Poltergeists: Week of November 28, 2016


Weak Wrists - “Wither”

Weak Wrists is a combination of two of my favorite music genres, which has been accurately coined “emoviolence” (emo/screamo and powerviolence). “Wither” features some of the great elements bands like Oathbreaker and Fvnerals brought to my previous Poltergeists: powerfully chaotic sections, a break into more structured aggression, a wonderful breakdown with clean and mournful vocals, and a great chant at the end. The self-titled debut is a well-balanced mix of intense tracks like “Trail Stained” or “Leave,” which come in at 44 and 28 seconds respectively, and tracks that give the album atmosphere and space like “The Weight” or “In The Tangled Branches,” where time is set aside for the quiet and clean moments. It has a great impact on the album’s layout.     

Weak Wrists is an emoviolence band from North Carolina. Their self-titled debut is out now on their Bandcamp page digitally.

Chrysalide - “All Demons”

Chrysalide has been a perpetual source of influence and solace, especially in times like these. I recently went back and listened to Don’t Be Scared, It’s About Life and Personal Revolution back to back, which I highly recommend for anyone who has not heard these albums, or if it has been a while and you’ve forgotten what they sound like. “All Demons” was the first track that I heard from Personal Revolution (because the promo copy I received digitally from the PR company was in alphabetical order) and it was a jarring but compelling transition from the tracks on Don’t Be Scared, It’s About Life. There are trap and other modern electronic music elements mixed with a pointed and very personal message, which prevails throughout the entire album. I don’t think there has been an album, or band, that has more accurately echoed my own views or experience overall. Tracks like “It Gets in the Blood” and “I Had a Dream” are so personal and seemingly secretive testimonials. It is really something special and great.    

Chrysalide is a noise industrial project from France and all of their albums are the best, end of story. You can get their music directly from their label, Audiotrauma Records.


Nico Muhly, Nadia Sirota - “Viola Concerto Part. I”

Dipping into classical music can sometimes be a nice break from the musical realms I normally operate in. To that end, this release that I found through Bandcamp Daily exemplifies all the things I love about classical music that I find missing from much of the other music I listen to.

This concerto starts out so beautifully; the swells and pizzicato combine to build a feeling not dissimilar from waking up. Over the course of the song the dynamic range is quite broad - there are moments of relative quiet and calm that are interrupted by bombastic stanzas filled with horns and percussion. The song is a story told in its sounds, the way the violin moves, the way the bass swells. It is a fantastic reminder of the things that music can do.

Nico Muhly is a contemporary classical composer; Nadia Sirota is a viola player and member of Alarm Will Sound, a chamber orchestra from New York. Their collaboration, Keep In Touch, can be found on the Bedroom Community’s Bandcamp.

Ganser - “Strategies for Living”

On such a good release, it was hard to pick just one song to write about. “Strategies for Living” is a fantastic piece. Starting with chunky basses and chaotic guitars, the song has a feeling of unease - a feeling accented by the soft buzz and squelching in the background. That feeling of unease gives way to a more direct aggression as the song fully kicks in. The vocals float above the mix, pulling back on that aggression just a little bit, creating a mood that I can’t quite define. “Strategies for Living” is a good example of how This Feels Like Living differs from Ganser’s earlier Audrey; where Audrey felt a little more classic post-punk with chorused guitars and floaty pads, This Feels Like Living feels far more driven by its guitar work.

Ganser is a four-piece post-punk group out of Chicago. Their latest release, This Feels Like Living, is available on their Bandcamp.