Clayton Bartholomew


How do you explain The Ocean to the uninitiated? You could mention sub-genres like prog metal or post metal… but that wouldn’t be fair. You could say that the band have five previous full-lengths spanning 13 years and that most of their records have been written as intricate concept pieces in the double album format. Or you could just sneakily slip a copy of Pelagial into their Christmas stocking and let them judge for themselves.

Not sure about sausages, but everybody loves the Melvins! And why wouldn’t we? They have left an indelible mark on the face of modern music in general, not just punk, metal, or grunge. The influence these progenitors have wielded cannot be fully quantized and their legacy will probably be the stuff of mysterious folklore for generations to come.

Enabler have been around for only four or five years, but have seen a number of releases on various record labels and have spent seemingly endless amounts of time on the road. With their latest offering, Shift Of Redemption, due out April 9th via Think Fast! in 7″ format, the Milwaukee punk/hardcore/metal act serve up a crusty chunk of pissed off crossover that reminds me of everything good about punk rock.

Hailing from the hotbed of heaviness, Richmond, VA, Inter Arma are busy preparing for their Relapse Records debut, Sky Burial. I have had this album for a few weeks now, and after giving it several tries, I can safely say it has finally sunk in… I get it now! Like all good albums, this one takes some getting used to.

Minneapolis, MN-based Black Metal sextet False have created quite a stir in underground metal circles since dropping their debut “Untitled” release via Gilead Media/Howling Mine. They have been hailed as the next big thing in USBM by some, and honestly, after picking up the vinyl version of the album and spending some contemplative alone time with the record I am not the least bit surprised.

Pinback’s Information Retrieved is at once familiar and comforting for those who have had an introduction to the band’s previous work. The crux of the record, however, ultimately allows for an underlying sense of spontaneity. The Crow/Smith writing formula is very much present in this fifth release by the San Diegans, who first started the Pinback brand back in 1998, but surprises aren’t far from the ear of the observant listener.