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Gene Meyer - 2016 Top 10 Tracks

Gene Meyer, lead singer for grindcore band, Bandit, and comedian, shares with The Hook his Top 10 Tracks for 2016!

1.    “Grind Hard With A Vengeance/Failure To Thrive” – Ground – Split w/Bandit
No other moment this year captured the animosity quite like these two songs do, specifically the seemless transition from the ending two-step of “Grind Hard” directly into the sweet mother of god badass opening helicopter breakdown of “Failure To Thrive”. That riff is pure merciless revenge and if you don’t immediately crowd kill everything in your living room when it comes on, then you are just a fucking poser, my dude.

2.    “Chihan Ki Pari” – Chepang – Lathi Charge
There are other songs of this album that I was considering putting on here but this is definitely one of the more “grindy” bangers of the sick LP from this Nepalese unit. Anchored by the beautifully disharmonic Discordance Axis-esque arpeggio, the whole 65 seconds of this song are just a stellar example of angular self-loathing writhing on the floor via guitar, drums and vocals.

3.    “Hollow Roots” – Wormrot – Voices
Grindcore bands just can’t seem to win. Either they release album after album of the same music and elitists call them “boring” or they try something new and elitists call them “posers”. I for one am amazed by the job these Singaporean grinders did incorporating Deafheaven style black metal influences into their music while also staying very true to the crusty grind that they had purveyed so successfully in the past. The entire album is beautiful, haunting and full of memorable moments yet it was this song that really captured their new dynamic perfectly.

4.    “Napalm Menth” – Dome – Demo
Grindcore is a divisive subgenre but I think one thing that people tend to forget about is that it can be, and sometimes should be, fun. The absurdist samples that bookmark the scummy, bonehead, idiot grind only highlight the glorified stupidity on display here. As soon as I turn this song on I can just smell the spilled bongwater and body odor of a basement grind show. Action Bass? MORE LIKE ACTION ASS!

5.    “You Will Never Be One Of Us” – Nails – You Will Never Be One of Us
The title track from the most polarizing album of the year from the most polarizing band of the moment. Yes, this one is ripe for parody and yes, the memes are great but at the end of the day this fucking song rips in a way most bands could only dream of. This is probably the first Nails album where I can actually tell what the guitar is doing and I think they are much better for it. Don’t even act like the helicopter breakdown during the second half of this banger doesn’t give you a sweat pants boner.

6.    “Hypocrisy” – Shitstorm – Split w/Radiation
Seven seconds to let everyone know what pieces of shit we all are. Love it. ;)

7.    “Dying Inside” – Blight Worms – I
Everything about this song just IS GRIND. It’s like this band was like “Let’s just sum up the entire early discography of Napalm Death into a fucking riff and open our song with it and maybe have the dude from ACxDC do vocals over it”. I contest that there was no better build-up/blast then this year than this song right here.

8.    “Face First Into Concrete” – Noisear – Split w/Days Of Desperation
It would not be a stretch to call most of this band’s output “redundant” but what they do, they do will. It is also not the easiest music to play, let alone create, so give credit where credit is due. This is easily the strongest song of their side of the split EP and it is quite the banger. Discordance Axis in a high school science lab with the dudes in Maruta as your teacher. Tight.

9.    “Des Bribes de Nuits” – Whoresnation – Split w/Chappa’ai
If you were looking for a stellar example of modern grind, then this one would be it. Just about everything is perfect here: the rough production that enhances the heaviness rather than detract from it,  the faux breakdown during the intro and of course the diminished  fifth evisceration that would make the dudes in Insect Warfare proud.

10.    “Assistance” – Gendo Ikari – Unit 1
The opening three seconds of this song really set the tone for the entire album: “full velocity spasms of bezerk insanity with intermittent brutal slam parts”. I think the MVP here has to be the vocalist, who’s piercing shrieks and guttural regurgitations take the affair to another level.

NJ Band To Follow - Shark Club

Shark Club is a band that I didn’t know I needed in my life until I heard them. Everything about them and their music screams authenticity, honesty, and innocence in a peculiar way that is reminiscent of childhood memories. The band has been hard at work in 2016 releasing arguably their strongest set of songs in their latest EP Michigan a little over 2 months ago. On top of that, they have also recently released a cover of Slaughter Beach, Dog’s song “Monsters” which you can listen to below!

Shark Club consists of guitarists/singer songwriters Jake Britton and Russel Cerminaro, bassist Eric Ciparis, and newest member, David Juro on the drums. With influences from bands such as Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms, the band strikes a perfect balance between nostalgia and innovation while crafting a sound that is all their own. The name Shark Club, just like the members of band, comes from simple beginnings. One day Britton approached Cerminaro with a song he had written which they later recorded. They quickly realized the potential behind their music, recruited additional members, Ciparis and Juro, and began practicing in Cerminaro’s basement. That practice space was decorated with an odd painting of a pink shark wearing sunglasses.

Right below the shark, the painting read “shark club.”

The band has released 2 full length albums and 1 EP. Their latest full length effort, Michigan, is the band’s most collaborative project with each member contributing to every song on the record equally, and it definitely shows. Michigan captures everything that is fun and exciting about Shark Club and puts it on full display in a neatly polished package that just makes listeners feel good. 
You can check out the tracklisting for Michigan right here!

Michigan Tracklist:
1. In Your Eyes
2. Aim For The Heart 03:11
3. Paper Bag Funeral 03:20
4. In Time 02:30
5. Mint 04:18
6. Weathered 03:09
7. Yosemite 02:18
8. Blue Whale 03:43
9. God Walks on 45th Street 03:38
10. Midnight 03:25
11. Tomorrow 04:44
12. Quilt
 

Just like their recorded music, Shark Club’s live shows are just as fun and inviting. Even before they set foot on the stage, the members of the band make it a priority to go around and engage audience members by asking random questions that are guaranteed to take you by surprise. When they finally do take the stage, you better believe their shows will be filled with infectious music and good vibes. “If our high energy songs and scrumptious breakdowns don’t get you pumped, I’m not sure what will.”

Unfortunately Shark Club has no set shows in place at this moment. The members are at school until winter break rolls around when they will be back at the grind recording the dozens of songs they have amassed since their last record. 

If you have never heard of Shark Club before, then now is the perfect opportunity to join the club (pun fully intended). You’ll be treated to wonderfully benevolent music that will make you feel happy in the most innate way while still bringing energy and intensity. Michigan is an awesome, feel-good record that I highly recommend. Check out Shark Club’s social media links below and keep your eyes and ears peeled for even more new music and show dates.

Shark Club:  Facebook // Soundcloud // Bandcamp // YouTube

Philly Band To Follow - MOON JELLIES

It's been a while, but we're happy to be back with Philadelphia natives, and newest Hook obsession, MOON JELLIES!

This psychedelic 4 piece has been experimenting with sound in relationship to music in a way that feels refreshing, fun, and smart. Of course, what we feel is most important about this band is their ability to morph into different things. While psychedelic indie feels nice to say, MOON JELLIES is huge on that experimentation bit, and can go between different sounds like neo-soul, or dream pop, and even psych rock. 

We're stoked on MOON JELLIES, though, because they're all of those things that embody their music too. But, to understand this band, maybe it's best to go back to the beginning. The lineup consists of Eoin Murphy (Guitar/Vocal), Kevin Segal (Bass), Ethan Berkowitz (Synths/Keys), Phil Conine (Drums/Percussion). According to MOON JELLIES, the project began in high school when frontman Eoin and former member Kevin Moran came up with the idea. After a few years, and a lineup change, the band has become what they are today. 


Fast forward to now - MOON JELLIES spent their summer playing shows. The month of August, the band toured all the way from Philly to West Virginia, and then have spent the month of September playing a series of six shows throughout Philly! 

A busy bunch, if you ask us.

Of course, the band has said that for the future they plan on taking the month of October to play fewer shows, focusing more on getting into the studio to record and release their first full length. Besides that, the band says they are working on some big winter plans including another tour that may extend all the way down to Texas!

Which is exciting, and we're most excited about the new music part. MOON JELLIES are doing something right - a lot of things right, actually, and we're on board. We want more gooey synthesized sounds, more whiney, haunting vocals, more dissociative guitar murmurs, more passive drums. We're just asking for more.

Which means we like their stuff, and you should too. 

For now, though, you should definitely be checking MOON JELLIES out. They're an active, all around fun group of people who work really hard to share positive music vibes. Check out their social media to keep up with their day-to-day lives, set up a dinner date with them, watch them eat pizza, hold their hands. 

MOON JELLIES: Bandcamp // Facebook // Soundcloud // Twitter