Category Archives: Mylene Sheath

Heaps of new stuff from Mylene Sheath, Twice Removed, Spectral Haze, The Cosmic Dead….!

New stuff….


Spectral Haze – I.E.V.: Transmutated Nebula Remains LP (one copy left available to reserve. They are on their way, not in hand yet) $23


Aeges – Above and Down Below LP (trans green with gold splatter vinyl /100, one left) $29; CD (one left) $14


Minot – Equal / Opposite LP (all variants available, ltd qtys) $29; CD $14


Jacob – Sines LP (one one copy left available to reserve. Black vinyl. They are on pre-order from the label, not in hand yet) $42


A whole array of Twice Removed Records releases. Drone/ambient/experimental CDs. Bulk deal – $45 for any 5 releases posted to Australia, $50 world


The Cosmic Dead / Guardian Alien – Split LP $34


Hobbledehoy presses of Caspian – Waking Season $34, This Will Destroy You – Another Language $34 and Arrows – Modern Art and Politics $32


In Zaire – White Sun Black Sun LP repress (one left) $26


Recent arrivals…


Essence Music CD releases from Expo 70, Up-Tight and Nadja

Sunfighter tapes from Bookmaker Records

Dave Cintron related (Myra Gale – self released; No On – Lighten Up Sounds released)

Der Blutharsch and the Infinite Church of the Leading Hand – All to Pieces 12″

Cosmic Dead CDs from Paradigms Recordings


Mylene Sheath goodies, Cosmic Dead and more from Paradigms Recordings, ODAWAS LPs from Bookmaker and glorious Essence Music CDs!

It’s been a while, but finally we have some new Mylene Sheath jamz for your listening pleasure. In a new development at the label, we have the first cassette release by the Sheath. Constants main-man Will Benoit steps away from his usual rock haunt, and provides us with an intimate insight into his creative left-fieldism with his Living Phantoms release ‘Shiver’. The mighty Pelican grace us with a little slab of 45rpm instru-rock gold, we have brand new songs from a brand new post-hardcore/alt-rock band in San Angelus (featuring a bloke from Pelican), we have the gloriously understated Dust Moth EP on 12″ vinyl and CD; plus restocks of Caspian’s Tertia and You Are The Conductor LPs.


Pelican 7" from The Mylene Sheath

Pelican 7″ from The Mylene Sheath

Living Phantoms - Shiver cassette from The Mylene Sheath.

Living Phantoms – Shiver cassette from The Mylene Sheath.

Dust Moth - Dragon Mouth CD & 12" EP from The Mylene Sheath

Dust Moth – Dragon Mouth CD & 12″ EP from The Mylene Sheath

San Angelus 7" from The Mylene Sheath

San Angelus 7″ from The Mylene Sheath

Caspian from The Mylene Sheath

Caspian from The Mylene Sheath


Let The Cosmic Dead into your world. Let the mighty riff’n’drone take you to the far reaches of time and space. Let Paradigms Recordings bring you ever closer to infinite bliss. This can be achieved, and The Cosmic Dead will guide you there.

The Archipelago Rises is once again, very proud and honoured to be stocking releases from that most impressive label, Paradigms Recordings. In our latest batch, we’ve got the CD presses of all The Cosmic Dead full-lengths, including the never-before-released Orbiting Salvation! Back in stock is the Self-Titled release, which started this whole new world off; The Exalted King, now on CD since we’ve looooong sold out of our previous cassette version from Dub Ditch Picnic; EasterFaust, previously only available on LP via Sound of Cobra (we have one of those left too!) and as mentioned, Orbiting Salvation, brand new to the physical format. As with all Paradigms Releases, they are beautiful things. Wondrous things. Things that will change your mind about the world we live in.

The Cosmic Dead - Self Titled from Paradigms Recordings.

The Cosmic Dead – Self Titled from Paradigms Recordings.


The Cosmic Dead – The Exalted King from Paradigms Recordings


The Cosmic Dead – EasterFaust CD from Paradigms Recordings


The Cosmic Dead – Orbiting Salvation from Paradigms Recordings.


Also from Paradigms Recordings we have releases from Wailing of the Winds, a psychedelic-folky-trip-out of the highest order; Aidan Baker‘s double CD ambient works opus ‘Loop Studies’ and restocks of Titan‘s ‘Untitled’ psyche behemoth.

Wailing of the Winds 'II' from Paradigms Recordings

Wailing of the Winds ‘II’ from Paradigms Recordings


Aidan Baker’s ‘Loop Studies’ double CD from Paradigms Recordings!


Titan’s ‘Untitled’ opus from Paradigms Recordings.


In some glorious news, The Archipelago Rises will now be stocking releases from our Brazilian brothers-in-music, Essence Music! To celebrate this new marriage, we have the latest 3 releases from Essence Music – Expo 70 ‘Virtually From The Unknown’, Nadja ‘Queller’ and Up-Tight ‘The Night Is Yours’ – and if you use the code ESSENCE during checkout of your order, you’ll get 20% off your Essence items! Code lasts for 1 week only, so get in quick!

Nadja - Queller from Essence Music

Nadja – Queller from Essence Music


Expo 70 – Virtually From The Unknown from Essence Music


Up-Tight – The Night Is Yours from Essence Music.


Michael J Tapscott, the man behind the incredible ‘Good Morning, Africa’ LP release Bookmaker put out a little while back, is back again with his alter-ego-band ODAWAS. ‘Casting their gaze into the cosmos, the present finds Odawas crafting songs of the future to deal with the past. Drawing from the later novels of science-fiction visionary Philip K. Dick, songwriter Michael James Tapscott adapts campfire stories of personal narrative and vicarious observation for the frozen flames of Ichthys. Across these interstellar structures of human plight, producer and arranger Isaac Edwards paints galactic swaths of cinematic scope and delves deeper into the sonority of the organic and synthetic, from the dim-lit ache of resignation in “Home,” through the epiphanic vastness of “What If Our World is Their Heaven?” With Reflections of a Pink Laser, Odawas extends a stigmatic hand and with a flash of the eyes invites you, dear listener, on an epic journey from innerspace to the outer limits.’

In some unfortunate news, the sleeves arrived to me with seam splits at the top and some of the corners are a bit bumped. Seems the postal services didn’t think this package was worth handling with any kind-of care. Whilst the vinyl is perfect, the splits at the top measure a centimetre or so. The price has been reduced to accommodate.

ODAWAS - Reflections of a Pink Laser from Bookmaker Records.

ODAWAS – Reflections of a Pink Laser from Bookmaker Records.

All links have listening samples for you to dive into.

International Shipping back up and running in the bigcartel store

Hey all, just a quick note regards the infernal monolith that is Australia Post. The good news is we are up and running again with international shipping through the bigcartel store. The bad news is their international rates have changed once again, so I’ve had to remove individual shipping rates for each item and have added an International Shipping product in the store that you need to select on top of your purchase (if you’re not getting yr item shipped to an Australian address). You will pay the amount of shipping that listed with each item you buy + the International Shipping option in order to get yr item sent.

This may end up seeming like a lot of money, and if you buy multiple LPs, it WILL be a lot of money. HOWEVER, whatever you pay over and above what Australia Post will charge to ship yr item(s), WILL BE REFUNDED TO YOU. That is The Archipelago Rises shipping promise. The MAXIMUM shipping any buyer will pay when buying stuff at The Archipelago Rises will be the EXACT postage charge Australia Post charges me to send the item(s).

You can read more about it here:
There is a SHIPPING category in the Label section which has both international shipping options:

REMEMBER, the maximum you will ever pay for shipping through The Archipelago Rises is the exact cost Australia Post charges to send the item.

And, after we make all the calculations, and yr still unhappy with the shipping cost, I will only be too happy to refund your total order before it gets sent out.

New stuff in the shop

Arktika – Heartwrencher 12″
Caspian – Waking Season DLP
Dead Dragon Mountain – Huddled Masses Under the Burning Sky tape
Jagernaut / Terlarang 7″
Muse – The 2nd Law DLP
Number None – Strategies Against Agriculture tape
Persistence in Mourning – Absent God / Sleeping Giant tape
Persistence in Mourning – God is Not Here CD
Snapline – Future Eyes CD
Snapline – Phenomena CD
Sutcliffe Jugend – Blue Rabbit CD
Torturing Nurse / Automating – Split tape
Vomir – Processing the Wall tape
X is Y – Never Sever + LP 2CD

News for the February of 2012 in The Archipelago Rises

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2012 from The Archipelago Rises!

 We’ve got a few new arrivals in the store for your aural enjoyment. Some really exciting stuff too!


‘S/T’ 12”

(Radar Swarm)

First up, we’ve got the split LP release between Expo ’70 and Altair Temple, released by Radar Swarm. Expo ’70 contributes a sidelong excursion into the drone mind with the track ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’. This is one of Expo ‘70s more divergent recordings as it moves from vision to vision across its 20-minute length. The track originally appeared on the ‘Paralyzed’ cassette, which came with initial pre-orders of the ‘Death Voyage’ release. It features some lightly manipulated percussive work on top of Justin’s psyche guitar. At 5 minutes in, the subtlety is suddenly drowned under waves of heaving bass drones. The drones cascade across your aural plain like huge crashing craft from the outer reaches – only to be supplanted by some more of Jw’s more intense, hypnotic guitar work. And we’re only half way through the track.

Saying that Expo ’70 takes you on a journey is understatement personified. Perfectly suited to the vinyl format and to headphone listening, the track gains advantage from the vinyl medium as the world-within-the-world undercurrents are exposed to the listener without the listener having to dredge through the hum of the original cassette release. Or; maybe, I need a better cassette deck. Or; maybe I need to embrace the hum….

 Altair Temple continues the precedent set by Expo ’70 on the previous side by contributing 3 more tracks of wondrous drones. Deep resonance abounds. Large, heavy speakers essential. Or ruddy good headphones. I have a pair of Bose headphones and they just handled the listen. Did I have it up too loud? Well, really, that’s the only way to listen to drone.

“Exconjuration…” builds an increasingly menacing wall of sound across its length. Imagine yourself moving slowly towards the event horizon (of the Laurence Fishburne type) with the trepidation slowly building in your mind. The radiation increases, the noise thickens and you’ve found yourself pulverized under the weight of the ‘Mountain Drone’. Claustrophobic wall of low frequency. As ‘Ars Theurgia’ begins, the cathartic release is profound as you find yourself drifting effortlessly through the clouds. The sound of waves crashing against a distant beach echo through the cloud chamber as you drift towards the sun.  It’s all over, in that most inexplicably intense and euphoric way.

 Limited to only 300 copies, all on white vinyl, don’t expect these to hang around very long.

Essential movies for the mind.



‘S/T’ LP

(Psychic Assault)

Second new release is the latest slab of monolithic heaviness from Psychic Assault. Back in 2007, an undiscovered band by the name of Highgate released an hour-long track that would forever change the landscape of heavy music…if you ever heard it. Going largely unnoticed by the masses, the select few that were lucky enough (or astute enough) to find this track were onto something rare and special. And completely crippling. Total annihilation. Intense.

 So, fast-forward to 2012 and Psychic Assault, along with Vendetta, have released this doom masterpiece on vinyl. 300 copies, all hand numbered. The perfect medium for total destruction.

 ‘You know what to do’




(Bookmaker Records)

 Coming very soon is the brand new release from Bookmaker Records. Rapidly becoming a favourite label for The Archipelago Rises, Bookmaker is now venturing into the vinyl ether with their very first LP release. Michael Tapscott, better known for being the main man in Odawas, has continued his exploration into his ambient, dark folk, cosmic leanings with ‘Good Morning, Africa’, a stunning document demonstrating his gift for the sublime.

 The album deftly flits between manipulated field recordings, indie folk tunes and ambient drones. Bringing to mind the more laid-back Flaming Lips indie rock, Six Organs of Admittance acoustic meanderings and label-mates Henryspenncer’s dark-ambience, ‘Good Morning, Africa’ is a tonally blissful encounter. Those of you who have purchased or listened to any of Gustav Franklin’s material recently will also find elements within this album to savor.

 The Archipelago Rises is very proud to be helping distribute this record in Australia for Bookmaker Records. Limited to 300 copies, this album will take you on a trip – one that you may never return from.

 As an added bonus for this very special release, The Archipelago Rises will be offering a very limited pack including ALL of the Bookmaker Records releases thus far released. For a heavily discounted price, naturally. Included are said vinyl LP, Seabuckthorn’s ‘In Nightfall’ CD, Henryspenncer’s ‘To The Timeless Valley’ CD and the Henryspenncer / Among the Bones split CD. 

 Links will follow, as soon as ‘Good Morning, Africa’ arrives. Get in touch if you want me to hold an LP or the pack for you.


ZZ: Pig Cycle II & III (Self Released)

Unsettling, dark sounds from Andy of ZZ (Persistence of Mourning, Winters in Osaka, Witch Sermon). File under dark ambient/drone.

 Whilst yr checking out the drone ZZ material, definitely check out the Stanridge collaboration for something completely different.

THE HOUSE OF CAPRICORN: Sign of the Cloven Hood & In The Devil’s Days (Swamps of One Tree Hill)

Quite obvious overtures here with these two CDs. The titles say it all. But I’m tellin’ ya, these are hell good (pardon the pun) to listen to! ‘Sign’ is more of a classic stoner/doom record. Sabbath-y, Kyuss-y. ‘Devil’s’ has a more expansive sound that brings to mind Type O Negative and Life of Agony.

fragment.: Home (OPN Records)

Beautiful, expansive shoegaze drones in the vein of Jesu, taken to the outer limits. Only $10 a pop.


6-panel 7” split between these two mental, mental bands. Powerviolence vs noise vs powerviolence. Superfi Records have planted another evil seed to punish, corrupt and reduce the soul. Awesome.

THIS WILL DESTROY YOU – Tunnel Blanket (Hobbledehoy)

It is still with great pleasure that we continue to stock and sell this absolutely wonderful record. We have them on both double LP and CD, pressed and manufactured by our most gracious Hobbledehoy friends. If you’ve been under a rock since this records’ release, let me tell you this is one of THE most anticipated releases of last year, and it fails to disappoint. In a big way. TWDY have moved on from their EITS-influenced ‘Young Mountain’ and ‘S/T’ releases, onto something so much deeper and inspiring with ‘Tunnel Blanket’. An album of light and flowers this is not. It’s bleak, dark, cinematic in scope and executed with perfection by the players. Fantastic press too from Hobbledehoy. In The Archipelago Rises’ opinion, the Hobble vinyl  captures the sleeve art to a T,  moreso than the standard black vinyl of the Sargent House release. It is truly incredible and demands repeated listens for full exposure and immersion. Like all classic albums. And this will surely be seen as classic given time.


 The Archipelago Rises will be getting the last of Gustav Franklin’s available releases. Once these are gone, they be gone forever. We’ll be getting the Pages CDr full length, Found Tapes Vol II CDr and the Landstormen cassette so if you want one of these unheralded ambient/drone masterpieces (if I do say so myself), I’ll happily reserve a copy for you until their arrival.

 We are finalizing an order with Antithetic Records. Some avant black metal making its way here, including the latest Book of Sand release ‘The Face of the Waters’, Terzij de Horde’s ‘A Rage of Rapture Against the Dying of the Light’ 12″ and the new release from those South African new powerhouses, Wildernessking ‘The Writing of Gods in the Sand’.

 We’ve got a huge box of goodies waiting for The Archipelago Rises at Witch Sermon HQ. All it needs is for me to finalise the deal and Witch’ll be sending this box of mega-darkness to our shores.

 The discogs site is just about complete. Added a lot of releases to the database so most of everything The Archipelago Rises stocks, is on the discogs site.


 We’ve got a couple of Mylene Sheath releases in stock that are now unavailable at Sheath HQ. We have only very limited quantities ourselves.

 Beware of Safety – ‘dogs’ 2LP

Gifts from Enola – Loyal Eyes Betrayed the Mind 2LP

Gifts from Enola – S/T LP

Get in quick and buy. Or cry into your beer.

Cry cry cry.

The 12 FREE downloads will CRUSH Xmas with Beneath Oblivion

The 12 Days of FREE downloads, 12.21.11 edition:

Beneath Oblivion From Man To Dust [9.27.11]

Download the album for FREE right here:

And purchase the the 2xLP or CD on SALE for 30% off here!:

“Beneath Oblivion have put out their best record to date… blindsided by how far the band has come…”

Decibel Magazine

“From Man to Dust is as nauseating as it is hypnotic, tapping into the part of your brain that knows you’re not supposed to look but can’t stop yourself…”

Metal Sucks

“it’s killer; denser than the earth’s crust, the whole thing oozes coagulated sludge, abject horror, and the sweat of a hundred post-apocalyptic marauders…”

The Onion AV Club

“Doom metal is taking new shapes in the fans’ conscious, and Beneath Oblivion are leading the way to a nirvana of ruin…”


“Unquestionably asphyxiating, and definitely a test of one’s resolve, From Man to Dust is sadistic, corrupt and endlessly pitiless—everything great heavy metal should be…”

Pop Matters

The 12 FREE downloads of Xmas continues with Giants!

The 12 Days of FREE downloads, 12.19.11 edition:

Giants Giants [6.14.11]

Download the album for FREE right here:

And purchase the the 7″ on SALE for 30% off here!:

“ebbs and flows of atmospheric bliss…” — Alternative Press

“true to their name, Giants make majestic and uplifting music….” — The Big Takeover

“Giants not only tell you their story, but they do it in a way that invades your chest and removes everything you thought you possessed…” — Sputnik Music

“This is post-rock at its most dramatic and its least snobby… Giants are comfortable in a skin all their own…” — Absolute Punk

“at times melodic and captivating, and at others profound and intense…” — The Silent Ballet

The 12 FREE downloads of Xmas continues!

The 12 Days of FREE downloads, 12.18.11 edition:


We Love Our Enemy [reissued 4.12.11]

Download the album for FREE right here:

And purchase the the CD or 2xLP on SALE for 30% off here!:

“If you’re looking for a pop song, you’ve come to the wrong place. But if you’ve come to be gently lifted aloft, levitated by cascading guitars and mysterious moods…Actors&Actresses aren’t just putting on a show of it. They’re immersed, and you will be too.” — The Big Takeover

“Huge leaps of artistic sonic undulation make Arrows as multidirectional as its title. The other side of this musically poignant release is that the songs come alive by a sort of rare instrumentation and care in handling that proves itself righteous over and over.”  —  Short & Sweet NYC

“It’s easy to get lost listening to Arrows. The band relies on slow tempos and beautiful, somber melodies punctuated by haunting noises and held together by barely there vocals…” Ink Magazine

“It’s like huge, post-metal, but with melodic shoegaze vocals and a couple Valium after all the bong rips – slowed down, but still complex.” — The New Scheme

“It’s amazing to hear the depth and complexity that is portrayed on a first release like this…” Muzik Dizkovery

The 12 FREE downloads of Xmas from The Mylene Sheath

“HO HO HO!! Leading up to the 25th, we’ll be putting one of our 2011 releases up for FREEEEEE download on Bandcamp! You can view our Bandcamp page right [url=]HERE[/url]. We’ll announce the release on each day via [url=]Facebook[/url] and [url=]Twitter[/url], so make sure you’re keepin’ up wit da crew on the world wide webz… And the other cool part is that we’ll be putting the corresponding vinyl on sale for the release during the same day – so essentially you’ll get to download the album for free, give it a listen to make sure you dig it, and then if so – you’ll get to buy the vinyl version on the cheap! Happy Holidays – pick our pockets! Just kidding, you’re entitled to it, duh  😛  Get on it!”

The 12 Days of FREE downloads, 12.17.11 edition:

Eksi Ekso – Brown Shark, Red Lion [released 3.15.11]

Download the album for FREE right here:

And purchase the the CD or 2xLP on SALE for 30% off here!:

“Brown Shark, Red Lion is the most interesting and challenging pop album I’ve heard so far this year…” — – My Old Kentucky Blog

“Eksi Ekso soars, slashes, and burns and chimes again on its sophomore full-length, Brown Shark, Red Lion…” — – Boston Globe

“a near-perfect synthesis of the band’s ambitious statement of intent and secret love of pop. Linking up sampled noises, instrumental breaks, and chamber swells, Eksi Ekso takes the every-song-is-a-huge-crescendo mentality of general post-rock and arc-welds it to great verse-chorus-bridge popcraft that belies the band’s youth…” – – Consequence of Sound

“when said power fully clicks together for the group, it’s breathtaking…” — – All Music Guide

“with an album this beautifully written, not to mention wonderfully packaged, pressing play again should be no problem at all…” – – Treble Magazine

November News in The Archipelago Rises

Fairly quiet month, this month in The Archipelago. A few little updates for your reading (dis)pleasure.


“Grand Artificer” LP

In Mylene Sheath news, pre-orders are up for the new Chasma record, Grand Artificer. Chasma blend black metal, post-rock and doom to form a mighty mix of head-rush metal. Limited coloured vinyl is still available. Check out the YouTube link below for a link to the full ‘Daystar Angelwar’ track.

Listen here:

Order here:


“From Man To Dust” LP  & CD

Also over in the heavy Sheath shed, the latest behemoth from Beneath Oblivion ‘From Man to Dust’ is currently shipping. Available in limited colour vinyl and CD, this record absolutely obliterates. Highly, highly recommended.

Listen here:

Order here:


“Live from the Old South Church” LP

The latest Caspian album, a very special live recording ‘Live at the Old South Church’, only available on LP, is up for preorder as well. In support of the incredible Amirah organization and all the fantastic work they do for victims of the most disgusting of international ‘trade’, Caspian played a set that defies description. A sound so huge, so befitting of this massive gothic revival cathedral, this once-in-a-lifetime experience was enjoyed by a lucky few. For the rest of us, this glorious vinyl press is the next best thing. The limited-to-100 edition is already sold out. After a day. Holy crap. So, if you own a turntable, you do NOT want to miss a copy of this. Head here and grab one:

 Buy one:


“Home” CD

In Archipelago news, we’ve got a few new records and CDs in. The latest fragment. release ‘Home’ has arrived. Two 20 odd minute tracks of enveloping electronic drone with flashes of shoe gaze. RIYL Jesu, Iroha:

YouTube the first track here:

Click the pic to buy


Split 7”

We’ve got a new 7” release from Superfi Records in stock. Pig Heart Transplant and The Endless Blockade share a split 7” of powerviolence-influenced noise and noise influenced powerviolence. Lets say, full on. Mean, disgusting and insane. Housed in a six-panel fold out sleeve.

Click the pic to buy


“Second-Hand Family” CD

The Shellfin album ‘Second-Hand Family’ has been restocked. Listen for unadulterated and unapologetic Kyuss-worship from these Brisbanites! We’ve got a bunch of copies and some strictly limited CD+t-shirt bundles.

Listen here:

Click the pic to buy


“Sign of the Cloven Hoof” & “In the Devil’s Days” CDs

House of Capricorn has made it across the Tasman. We have a couple of copies of each of their stoner-doom releases. Bloody good Kiwi gear this.

Listen here:

 Click the pics to buy


“Pig Cycle” 2 & 3 CDs and Diatribes split cassette

We’ve got a couple of very limited CDrs and tapes from ZZ of Witch Sermon. Pig Cycle 2 and 3. Andy has been very kind in throwing a couple of copies The Archipelago’s way. File under experimental /ambient/industrial/electronic/drone.

Click the pics to buy


We’ve also re-jigged The Archipelago Rises ‘empire’ a little bit. In order to make things a little easier to deal with, is the official Archipelago Rises shop, where all the distributed titles are sold. You will also find discount offers, package deals, special stuff and the cheapest prices here. The distro items are also located at our discogs site but none of the special offers, package deals etc.
We are also on eBay where the prices for our distro items reflect the fees that eBay levies on its sellers. 
Whilst the bigcartel and discogs sites will mirror each other stock-wise (….eventually, anyway. There are a number of discogs entries I need to contribute. Also, the special offers, promos etc are ONLY available through the official site), the big change is that all our 2nd hand items are now ONLY available through the eBay site. It’s just been too hard to keep things in check with different things being sold in different sites.

Descripto Musico

Being that it has been a very quiet month, I’ve started a little descripto musico section to tell you in a little bit more detail the releases we’ve got for your aural pleasure. Next newsletter, expect some glorious descriptos from Hobbledehoy, Dead Pilot, Paradigms Recordings and Fedora Corpse.

Army of Flying Robots

“Life is Cheap” (Superfi Records)

‘I’m going to eat glass, form a band to play as-mental-as-fuck, and write songs’. 100 mph hardcore. There’s no let up here. Once the first track of suffocating ambience breaks into the 2nd track of pure pain, this album doesn’t let up for one bit. Total destruction, make what you will of the vocals coz there aint no way you’re understanding them, buzzsaw guitars and break-neck drums. Most songs are a minute or so, but they do break it up for a couple of longer metal ‘jams’, which really, are 2 minute post-metal interludes with a minute of chaos. One of these tracks, ‘The House of Butterflies’ is the logical centerpiece of the album, encompassing all that make AoFR so fucking cool to listen to.

This album had me smiling with exhaustion. Full-on, brutal, and totally awesome dude.

Click the pic to buy

Lava | Ox | Sea

“Next Episode: Lord Smart vs Dr. Jin” (Miniless Recordings / Tenzenmen)

This album excites me a lot. While Tenzenmen have a knack, or more accurately, a talent for discovering quality bands and releases, this Lava | Ox | Sea album has to be considered one of the premier releases on the label at present. Radiohead comparisons can be sought upon listening for the first time (if Radiohead were still doing rock music….), but it’s the youthful exuberance and willingness to let that take control of the music that makes this such a joyous listen. This talented three-piece bring no dourness here – it’s uplifting, fun, highly creative, instantly likeable and thankfully, grabs you for repeated listens.

Listen here:

 Click the pic to buy

 Beware of Safety

‘dogs’ (Mylene Sheath)

Ok people, I cannot believe I have copies of this LP for sale still. I cannot believe there are still copies anywhere for sale, for that matter. Without a doubt, ‘dogs’ would have to be one of the premier instrumental ‘post-rock’ albums ever released. I’m not joking here. There are a myriad of other bands inhabiting the particular genre that have released albums not-even half as good as ‘dogs’ and yet get greater plaudits.

The development of the band between their first EP It Is Curtains and this album is stratospheric. Whilst the EP is solid, it follows the oft-followed path that many young bands doing post-rock follow. ‘dogs’ shows a maturity, a level of songwriting skill and playing talent that puts it leagues ahead of It Is Curtains and puts many of Beware of Safety’s contemporaries to shame. Many of you reading this respect and enjoy the jams of Caspian, Mono, Godspeed and the like, but have not yet enjoyed the mountainous, momentous music of Beware of Safety. FIX THAT PROBLEM RIGHT NOW people. If you are into instrumental rock with crescendos, with riffs, with slow-down sections and massive build-ups, ‘dogs’ will tick every box. More importantly, if you find yourself a little detached from the gluttonous flood of post-rock so-so out there, ‘dogs’ will surely restore your faith.

Listen here:

Click the pic to buy

Ourself Beside Me

“Self Titled” (Maybe Mars / Tenzenmen)

This slap of dysfunctional indie-pop is a fragmented collage of ideas, not worked through; more like an album of brainstorms. As ironic as it sounds, it really does work. It leaves you wanting more. It leaves you scratching your chin and ultimately leaves you setting it on repeat.

A kooky assortment of instruments appear and disappear within tracks. There are only a few songs with actual vocals – soft female vocals change up the instrumental nature of the album. It’s not a post-rock album per se, more an experimental pop record.

Listen up:

 Click the pic to buy

Carsick Cars

“You Can Listen, You Can Talk” (Maybe Mars / Tenzenmen)

 I put this on the car CD player the other for its very first listen. I was driving home from the Gold Coast, about 9am in the morning and it was 28 degrees outside. The Australian summer is getting upon us. The highway was clear, I was cruising along at a hundred and ten k’s, the sky above was blue and glorious. So I thought, time for new jams.

The first track kicks in and instantly, we realize we have a band from the other side of the world both geographically and geo-culturally, able to capture the essence of the Australian summer so well. It was a perfect fit – my cruising along the highway and these boys from Beijing knocking out the most awesome of cruisy jams. Carsick Cars show exactly how music is the universal language.

The album doesn’t fail to disappoint as the tracks play on. Beautiful, melancholic indie pop, nodding to the likes of The Jesus and Mary Chain & The Pixies, interspersed with spacey/psych–out interludes, that breaks it up until the next number kicks in. The melancholy seems to increase as the album draws on, or maybe that’s the intention. The jangly guitar is way up front, the understated vocals sit in the background and the rhythm section keeps it sliding along nicely.

This is a fantastic 2nd album from Carsick Cars. The debut is equally as impressive, but this one is a little more refined, a little more worked out. Really, if there were any justice in the world, Carsick Cars would be huge. Their sound traverses nations. It is universally appealing and downright fun-as-hell to listen to.

Listen here:

Click the pic to buy

Eksi Ekso

“Brown Shark, Red Lion” (Mylene Sheath)

 Eksi Ekso began their musical outpouring with their debut I Am Your Bastard Wings. This subdued, thoughtful, melancholic release showcases their ability to write songs that constantly threaten to tear your heart in two. Upon listening to the album, you wonder(ed) whether there was going to be life after IAYBW. A lesser band might’ve called it quits – their hearts not in it to create a follow-up. However, Eksi Ekso have not only created their 2nd release, they have trumped their first in a big way.

The group have obviously been working on this album studiously because Brown Shark, Red Lion is a huge leap forward in dynamics. There is no ‘2nd album blues’ here – the album from go to whoa is a complete triumph. Glorious pop-rock songs, hooks a-plenty, momentous shifts in emotive output. But this is not a record of songs – as clichéd as it sounds (I have very little vocabulary to describe otherwise – but you knew that already, if you’ve read these, uh hmm, descriptions) a complete album. The over-the-top CD packaging, displayed as a hardcover book tells the story behind the record, and the 45rpm vinyl press brings an incredible amount of fidelity to the sound. My verdict – get them both. Buy the vinyl to listen to and the CD peruse whilst listening.

Listen here:

Click a pic to buy


‘they took great proud in their work’ (Superfi Records)

 Superfi Records never fail to surprise. Basing their output around ‘slow and heavy’, here they provide us with a document from Line totally NOT in keeping with their music base. It’s exactly this philosophy that makes Superfi such an essential label to watch.

Line have recorded an EP of jazz-infused rock melancholia. Similar in tone to Temporary Residence stalwarts, The Drift, Line change it up with fast breakdowns and electronic manipulation, weird folk explosions with driving acoustic progressions.

A fantastic little EP and a complete surprise from Superfi.

Listen up:

 Click the pic to buy

Monster Party

“Existential Displacement” (Robot Monster / Divine Mother Recordings)

I’m not a huge metalcore fan by any stretch, but those folks heading to Soundwave 2012 next year, will lap this feast right up. Loud, raucous metal in short bursts with, quite surprisingly, nice melody work. Standout tracks for me on this release are Flawless Design & Betwixt and Between. The vocals range from guttural doom roars to sludgy screams. That’s about it for vocal variation but for me, this works within the album as a whole. It can get a little boring hearing the same tone from any vocalist and Monster Party have avoided this by allowing variation to exist, whilst still in-keeping with the full-on musical attack. There are a lot of bands out there doing this kinda thing, but there are few that manage to keep the interest level intact over the course of a whole album. Monster Party has done just that.

Listen up:

Click the pic to buy


“Left of Mind” (Bird’s Robe Collective)

Left of Mind is an obtuse album that’ll appeal to Mars Volta fans. Almost-electronic sounding guitars, funky bass that drives the songs but doesn’t meander off into direction-less wankery, and propulsive drum work. Horns are used effectively to give all the songs colour and feature primarily in a couple of the instrumental tracks – similar in vein to what Bruce Lamont provides Yakuza during their more intimate moments. The band employ a fair amount of electronic manipulation but its use is tempered with driving the songs forward. Pirate show a great understanding of how to convey their undoubted talents without overloading the songs with exaggeration. There is a lot going on here, but whereas the likes of Mars Volta can get entirely grating at times, Pirate keep things in check.

I wouldn’t say this is a hit-making machine. Which makes it that much better. Pirate could have gone down the radio-friendly route, but that would’ve diluted the undoubted and unabashed creativity this band hones. Whilst infinitely listenable and an excellent indie-rock album, songs from Left of Mind probably wont monopolize the charts. Which does go a long way to describing what chart music really is. Boring, clichéd, manufactured nonsense, of which Pirate is definitely NOT.

Listen up:

Click the pic to buy

Scul Hazzards

“Landlord” (Tenzenmen)

Another of those exciting Tenzenmen releases here. This Aussie 3-piece have got a big Shellac vibe about them, but their hearts lie in the blackest of black. An immense album of rhythm-driven songs, there’s a lot of pain and anguish buried underneath the riffs.

Having recently toured through Europe, Scul Hazzards have already honed their live set. Where timing is everything, and in these songs it is, the real strength in this band is seeing them play these jams live.

Landlord will keep you flipping the record over and over again. Get out and see them live for the full-effect.

Listen up:

Click the pic to buy


“…and so we destroyed everything” (Bird’s Robe Collective)

 Formidable post-rock that demands your attention. Those of you familiar with Mylene Sheath output will dive headfirst into this fantastic album. Whilst distancing themselves from ‘the riff’, instead eschewing single-note playing, sleepmakeswaves compose sweeping songs of epic proportions. Combining the beauty of say, the likes of Beware of Safety or Caspian and throwing in a dose of the rhythmic propulsion of From Monument To Masses, every song bears a nod to the familiar in post-rock, but the intricacies involved within each song and the creation employed by the band far outweigh any sub-standard comparison with (an)other band(s), They’ve even managed to slap some electronic experimentation within a few of the songs, reminiscent of the criminally overlooked A New Silent Corporation.

A stunning release from sleepmakeswaves and a real highlight of the growing Bird’s Robe Collective label.

Click the pic to buy


“Untitled” (Superfi Records)

Oh, have we been waiting for the vinyl of this! Literally years in the making, the whole thing has been beset by delay after delay after setback after delay. It must be at least 4 years since Superfi announced its ‘impending’ arrival, but alas the time has come, Untitled is now available for your vinyl eroticism. 2 slabs of heavy black wax, housed in simple but very effective Kraft card stock. Minimal but totally in-keeping with the almost-mythical status of Snowblood.

There are 4 songs. It goes for about an hour, so you get the drift. These are looooooong, intense workouts. What begins with quiet tidings, reminding me A Minor Forest in parts, ends up in claustrophobic sludge and/or doom.

The formula has been heard before, let’s be honest. But if you like the Isis/Neurosis/post-metal thing, then there’s absolutely no reason to not like this. Snowblood go further on each extremity. The quiet parts are as beautiful post-rock as you can get, the loud are as destructive as you need.

The album is available in CD, vinyl and a CD+vinyl discount package. Very reasonably priced too. Grab them before they disappear again!

Listen up:

Click the pic to buy