Fashion Week – Prêt-à-Porter

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Who do they think they are with that bio? Nirvana? They’ll never own enough plaid! The Ramones with that promo shot in front of the former CBGB’s with is now ironically a high-end fashion shop? Like they’d never look that cool in leather. I would have to agree with Rolling Stone’s senior editor David Fricke though, when he stated “The Ramones were the normal guys everybody loved to love,” in which I could see some parallels and ok, maybe the guitar and bass have some similarities.

This cheeky trio, Fashion Week, featuring guitarist/vocalist Josh Lozano (Jarboe, Cobalt, Family), drummer Carl Eklof(Victory at Sea, Lidia Stone, Inswarm) and bassist Oscar Albis Rodriguez (A Great Big World, No Way, Nakatomi Plaza) set forth their noisy full-length debut Prêt-à-Porter (Solar Flare Records), following up their self-released Applicator and Coextinction Release 11 with Coextiction Recordings. Though the line-up has gone through some slight changes, it’s safe to say the mood and original style has remained intact, with the recording and mixing of Andrew Schneider (Unsane, Keelhaul) and mastering of Carl Saff(Pigs, Sofy Major) ellipsing every into an even greater epic cacophony.
The album starts off with ‘Fendi Bender’ who’s lead in brings me back to 90s noise rock bands like Unsane but with a lighter tone, reflective of an externally cleaner, safer New York, who’s underbelly remains just as thorny and problematic. Sly bursts of Lozano’s raging hardcore vocals, supercharge post-hardcore melody as the guitar trails resonates with every note. Their video for it is now streaming on Metal Injection, featuring Jesse Madre of Tiger Flowers if you want to check it out.
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The third track on the album, ‘Meek is Meeznable’ pummels out catchy sludge riffs, the likes of Red Fang, scattered with raunchy distortion and melodic melodies. It’s as if Jawbox and Quicksand combined to form an amazingly chaotic yet progressive supergroup. After listening to the makings of this album about a year ago, my favourites continue to change, only proving Prêt-à-Porter continues to deliver with every listen.

‘Summer Line’ has a spacey, Failure inspired intro that makes it one of my favourites on the album, along with ‘Haute Topic’ who’s mysterious bass line I just can’t get enough of. For anyone who was a fan of 90s hardcore and noise rock, Fashion Week’s Prêt-à-Porter is a staple that should be added to your collection.

8.5/10

CHRISTINE HAGER

Rabbits Streaming Brighton Show

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Portland rockers Rabbits has made their recent show from Brighton available here and “Meth Valley 99” with Guro of MoE on guest vocals, recorded at La Residencia in Valenica, Spain on Halloween here. Watch their Whitey McConnaughy analong-damaged video for “So Fake It’s Real” here. Listen to the lowdown on Booze’s dirty gear here. Stream the album here.

They are touring behind Untoward, the band’s third full length record via Lamb Unlimited (Chris Spencer of Unsane and Alan Schneider of No More Records). It was tracked live to tape at Type Foundary, Portland in one day and mixed in two, engineered by Jeremy Romagna (Trees, Tecumseh, Wives) and Fester (Nux Vomica, Usnea, Stoneburner), mastered by Ryan Foster at Foster Mastering, and the cover artwork by Anne Mersereau.

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Holy Tongues – Weak People

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The demise of angry yet thoughtful hardcore types Ruiner back in 2010 was mourned hard by those who preferred a little more variety with their tough-guy rage workouts, but ultimately their passing wasn’t noticed by the masses. However several members of the band in question have decided to re-group and have another go in the form of Holy Tongues, playing a style of music with one foot in the hardcore camp but seemingly eager to leave old habits behind.

Weak People (Melotov Records) is the debut effort by Dustin Thornton, Stephen Smeal and Joey Edwards; all previous members of the aforementioned Ruiner. Clocking in at thirty-four minutes, the album is a short yet interesting exploration of the uncertain ground where melodic hardcore meets noise rock; imagine Unsane playing around with a few old Poison the Well B-sides and you have an idea of the sounds captured on Weak People. The rhythm section is particularly impressive with the twanging bass guitar and playful drums establishing a solid background while the guitars lay down just as many squalling noise and melodic lines as they do anything approaching the thicker riffs one might expect from this sub-genre.

Tracks such as ‘Filters’ build nicely along a hefty bassline with the guitars brooding in a confident manner while ‘92’ kicks out the jams in fine punkish style. Elsewhere, the melodic introspection of ‘Bright Light’ proves to be an engaging listen with the soul-searching lyrics painting a bittersweet picture of the life of a young band-member.

For all the thoughtfulness however, there is no real energy or passion evident on WeakPeople with the band clearly still finding their feet. However, given time, there is potential for something special to emerge.

6.0/10.0

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JAMES CONWAY