Bandcamp Picks of the Week 5/3/17

Bandcamp Picks of the Week. If you don’t know by now, get with the program!

bandcamp pick of the week christian

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Christian Fitness – SLAP BASS HUNKS

Genre: Noise Rock

Favorite Tracks: “family wives,” “slap bass hunks,” “bees mode,” “nobody likes a snitch”

The self-professed one “man” band spun off from Future of the Left are back with their (his?) fourth record. While it dials back the zany vocal antics and blistering tempo of THIS TACO IS NOT CORRECT, the rest of what makes this band so unique and enjoyable is still intact. Everything is still sharp, in-your-face, and pushed right to the front of the mix, especially the bass. It’s still as thick and grimy as ever, and syncs up well with the abrasive, buzzing guitars to create jumpy, exaggerated melodies. Of course, the band’s thickly accented vocals and absurd sense of humor haven’t changed a bit, with constant diversions in the middle of narratives to talk about how great another dude’s ass is and bones to pick with anyone and everyone. It’s a probably a bit much for a lot of people, but Christian Fitness are stepping out of their comfort zone with cleaner vocals and new song ideas like the dynamic shifts of “nobody likes a snitch,” which builds off a singular echoing bass line into a storm of ghostly, whispered harmonies and squealing guitars. If you ever wanted to hear the drunken British answer to Antemasque, you can find it here. [Blake Michelle]

bandcamp picks of the week haram

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Haram – شو بتشوف؟ (WHAT DO YOU SEE?)

Genre: Hardcore Punk

Favorite Tracks: “شو هوا هل جهنم؟” (What do you see?), “دم” (Blood)

After the 2016 election, the only thing getting many people through the day was that the change in administration would again give rise to another wave of great punk music. But Haram’s WHAT DO YOU SEE? is a far, far cry from Green Day and AMERICAN IDIOT in the best way possible. Haram’s thrashing drums and searing guitars sound much more similar to the hardcore punk music of the ‘80s a la Dead Kennedys and Fear. Other critics have described them as sonically similar to the hardcore Japanese punk acts from around the same time. Haram’s guitars are grimy, their beats relentless, and lead singer Nader’s voice is almost haunting, especially during tracks like “Blood.” Most notably, Haram’s lyrics are performed entirely in Arabic, which, along with the band’s imagery, has often gotten them in trouble with the FBI and Homeland Security. The follow-up to their 2015 demo tape, WHAT DO YOU SEE was released in 2016, a few days after the Chelsea bombings in New York as, according to Nader, a response to the enhanced fears of persecution amongst Arabs in the city and country at large. WHAT DO YOU SEE? is a pulverizing album that couldn’t have come at a better time. You can find it here. [Steven Porfiri]

The good people of Crossfader Magazine.

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