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Archive for February, 2014

Sounds of the underground – Feb 2014

A round-up of current underground rumblings

Here are just some of the current happenings in the UK’s underground rock and metal scene, featuring new and upcoming releases.

Talanas – acoustic mini-album coming soon

Talanas - Asylum promo

Progessive-death metallers Talanas will soon be releasing the acoustic mini-album ‘Asylum’, via their own Eulogy Media label. Showcasing a different side to their sound, though still not a million miles away from their brand of progressively-minded/goth-influenced death metal, the first track to go public ‘Sister Damnable’ still has the same dark atmosphere and sense of menace we’ve come to expect from them. Pick up the latest edition of Terrorizer magazine to hear the new track exclusively, or check out this teaser below. ‘Asylum’ will be released digitally on Saturday 22nd February.

https://www.facebook.com/talanasband

Alone With Wolves – new EP in the works

CIMG5971

Cambridge/Herts-based quintet AWW are currently working on their new EP, the first with their new(ish) vocalist Danilo Fiocco, who joined them last year. You can hear samples of what’s to come, in the series of studio diary videos they’ve posted on Youtube, the first of which is below. Their 2011 self-titled EP suggested they had what it takes to become the UK’s answer to Alexisonfire – if that sounds appealing, check out the video below.

https://www.facebook.com/alonewithwolves

Gilla Bruja – new EP available for free

CIMG5070

Southern-tinged sludge veterans Gilla Bruja have just released the new EP ‘Clubbed Hands and a Fist Full of Snakes’ and have made it available as a free download on Bandcamp. Frontman Paul March has been in various bands and kept the Gilla name active for the past 16 years, and this is one of his heaviest, more direct releases to date. If you’re into the NOLA sludge/metal scene, obsessed with horror or anything heavy from the UK’s underground scene, give this a listen.

https://www.facebook.com/gillabruja

Lord Skrugg – new noise coming soon

New Herts-based act Lord Skrugg, featuring former members of the aforementioned Gilla Bruja, Zebediah Crowe and Burn The Yeti, are currently busy putting together their debut material, with an aim to go public very soon. Below is a sample of what to expect – whilst still sludgy and doomy like their previous acts, this is sounding more intense, sharper and immediate. Lord Skrugg will be making their live debut soon – watch this space.

https://www.facebook.com/lordskrugg

The Dirty Youth – new single out now

The Dirth Youth Sept 2013

Welsh rockers The Dirty Youth have just released the new single ‘Alive’, with an accompanying video, below. TDY have seen their fanbase grow to an international level over the past couple of years, thanks to tours with the likes of Korn and The Rasmus, and that looks likely to continue this year, with further tours and an album release imminent. ‘Alive’ features everything you’d expect from TDY – frontwoman Danni’s powerful heart-on-sleeve vocal delivery, backed by stadium-sized riffs, packed into a catchy tune that won’t disappoint fans. ‘Alive’ is available now via iTunes with an exclusive b-side, with new album ‘Gold Dust’ set for release in coming months.


https://www.facebook.com/thedirtyyouth

Further links:
https://twitter.com/talanasband
https://www.facebook.com/eulogymedia
https://twitter.com/AWW_UK
https://twitter.com/thedirtyyouth

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The Irrelevant Opinion

Reasons why it’s ok to not care.

This is something of a new area for me to be writing about, but it relates to matters I’ve been pondering for some time now, so I thought I’d encapsulate these ideas into something that allows me talk about something that I do believe exists: ‘The Irrelevant Opinion’. Now, I’m sure many of you would (rightly) say that everyone is entitled to an opinion, and indeed this is true – however, there are also times when others deserve FREEDOM FROM unwanted opinions, times when an opinion (yours or someone else’s) really isn’t necessary. This may sound pretentious without context, so here I’ve tried to explain this belief, using examples that are inspired by things that my friends have gone through, in addition to things I’ve witnessed myself. I’ll try not to ramble.

“You should be ashamed of your tattoos”.

I’m sure many of you have seen the jpegs flying around the internet, with captions such as his:

Q: What will you look like when your old and wrinkly?
A: Awesome’

Indeed, you should be all proud of your tattoos, or whatever you do to express yourself. Sadly, such things are created because such questions are actually asked IRL. Whilst scrolling through my FB newsfeed, I have actually encountered posts by friends with tattoos, expressing that they’ve experienced ‘tutting’ and funny looks/comments from older passers-by, complete strangers. Sadly, wisdom doesn’t always come with age. Be proud of who you are, and remember that their opinion doesn’t count – the first example of ‘The Irrelevant Opinion’. It’s not their body, therefore, not their rules. Tattoos are doing no harm to anyone.

Fact vs Opinion

Some of you will recall someone I shall refer to only as ‘Ms Hatey’ (I shall not type her real name, as she’s had enough attention as it is), a Reality TV graduate who feels the need to express an opinion on everything. Again, everyone is entitled to an opinion yes, BUT, this particular attention-seeker likes to use the phrase ‘Telling it like it is’ – ah, no, let’s just clear that up. What she and people like her are doing, is actually just expressing an OPINION – not something that should be suddenly heralded as a universal truth. Just because one person has a point of view, you are never obligated to believe the same. What ‘Telling it like it is’ actually is, is ‘Telling you my opinion’. Step off that pedestal.

“Full-time mummy is not a job”

I’m sure many of you would have seen this on Facebook too – some women decide to post that ‘Full-time mummy’ in their job description/position box, as obviously, their chosen life direction means a lot to them, and they wish to express it. Or, in a similar vein, some choose to put something more light-hearted, clearly not meant to be serious – I myself once put ‘Cocktail-meister’ in mine, as it sounded much more interesting than my real job at the time. Some people, for whatever reason, choose to take issue with ‘Full-time mummy’ – why? What business is it of anyone elses? It may seem like a strange/almost minor thing to discuss, but it’s become something that crops up far too often, so I’m tired of holding my tongue. I see passive-aggressive statuses/posts from people in groups I’m in/comments from others (none of which are specifically aimed at a specific individual, conveniently for the poster), saying ‘mummy is not a fulltime job’ accompanied by a mini-rant, like they’re the self-appointed Facebook police. Now, I ask you, do you think any of them had the balls to message those they’re actually aiming those comments at? Do you think they’d even be brave enough to say those exact same things face-to-face?. My guess would be NO, and here’s few reasons why:

– They’re hypocritical cowards.
– They’re (perhaps) aware, at some level, at just how mean-spirited that actually is.
– They know full well they’d get their a**es handed back to them by a bigger person for daring to poke their nose in.

How convenient it is to hide behind the comfort of the computer screen.

To be honest, I don’t really know this particular point bugs me so much; I mean it doesn’t affect me personally (a close female friend once said I was like male feminist, maybe it’s that again? I don’t know….). BUT, as I’ve expressed, it really bugs me when people pass judgement on others so easily (life isn’t black and white, people) and generally speaking, I guess part of me has always felt like speaking up for the smaller person/victim. Putting aside the point that you’re not obligated to list your ‘job’ on FB (I can think of more interesting things to ask people/talk about) – I know many who’ve taken a great amount pride, and rightly so, in being a full-time mum. Leave well alone, it’s not your business.

Wow, I spent a lot of time on that one.

‘Random Drunk Guy’

Ah, we all know Random Drunk Guy. Sometimes, it’s Random Drunk People. Nobody (usually) knows who they are or where they’ve come from, but there they are, magically appearing from nowhere, ready to express some stupid unwelcome comment, often whilst moving in the opposite direction as yourself or from a safe distance. They’ll occasionally know exactly where to hit too, as if their inebriation has somehow made them perceptive to sore points. An unwelcome nuisance, but it’s important to remember, no one should care what they think – never allow such people to plant seeds of doubt. Clearly, they have nothing better to do with their time, and have an overwhelming desire for attention and the need to belittle – same principle applies to internet trolls. Neither of these creatures is worth your time. Which brings me to….

‘The Judgmental Keyboard Warrior’

Keyboard Warriors come in all shapes – some are perfectly harmless. Others however, are just made of spite and ignorance. JKW likes to look down his nose at single mothers, because he has apparently never heard of divorce, bereavement or relationships that sadly don’t work. It’s hard to tell whether it’s due to them being devoid of sentiment, or just being stuck in their own supposedly perfect little bubble. JKW makes rash generalisations, and also frowns upon JSA/DLA claimants – seems he’s also never heard of redundancies, recessions or cost-cutting, or debilitating illnesses. JKW often tends to recycle their opinions from others, without taking anytime to research for accuracy, to the detriment of their reliability.
In other areas, JKW is also the person who, regardless of how many times he hits that ‘Dislike’ button on Youtube or makes all the nasty comments he can muster, just cannot seem to grasp the fact that that band he doesn’t like will still just continue to make music for as long as they wish to – why, he asks? Well, it’s simple – his opinion is again, irrelevant. He’ll simple just need to look for attention elsewhere. Or, try doing something more productive, perhaps even positive.

This recently-published article is one good example of what I’m talking about:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/alisonvingiano/this-tumblr-user-shows-her-horrific-anonymous-messages-in-a

I hope this has all made some kind of sense to some of you, maybe you’ve even be able to take something from it – when I first started mentally preparing this piece, I wasn’t sure if/when it would just turn into a very long rant! Never pass judgment without knowing the facts – remember that everyone is facing their own struggles, no matter how big or small.

Instead – well, I will end on something I’ve always believed – always remember to laugh at yourself occasionally; you’re the only one with any right to.