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Artist of the Month
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April 2015
Sandcastle
"Skull Cauldron
"
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Skull Cauldron, Sandcastle’s latest LP, is a sojourn into a dimly lit wilderness. Recorded as a quartet (with the group moving forward without Micah Edwards) at West Philly’s Sex Dungeon, these songs pull you ever deeper into the thick of it with their hauntingly infectious sense of urgency and balance.
 
Album opener, “Atlantis Trance,” percolates as the guitar, bass, and drums tightly co-exist in a relaxed yet spring-loaded groove that is reminiscent to classic Talking Heads, while the quick-paced, tongue-twisting vocals run through a hypnotic, mythical tale. Continuing in a similar vain, “Wolf With No Eyes” is led by a spiraling guitar riff, reinforced with acoustic strums and low end that conjures ups an atmosphere of danger, climbing into the chorus: “Think I’m obsessive compulsive/I think I’ll think myself to death/Need a therapist or an alchemist to toxify my mind I guess.” This subtle searching of mental anguish grabs a hold of the listener, cautiously traversing the exploratory musical terrain. Casually, one slips into “Datura” as Sam Kassel’s secretively whispered vocals gain a foothold amid an up-tempo guitar-percussion combo that runs forward in fits and then lays back before a guitar burst leads you through the finish line.
 
“Wonder Where She Goes” has that catchy, restrained guitar plucking that lays down the foundation of its composition. As Kassel contemplates, “Am I too late for the ghost train? Am I too dumb for another plane?” The song appears on the cusp of breaking loose, but then steps back for a moment, until finally the pressure boils over. “And I can’t find, I can’t find the way/the way she walks when she walks away…”
 
“Evergreen” is a multifaceted tune that initially rides its acoustic guitar riff as Kassel prophesizes, “If I were a knight, I would be the Green Knight, I would be the Green Knight, and you’d be my Green Lady,” before it lands in a full stable of smoldering instrumentation. Then, the song transitions into a higher gear, led by the quickened pace of the guitar running anxiously ahead, while being propelled forward by the bass before falling back to that almost blues-rock zone with the thudding bass invigorating the track into an open-field mad dash. “Pterodactyls” sits in the shadows, marinating in an ominous tone of preparation for battle. It’s a clear yet heart-racing endeavor as bright injections of acoustic guitar serve as glimpses of daybreak.
 
“Medicine Song” creates a stir with its immediate fresh out of the blocks surge, dashing ahead for an abbreviated sprint, tempering off and then throwing caution to the wind when the final stretch is in sight. “Souls” puts the understated spoken vocals to prime use, developing a ghostly creeping self-aware vibe as the instruments tightly pulse around the unrelenting bass. The song takes turns jolting forward while refueling with reflective cool-down breaks as the song deals with the distance game of a relationship. “Yeah, sometimes she goes far away/Sometimes I get in her face/Yeah, even though we’re jaded/I still wanna play the game.”
 
The final chapter of the record, the adventurously forest-wandering instrumental “Drink Deep of the Skull Cauldron,” quixotically bookends the album. It’s an intoxicating concoction as Sandcastle marches forward as a four-piece beyond the menacing tree line. - Michael Colavita 

This is a preview of the new Deli charts - we are working on finalizing them by the end of 2013.


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scene blog

Heavy Medical

New Music Video: "Trench Mouth" - Heavy Medical

Would you rather have a pizza party or beer party? If you're thinking pizza-beer party, then experience what that'd be like with the guys from Heavy Medical in the new music for their track "Trench Month," which is part of the group's latest demo EP Constant Disappointment. After checking it out, do you think that they're the best dudes or the worst dudes to party with? Ha...we'll say the former as long as they're not doing it in our homes.

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Psychic Teens, Heavy Medical & Pinkwash Opening for Weed at Golden Tea House July 1

Tonight, Golden Tea House offers you a chance to embrace the darkness. Kicking off an abbreviated run of dates, the trio of Psychic Teens usher in a noisy littered-filled musicality, building a creepy avalanche of anticipatory danger that makes their full-throttled instrumental approach an exhilarating horror film meets rollercoaster hybrid - a horror-coaster if you will. Heavy Medical will be joining the proceedings with their all-out sludgy, sledgehammer noise-punk, continuously smashing forward in conquest mode. The tandem of Ashley Arnwine (Bleeding Rainbow) and Joey Doubek (Hume) will also be combining forces to become Pinkwash, releasing an energetic experimental punk EP Your Cure Your Soil. Vancouver’s grunge rockers Weed close out the evening of heaviness in West Philly. Golden Tea House, (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.), 8pm, $5 - $7, All Ages - Michael Colavita.


New Heavy Medical Demo EP Available for Streaming

"We are back! Just FYI We are still a fucking band!!!! Here is proof!" Heavy Medical’s new three-song demo EP Constant Disappointment comes at you in full-on attack mode. The penetrating percussion smashing away, vocals tearing through in that authoritative pissed off perspective. It’s an unrelenting release of aggression forcefully tumbling down a steep hill headed right for you. Heavy Medical will be performing next in Philly on Wednesday, June 25 at Kung Fu Necktie. They also have plans to release new material and do a couple of small tours this summer.

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Drums Like Machine Guns Ready to Do Some Damage at KFN May 21

Harsh vibes (not the band) will be coming at you all night at Kung Fu Necktie this evening, and conjuring up the spirits of eardrums lost will be experimental noise duo Drums Like Machine Guns. It's pretty impressive or pretty sad that besides a handful of YouTube clips you can only find the group's tracks online at an ancient MySpace page. Well, we are pretty sure that Drums Like Machine Guns aren't very concerned about building their fanbase. In fact, they might actually derive a bit of pleasure from scaring them away. And tonight, you'll also find other local cohorts trying to test your aural pain threshold. Heavy Medical will be sending a barrage of sonic body blows to the gut, after Pale Shelter, a trio made up of members from Fight Amp, Bubonic Bear, and Braille. They'll play host Brooklyn noise-pop outfit VAZ and Portland, Oregon via San Francisco sludge crew Prizehog. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 7:30pm, $7, 21+ - Alexis V. 


Heavy Medical Helping to Release Some Father’s Day Aggression at PhilaMOCA June 16

If you happen to hear some loud, strange noises coming from PhilaMOCA tonight, don’t be afraid. It’s just sludgy, noise rockers Heavy Medical tearing shit up. The former duo now trio lay down bludgeoning beats while unapologetically attempting to tear your face off (in a good way if that is possible). They’ll be hosting a pair Japanese acts, Tacobonds and Groundcover, who will certainly be adding to the chaos that will be found in the former mausoleum this evening. Also visiting town will be Baltimore’s Echo Hey Hello. If you need to let out some aggression after spending the day with your family or just hate Father’s Day because it reminds you of the asshole who was never there for you, this show is a good place to let out some steam. PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St., 8pm, $7 - $10, All Ages - Alexis V.

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