February 19, 2013

Sound Bites: KEN Mode, Rival Schools and Survival Knife

KEN mode's various tracks off Entrench

Manitoban metalcore noisemakers KEN mode's forthcoming album should be the trio's biggest and best album to date. Since their incredible win of the inaugural Heavy Metal / Hard Music Album of the Year award at the 2011 Junos (Canada's version of the Grammys,) the band has deservedly been thrust into greater visibility outside just hardcore and punk circles (Pitchfork is basically shooting their load over these dudes on the daily right now.) Entrench is already their fifth effort to date over the past decade, but the brothers Matthewson and Darryl Laxdal continue to get gutsier with their risktaking measures without losing an ear for controlled chaos. Below, stream every incredibly damning track off the LP, and head to NPR.org to hear another in the just-released "Your Heartwarming Story Is Making Me Sick." Entrench will be supported with a lengthy North American tour throughout March and April alongside Today is the Day, Black Tusk and Fight Amp.

Rival Schools' "Indesposable Heroes"

When one door temporarily closes for Walter Schreifels, you can rest assure another is bound to re-open for the hardcore lifer. Last year, the prolific frontman who counts Gorilla Biscuits and Youth of Today on his resume focused his attention on reuniting millennial-era act Quicksand, but with that having wrapped up for the time being, he's focusing efforts once again on his most recent project, Rival Schools and releasing a long-lost album from their major label stint at Island Records. Found was written two years after their debut, United By Fate's release, following the departure of guitarist Ian Love and the addition of Chris Taynor as his replacement. Island's indifference toward early listens alongside general burnout led to the album never seeing the light of day (aside from several leaked demos making their way onto the 'net,) but it's since been remastered it with April 9th as its due date through Schreifels' own United By Fate label. "Indesposable Heroes" is our first preview, a track blistered with Rival Schools' characteristic balancing act of aggressive pile-ons and melodic disconcert that any fan will be glad to finally hear see the light of day. You can read more about how Found got lost and came back to life in an interview with Schreifels at Rolling Stone.

Survival Knife's "Name That Tune"

Those of you still holding out for an Unwound reunion might have to settle for the next best thing in Survival Knife, the new project featuring Justin Trosper and Brandt Sandeno (a.k.a. two-thirds of the '90s-era Portland underground art-core stylizers.) On March 5th, Sub Pop will release the quartet's first 7" single in "Traces of Me" b / w "Name That Tune," with the latter streaming below. Fans of Unwound will notice the track catches a similar fire as Unwound's early material, but also falls in line with the heavy-hitting pulse of Drive Like Jehu and Black Flag's angst. If this still doesn't satisfy your fix, the Numero Group will be reissuing the entirety of Unwound's catalog beginning this year.

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