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The Flenser Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records

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Have A Nice Life
Sea of Worry

Cheers. Same to you. Have A Nice Life are an industrial doom band worried for all our futures. Their third album sees the duo deep in the Sea of Worry they titled the album after asking themselves the 'what if we all die?' type questions that haunt us all. Their music has a beautiful hazy ebb and flow to it though that does help soothe the listener whilst they worry about everything. 

Consumer
In Computers

Agit-prop / noise group Consumer prepare to unleash their debut album, In Computers. Fronted by Have A Nice Life’s Tim Macuga and backed by their live band, In Computers is constructed from terrifyingly over-processed riffs and all manner of degraded electronics, capped off with vitriolic sloganeering about the state of late-capitalist society. 

Wreck and Reference
Absolute Still Life

Ultra-heavy rock experimentalists Wreck And Reference - with the emphasis on the ‘mentalists’ part - return with fourth studio album Absolute Still Life. As opposed to the granite hardness and raw volume of previous efforts, this outing is much more electronically-based, and all the weirder for it. 

All Your Sisters
Trust Ruins

Jordan Morrison has been through it. Over the past few years he’s experienced deaths of both family and friends, got engaged and had his brain fried from working as a paramedic. That’s a lot to process, and he does that through the monolithic industrial post-punk of his All Your Sisters project. Trust Ruins, the third All Your Sisters LP, is a white-knuckle ride through Gothic EBM and synth-punk that’s made all the more overwhelming for Morrison’s pained, caustic vocals. Think The Soft Moon and Nitzer Ebb.

Elizabeth Colour Wheel
Nocebo

Elizabeth Colour Wheel hail from Boston, MA and take their name from a Lillys album track. Their music is somewhat different to the band that gave them their name. Heavier, sludgier, more thrashy with a vocalist in Lane Shi who is part Grace Slick part Karen O. Nocebo is their debut album. LP on The Flenser.

Street Sects
The Kicking Mule

Debut album, End Position showed influences such as Chrome and Nine Inch Nails. Street Sects, the Austin, Texas post-punk industrial screamers change gear for album number two, The Kicking Mule. Here, they use Roxy Music, Brian Eno and Bowie’s Berlin trilogy as inspiration for it’s follow up, The Kicking Mule. there’s still plenty of rattling industrialism, screaming and Nine Inch Nails-ness, though. LP and CD on The Flenser.

Bosse-de-Nage
Further Still

Bosse-de-Nage are clearly brethren to fellow Bay-area blackgazers (Kids these days, right? What else will they come up with?) Deafheaven, squeezing together shoegaze and black metal to create a punishing and cathartic wall of noise and music. Their new album Further Still is said to focus more on song structures rather than the endless hypnotic repetition of 2015's acclaimed All Fours. 

Mamaleek
Out Of Time

San Francisco metal outfit Mamaleek are swaying further and further from their death-metal origins. Combining deathly grunting with slow beats, samples, and melodic and versatile instrumentations, the two brothers have created a haunting take on the genre. Out of Time was recorded and mixed by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Bosse-de-Nage), and the result is as crisp as it is eclectic and weird.

Echo Beds
Buried Language

Denver industrial duo, Echo Beds, found themselves locked out of their practice space by bailiffs in 2016. This was due to a seemingly unfriendly crack down on arty types and their unofficial work spaces. After turning bedrooms into recording studios, using improvised equipment to work on their ideas and being emotionally spurred on by what was happening to them and their friends, Buried Language was born. Check it out if Street Sects, Youth Code or Drab Majesty are your bag. LP on The Flenser.

Bell Witch
Demo 2011

Demo 2011 was the first available release from doom crew Bell Witch, and it went down very well with the community. For a demo, it has a very thick and developed sound, and is feature length (37 minutes) in size too; so it is well deserving of this vinyl reissue of 600 copies, with  updated sleeve design on The Flenser label.

Kayo Dot
Hubardo

Originally released in 2013, the seventh album by Toby Driver’s crew spans three pieces of vinyl and a vast array of stylistic ground. Combining seething black metal, choral vocals, angular post rock, serpentine jazz, psychedelic chaos, brooding goth, crushing doom, and much more into a progressive and multi-faceted whole, it’s the summation of their work to this point. A staggeringly expansive hundred minutes.

AILS
The Unraveling

Bay Area avant-metallists Ludicra called it quits around the start of the 2010s, but vocalist Laurie Shanaman and guitarist Christy Cather still had something left in the tank. Now they’ve got a few mates together and ground out this bracing LP as AILS. The dual-screeching on display here is blood-curdling stuff, and when coupled with the band’s mix of hardcore punk, thrash metal and prog-metal, it makes The Unraveling a thrilling listen.

Drowse
Cold Air

The press release tells us that the second LP from Portland’s drowse was recorded in pretty unhappy circumstances. Kyle Bates, the band’s only full-time member, was struggling with mental health and addiction problems in the nine months in which Cold Air came to life. It’s as spaced-out and troubled a record as one might expect to emerge from these circumstances. Dream-pop, chamber-pop, post-rock and music concrete come together for an album that has pain at its core, yet also finds moments of great beauty and solace. For fans of Deerhunter, Cocteau Twins, maybe even a little bit of Suede...

RLYR
Actual Existence

Chicago experimental rock trio RLYR follow up their 2016 debut LP Delayer with this four-track album. Featuring members of Russian Circles, Cleared and Pelican, RLYR create a heavy but melodious racket here. The instrumental chops are impressive, with muscular drums and sturdy bass underpinning some emotional firebrand guitar work. Fans of Explosions In The Sky will find plenty to get behind here.

Planning For Burial
Desideratum

Planning for Burial are forerunners of the gloomgaze genre. Desideratum is their second album following on from Statement of Purpose, which was released in 2010. Planning for Burial are essentially a one-man bedroom project, that man being Tom Wasluck. The music takes in every gloomy genre from drone to goth to ensure that the gloominess is very real. Desideratum is available on vinyl LP.

Trevor De Brauw
Uptown

Trevor De Brauw is the guitarist of Pelican, and this is his first solo release. Although don’t assume that he’s only just had the idea: Uptown has been slowly created over the course of the last ten years. Uptown pushes away from songs and riffs and into dense drone-ambient territory, where it turns out Trevor is a master of the kind of careful control needed to really succeed with this stuff. CD and LP editions on The Flenser.

Wreck and Reference
Indifferent Rivers Romance End

Wreck & Reference have been described as an experimental metal duo: so much so that large stretches of their music is unrecognisable as metal at all. Until the throat-shredding howling starts anyway. Indifferent Rivers Romance End is heavy with electronics and strings, sadness and anger. LP on The Flenser label.

All Your Sisters
Uncomfortable Skin

All Your Sisters are proudly in love with a certain part of the 1980’s when industrially-vibed post-punk was all the rage. Their second album Uncomfortable Skin nails that particular sound with stern drum machines, obscured vocals and Cureish guitars. Lots of shadowy swagger, released by the deliberately dark Flenser label.
  • Vinyl LP (FR68LP)
  • £16.99 £10.19 (saving: £6.80)
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Kayo Dot
Plastic House On Base Of Sky

Toby Driver's avant-metal crew Kayo Dot continue to fly in the face of expectations, if any remain, with the wonderfully titled Plastic House On Base of Sky. If you recall, they've sounded comparatively whimsical in their latter years, with the humour-tinted extreme metal epic Hubardo paving the way for the electronic-tinged Coffins on Io -- this record could be seen as a direct sequel to that one, using analog synths to implode weird and frictioned compositions. Imagine if Toby Driver wanted to make one of those untamed synth records from the '70s. Alright! 
  • Label(s):
  • The Flenser

Muscle and Marrow
Love

Muscle and Marrow is a pretty visceral name, and this duo often live up it, with blasts of crunching noise and heavy drums. But they also play soft and wispy, and the delicate balance between these two contrasts that they maintain is where they really succeed on Love. A darkly beautiful LP, on The Flenser.

Black Wing
Is Doomed

Black Wing is another project from Dan Barrett, the latest in a stack of names he works under. The Black Wing sound is dark and hazy, driven by stern drum machines and featuring very distant post-punk vocals. ‘Depressive Chillwave’ is Barrett’s term for it, and I have to say that pretty much nails it. LP from The Flenser.

Boduf Songs
Stench of Exist

Sparse, chilly electronica and guitar underpins this record from Mat Sweet aka Boduf Songs on The Flenser. Intimate, and definitely a headphones sort of album, it conjures up images of opium hazes and anxious, languorous evenings. Eleven tracks move into one another like a slow moving river, meeting everything from post-rock and death metal all with a sonorous yet sparse sound. CD and Vinyl.

Mastery
Valis

Dark extremity from the blackened soul of only one man, Mastery’s Ephemeral Domignostika (definitely the name his mother uses). Valis is the most fully realised and widely available Mastery release to date, and features a frantically complicated black metal style, exploding everywhere. Out on The Flenser label.
  • Label(s):
  • The Flenser