Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New Katorga Works Release: Face The Rail - Learning To Die LP

Artist: Face The Rail
Album: Learning To Die LP
Release: 2014
Label: Katorga Works


1. Deep End
3. These Nights
4. Outside Looking In
5. The Pain That Won't End
6. No More Tears
7. Desperation
8. Live & Try
9. Learning To Die
Greetings! We here at Katorga Works have yet another new release for your consumption, the new Face The Rail LP. Here's our description:

"Face the Rail is one of the Bay Area's longest running and most under-appreciated hardcore punk bands. Playing a unique and high-energy amalgamation of classic west coast skate punk/hardcore, Revolution Summer DC, and even surf rock, the band has proven to be one of the most interesting Bay Area bands, to us, at least. This is their first record in four years and it's more than worth the wait."

We're absolutely in love with this record, which is truly a diamond in the rough, as it's so far off of what is cool in hardcore these days and it just doesn't care.

Download Here
Buy Here


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Crimson Wave - Say b/w Calling You 7"

Artist: Crimson Wave
Album: Say b/w Calling You 7"
Release: 2014
Label: Accidental Guest

1. Say
2. Calling You
3. Fade Out (digital bonus)

Sean Gray (of noiseniks Birth {Defects} and the esteemed Fan Death Records) continues to keep his finger on the pulse of a superb and oft-noisy east coast DIY assortment. Previously in 2014, he's issued York Factory Complaint's Lost in the Spectacle LP and tapes from DC's Jail Solidarity and  Wisconsin's Technicolor Teeth. This week, this fine 7" by Baltimore rising stars Crimson Wave is coming out in tandem with an EP of fresh jams by Charm City's awesome and unfairly-Nirvana-worship-accused Roomrunner, and a split tape by Screen Vinyl Image and Bloody Knives, two of the most unique voices in contemporary shoegaze.

And indeed, Accidental Guest Recordings' quality is unwaveringly upheld by this fine single. I first heard a very rough demo by Crimson Wave a year or so back, and to be frank, I wasn't exactly aurally arrested. The heart was absolutely in the music, but the focus just wasn't present. To say the least, however, Sophie Walter, Megan Lloyd, Katie Langer and Sam Whitelaw have upped their game immensely in the time since.

There is a superb solemnity to these songs, right from the crisp strumming that opens "Say." Crimson Wave take the reliable power-pop formula of directness, simple structure, and hooks, then strip away anything that could be construed as happiness, and to powerful effect. The repeated recitation of "You say you love me" is expressed with the most genuine forlornness I've heard in a minute.

"Calling You" doesn't waste any time in continuing the downer feelings. While the song's central vocal mantra is slightly less immediately stick-in-your-head than that of "Say," the song has two especially strong aspects going for it: the introduction of tasteful lead guitar melody (adding a simple, but restrained harmonic layer to everything) and some really solid dynamics (midtempo verse, dark descending chorus, drop out, reintroduction by more lead guitar melody, abrupt ending).

The digital bonus track "Fade Out" is a bit different in that the beat recalls more of recent surfy indie material. Compounding this is that the vocal hook here is a dead ringer for the (ahem, in my opinion) gorgeous early releases of Best Coast.  The Crimson Wave sadness is still reasonably present, albeit significantly downplayed. But variety is the spice of life, I suppose, and life can't be all doom 'n' gloom all the time, right? 

 In perfect parallel to the record's cover art, there's a grayness (pun absolutely not intended, sorry Sean) hanging over this record. That's always ideal. Not that it's entirely musically analogous, but I mean, so long as we're talking about sad shit, d'you ever look at the cover to Red House Painters I and think about how that bronzed sepia is kinda the visual version of that line where Mark's like "Reminding me I'll never be able to live this day as more than a memory"? Same metaphor applies here.

Listen Here
Buy Here
Download Here


Monday, September 29, 2014

Upcoming KW release preview: Vexx - A La Mode 7"

We here are Katorga Works are proud to announce to the new 7" of Olympia's Vexx. Here is a preview track:

Expect some intense touring action in 2015!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Upcoming KW release preview: Vanity - Vain In Life LP

We here are Katorga Works are proud to announce to the new LP of NYC's Vanity. Here is a preview track:

Ex/Current members of the Rival Mob, CREEM, Nuclear Spring, etc.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vote For Heaven Street Records!!

Photo courtesy of Fuck Heads (not pictured: tall Chinese metalhead employee)

The Village Voice just nominated Heaven Street Records for best NYC record store of 2014. Please take a moment to vote for the most poorly run store in the city!! If we don't win, Sean said he will fire me :(


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New Wharf Cat Release: The Ukiah Drag - In The Reaper's Quarters LP

Artist: The Ukiah Drag
Album: In The Reaper's Quarters LP
Release: 2014
Label: Wharf Cat


1. Intro
2. Her Royal Grip
3. The Rat's Waltz (Redux)
4. Final Prayer
5. Drip From The Fang
6. Wait And See
7. Night Of Immaculacy

STANDING IN THE PISSING RAIN MUST BE A DRAG: Recorded in a secularized Lutheran temple off the banks of the Hudson River, Ukiah Drag's new LP In the Reaper's Quarters (produced by Ben Greenberg) is fine projection of basement rumination finding temptation in the halls of an ex-God. Straddling the church balcony, licking the scum off stained glass, crooked steeples refracting moonlight and blood…There is no erasure of the Satanic ego as it the Drag moves onto new spiritual drippings. While the band's Dirt Trip single was hard but not necessarily unforgiving, In the Reaper's Quarters is a hellish maw that chews up tired rock and post punk tropes only to reanimate them in other austere and lonely offices. You may chew on its bones and swallow its scales but they'll cling to your pockmarked soul indeed.

Pulsating organs strobe their way through flattening riffs and creep beats; on many tracks the listener will hear a sex-crazed baby grand slinking sinfully into the reaper's pit. Their rendition of Lee Hazlewood's "Wait and See" will break the emotional turnstiles of many a troglodyte. This is a widow-making full length that marks and culminates every player's previous efforts to a blunt and remorseless tee. For fans of the violent prose of Harry Crews, Bobby Beausoleil's score of LUCIFER RISING, and the hallowed walls of Chateau Marmont.