath recalls elements of several seminal TITD albums, merging the dementia ofTemple Of The Morning Star with the blazing delivery of In The Eyes Of God, yet several acoustic and more melodic angles elevate the LP’s material to entirely different dimensions. The Animal Mother recordingsessions took place at the notorious architect’s own Austin Enterprises in the deeply wooded Maine wilderness this brutal past Winter, the material fully produced and mastered by Austin, and shrouded in original artwork by Samantha Muljat.