The gloves are off...

...It's time to kill.

LISTEN TO Remembering Never.

Floridian hardcore kings making everyone mad about shit they shouldn't be get set to deliver another venomous bite of songs against the scene in the shape of 'God Save Us' due February 2006. If they can combine the song skills and huge hooks of their 'She Looked So Good in Red' debut with the sheer power and soul from second effort 'Women and Children First' there will be no stopping them.

You remember when people sung the messages from their heads and hearts instead of just posting them as bulletins on MySpace right? Never! Wrong.


ATTAKU+ Sylosis+ Ionica. Bullingdon, Oxford. 16.11.05

There must be a fear in the minds of all British metal bands that they'll never escape the toilet touring circuit. That their destiny is to become a 'remember them?', or even worse a 'who?' playing the same venues year after year after year before splitting up because nobody cares.
Depressing huh?

But it might explain the sweaty desire, desperate glint and practised fervour with which most of the bands here tonight play.After Ionica bore everybody shitless with their fast if vapid metal, Reading metalcore kids Sylosis can't help but seem tight, proficient and fun. Having finally cemented a line-up the band fire out dark breakdowns and death growls and guitarist Josh is next-generation-inspiration in the making.

Headliners Attaku though are the most professional outfit on show, and it's by a mile. Opening ferocious and loud theirs is bullet-fast technical metal, all attitude and jazzy breaks; it's like listening to a decent British version of The Dillinger Escape Plan.

This shouldn't be a gig in a toilet. There are no reasons left why these bands aren't huge. It's down to you to make that problem go away.


CAVE IN- Perfect Pitch Black

Living well is the best revenge. And if that really is true RCA records are pissed. After the major label dropped Cave In back in 2003 the boys in black bowed their heads and contemplated giving up but eventually thought better of it and have regrouped to compile their best album yet. Wise choice.

Despite that one major label album there has never been anything predictable about the way Cave In write songs. Even at their most delicate and dramatic they can be ridiculously heavy, and at their most aggressive can play one-note desert rock and be genuine and convinving. On 'Perfect Pitch Black'; essentially material collected from the last three years of wilderness existence, songs stop on a dime and speed off in entirely unexpected directions. Faultless pop spirals into indie serenity and heads-down metal, all steered by Stephen Brodsky's amazingly warm and wide voice, only interrupted by the welcome return of bassist Caleb Scofield's demon-voiced tourette's. Brodsky's lonesome tone is marvellous throughout, scaling walls of hardcore guitars and droning punk riffs without ever sounding desperate or spluttering, seperating these songs from the mush of any contemporary 'core and making them absolutely essential.

Cave In have always made music that sounds fucking great played loud and 'Perfect Pitch Black' is no exception. From the numbing rumble of 'Off to Ruin' to the Mastodon sound of 'Trepanning' to the beautiful simplicity of 'Down the Drain' these are gigantic riff-fuelled tunes allowing the band to run rings around most of todays (and gladly now tomorrows) young heavy pretenders.

Get 'Perfect...' now and shake the walls down.


THRICE- Vheissu

The first track on 'Vheissu', Thrice's fourth album proper, sets to demolish the rumour mill that's been in fifth gear in the run up to this release. The stories read that Thrice had discarded every element of the music that made their name, fled any scene tags that were still stuck, even abanoned rock and roll altogether. But 'Image of the Invisible' is a blistering and dynamic call and response rock song- the stuff lesser bands can't even dream of. And, if any were needed, instant comfort for fans of 'The Illusion of Safety''s quick-fingered mild thrash attack and 'The Artist in the Ambulance''s powerful heaviness that some of the Thrice of old remains. But it's all a front.

There are few other examples of the same kind of immediacy or aggression. 'The Earth Will Shake' is heavy but slow, 'For Miles' goes through four minutes of swaying rock before Dustin Kensrue gets to unleash his growl and 'Hold Fast Hope' feigns at hardcore punk before revealing a wilting, pleading melody.What there are, are songs that build from delicate but engrossing piano melodies, adding layers of keys, percussion, synths and strings until they become massive walls of sound. These can be heavy as on 'Music Box' or 'Like Moths to Flame' but always hide fragile indie strum behind them. And there are clicking, calm Radiohead-infused passages that make sure tracks like 'Stand and Feel Your Worth' and 'Atlantic' make their mark.The end result means the album has a massive ebb and flow, even within songs the mood rises to oppressive confrontation and falls to creepy effects and barely audible lyrical gems.

One of the bands goals for 'Vheissu' was to make their already kinetic and emotional music more cinematic, and that effort has definitely made this an 'album' in the old-fashioned sense of the word. This is Thrice's least catchy, or even, easy, release but this is isn't some token singles or studio stodge. This is a story from beginning to end where tracks don't stop they segue into each other.

But this isn't a Hollywood blockbuster; it's an obscure but interesting foreign film. It looks great, all moody and stormy but moves slowly, with purpose. It's in a language you can't quite understand perhaps, but one that reaches your ears smooth and clean, one that you'd love to learn and if you just try, it will be easy.

A personal triumph for a band that never wanted to be where they were put if nothing else