Exit_International – Black Junk 10th Anniversary Re-release

Black Junk Album Cover Art

Exit_International – Black Junk 10th Anniversary Re-release
Say Something Records
Release Date: 17/09/21
Running Time: 41:02
Review by Steven Hooke
8/10

There existed a time in the UK alternative scene where our sad, decrepit little rock produced some of the world’s finest music. From 2008-2013, the likes of Hawk Eyes, The Defiled, Exit Ten, Feed the Rhino, and loads more took genres struggling to maintain relevance, and intrigue in audiences, and gave them a much-needed kick up the arse. Tucked away in the rolling fields of Wales, in the cruel shadows of Bullet for My Valentine, Funeral for a Friend, and Skindred, laid the angry, snarling, face-shredding, bass guitar-hailing trio known as Exit_International.

A dual-bass guitar-fronted act, incorporating Post-Punk, Hardcore and Noise in one handy little motif later to be known as “Noise Pop”, Exit_International are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their debut, “Black Junk”, with a vinyl re-release and remaster. Fans of the original release will no doubt be unsurprised to hear that the album sounds right at home in today’s setting. With artists such as Code Orange, Jamie Lenman, Haggard Cat, Turnstile, and Melted Bodies pushing the boundaries of Punk and Noise already, E_I feels right home with said company, with their shrieks of “why so cynical?” and “she’s got a chainsaw”.

Remasters tend to be a relatively divisive medium, especially for music made in the modern age. But what it does to “Black Junk” is make the sound so much fuller, breathing new life into songs such as the previously muddied, ‘My Mouth is Your Mouth’, which now sounds fantastic, and the realisation of a ‘Jump in the Fire’-esque riff on ‘Sex W/ Strangers’. The staple track ‘Chainsaw Song’ continues to sound absolutely incredible, but now with extra emphasis on the muted sliding riff on the second half of verses, and some underrated drum work from Adam Thomas. The repeating vocal hooks of ‘Shake Your Bad Ass’, ‘Body Joyrider’, ‘Voices’ and the like still sound and feel like they could tear open a 200-cap room with no hesitation.

The previously-13 track album brings along with it some semi-new material from the group, with never before released tracks, ‘Lay to Waste’, ‘Hex Lover’, and ‘Black Junk’. ‘Lay to Waste’ starts with a suitably treacle-thick bass riff, with an accompanying drum roll that slowly turns into a bastard son of Helmet and Pulled Apart by Horses, complete with a discordant piano interlude. ‘Hex Lover’ has big Melvins energy, with a huge, fuzzy, sludge riff as the centrepiece of the track, with some gorgeous bass tones sprinkled about as well. Finally, the unappointed title track, a Reuben-tinged bounty of rolling riffs, lo-fi vocal trade-offs, and a drop desperately calling out for a sea of flailing limbs. All three tracks are incredible and could easily have found their way on the initial release.

Like many of the forgotten turn of the decade generation, Exit_International have split up and gone their separate ways, returning only for this cruel (yet very hospitable) reminder of what we missed out on. Fortunately, it is never too late to discover a hidden gem, and a “Black Junk” with a fresh, bigger sound, some brilliant bonus tracks, and the same energy as snorting a sherbet Dib-Dab, is more than deserving of your time.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Glory Horn
02. Sex W/ Strangers
03. Voices
04. Shake Your Bad Ass
05. Bowie’s Ghost
06. Body Joyrider
07. Sherman Fang
08. Chainsaw Song
09. My Mouth is Your Mouth
10. Lights Out
11. King of the Junkies
12. Blindfolds
13. Hey Disciple
14. Lay to Waste
15. Hex Lover
16. Black Junk

LINE-UP:
Scott Lee Andrews – Vocals, Bass
Fudge Wilson – Vocals, Bass
Adam Thomas – Drums, Percussion

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Steven Hooke and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Broken Links – Conflict::States

Conflict::States Album Cover Art

Broken Links – Conflict::States
Self-Released
Release Date: 30/04/2021
Running Time: 55:13
Review by Wallace Magri
8.5/10

“Conflict::States” is the fourth, self-released, album from Broken Links, a three piece UK based band that delivers a pleasant mix of All Goth Rock styles: Post-Punk, Dark Electro and Alt/Pop Rock. Regarding the lyrics, according to lead singer/guitarist Mark Lawrence on the press release, “People are living in a world where they think they have choices. There are no choices. We’re on borrowed time. This album is a statement of awareness to all the shit holding society back.”

I totally agree with him about the fact that we have pre-oriented choices in our lives, there is nothing such as free will – unless free will means that you are able to choose from things, which are previously selected for you, to make you feel amazed with what you didn’t need in the first place. It really feels, to me, that we are all living in a cage!

If that is so, I would rather keep on listening to Dark Electro as much as I can, because it relates to my state of mind, since I know that the digital society is just a tedious version of the boredom I felt back in the 80’s. And that is from the era that Broken Links seems to rise from, reminding me of bands like Bad Religion, Depeche Mode, Siouxsie and the Banshees, early Nine Inch Nails and a little bit of Manic Street Preachers.

Even though, in these days, an album that takes nearly an hour to listen to is almost an insult to the digital music industry, the fact is, that you can just keep the songs going here, because “Conflict::States” has many high quality songs that keep the listening experience very stable. So, I am gonna choose some of the songs that most caught my attention to give to you my impression of the overall album.

‘Pioneers’ reminds me of post-punk era Blondie, as heard in the 80’s classic song ‘Heart Of Glass’! It has a darker and heavier approach, for sure, but the pop appeal appears in the pre-chorus, thanks to the melancholic vocals. On ‘Antibiolitics’ the dark side of Broken Links is highlighted, and I just loved the drum and bass power of the song and also the solo, played over a contrasting scale, with an oriental vibe to it.

On ‘Cold War’ the Industrial Metal element arises sublimely, at the beginning, to meet the Goth Rock approach of the band, falling into a melodic chorus which has a fondness to post-punk. ‘Fatalism’ follows in the same direction and the vocals remind me of Trent Reznor’s singing attack at its best. In any case, the organic instruments are the main body on all the compositions. Broken Links are able to provide a quite unique sonority on these songs, and on the whole of “Conflict::States”.

I will tell you now that if I lived in the UK and Broken Links came to my town, I wouldn’t miss the chance to catch them playing live, just to have my night painted black with well-arranged Goth Rock songs. So, I advise you to show up, if and when they come to your town.

‘Pioneers’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Day Called X
02. Replicas
03. Pioneers
04. Antibiolitics
05. Cold War
06. Eras
07. Monolith
08. Fatalism
09. T.T.O.
10. Zealots
11. Year XI
12.Disconnect.

LINE-UP:
Mark Lawrence – Vocals/Guitars
Phil Boulter – Drums
Lewis Betteridge – Bass

LINKS:

Broken Links Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Wallace Margi and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with INADREAM

INADREAM Logo

EMQ’s with INADREAM

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Bochum, Germany based Post-Punk band INADREAM! Huge thanks to guitarist Thorsten Wüllner for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Thorsten. I play guitar in a post-punk band called “INADREAM”. INADREAM was founded by Frank (voc), Dennis (bass) and me in 2016. By then we didn´t have a drummer, so we had to rehearse with a drum computer. In the beginning of 2017 Achim, who played together with Frank in his first band 20 years ago, joined the band. It was just in time because the first concerts were already booked. So we played quiet a few local concerts including club gigs and festivals. In 2018 and early 2019 we visited the “Megaphone Studios” where we recorded our debut album “No Songs For Lovers”.

How did you come up with your band name?

We wanted to find a name that unites all the different styles and genres that influenced us. Even if it sounds kind of romantic, everything can happen in a dream. You can have sweet dreams or nightmares. So are our songs. A straight rocker can be followed by a Ska-Track. You never know, what comes next, but it always sounds like INADREAM.

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We are from Germany. The Rock/Metal scene here is still alive. On the one hand you don’t get much airplay on radio or TV, but you also have festivals like Wacken with around 80.000 visitors every year.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

We will release our first Album “No Songs For Lovers” on November 15th 2019 via Echozone. Prior to that, two singles/videos ‘Red Light’ and ‘No Song For Lovers; will be released.

Who have been your greatest influences?

The biggest influences for the band are Pixies, Chameleons, Joy Division and a lot of German punk bands from the 80’s as well as many different hard rock bands like Buckcherry, Backyard Babies or Gluecifer.

What first got you into music?

That was our bassist Dennis. He is my cousin and a little bit older than me and he always gave me some cassettes where he recorded the latest rock and punk songs when we were kids. Well that was in the early eighties.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

I think that would be the Pixies or the German punk band Fliehende Stürme.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

I am not a festival guy. I prefer club gigs –loud, hot and sweaty.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I think the weirdest thing is, that I never received a gift from a fan. Maybe the other three got gifts and didn´t tell me.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Support new music! If you have never heard about a band before, it does not mean it´s bad. Get out of your comfort zone and go to concerts and listen to new records

If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

I have to say Lemmy.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

The best thing is playing live. It´s pure adrenaline! But I also like being creative. Four people in a rehearsal room, writing songs and creating something from nothing! That´s pretty cool. What really sucks, is the business stuff.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I would love to see, that music is recognised as something special again and not just as consumable, that is endlessly available.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Guns N’ Roses – “Appetite For Destruction”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I grew up with Cassettes but now I prefer Downloads or CD´s. But if you ask the others in the band, the answer would definitely be Vinyl.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

We played a gig as support for Fliehende Stürme in June this year. Big stage, great sound and a great audience!

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

We all still have regular jobs. So I think, we would be doing, what we do, but with less joy and fun.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I would invite my three band members and two really good cooks.

What’s next for the band?

Right now we are focused on the album release. We will be playing some concerts to promote it and start recording the video for the single ‘No Song For Lovers’. We are also writing new songs that we hope to record in 2020. So we are pretty busy right now.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Right now we use Facebook and YouTube.
https://www.facebook.com/inadreamband/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzdVLHlzDPEePrJwwCZSnWg

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

What are Jaffa Cakes?

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

You´re welcome. It was a pleasure.

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.