With all its delicious, flagrant wankery, math-rock tends to draw more from the rock pools of technical precision than the deeper wells of human emotion, but Milk Time For Spiders sits between the two with one of those dual-strawed drinking hats and has the lot.
It doesn’t take long for the evidence to mount that the most important place in the world is wherever Moffat’s not. He teeters from doting family man to challenged alpha-male, and finds himself consistently misled by the adverts for each. His wants and needs spar in a caged ring because he only knows to pit them against one another, and when the wants win, they change their name to needs.
Considering the ferocity of the Mylets live experience and its organic unity, committing it all to tape flirts dangerously with dilution – gone is the visual nectar of frenzy, the awe placated – but fortunately, Arizona as a recorded work sheds none of the live show’s winsome factors, at the same time as significantly building on the firm foundations provided by 2013’s Retcon.
With four full-lengths, a stack of EPs, several splits, a compilation and a bunch of globe-trotting tours under their belts, few would argue against Blacklisted’s reputation as one of hardcore’s hardest working and most prolific bands.
Risk breeds the fluttering heart and tightening chest, and whether we face it boldly or meekly, by choice or on impulse, it’s the allure of the unknown that instils affirmation of life within us. Alfie Ryner’s Brain Surgery is uncharted territory, an untarnished mountain-top lake with unobserved ecosystems. I play the role of frightened discoverer, taken by the upheaval that loads every glance, rooted by curiosity.
If you’ve ever played the classic neo-noir crime thriller Max Payne, you’ll recall the ghostly platforms and graffiti-laced walls of the murky, menacing Roscoe Street Station, a place drenched in dystopian gloom and decorated by cracked mirrors and discarded, bloody needles.
A silk web has the fascinating property of great strength, able to bear much more weight than its appearance would have you believe, often as impervious to breaking as steel. I’m reminded of it – the fragility of its aesthetic in direct contrast against its form – by two sisters from Holland, their dainty voices pirouetting on the velvety cushion of equally delicate strums and notes, holding aloft their portly burdens in a display of quiet, staunch aptitude.
It’s been five years since heralded progressive outfit Rishloo last graced us with an off-kilter time-shift or a soaring conclusion to an eight minute stargaze, and despite having an impervious explanation for this passage of time — they broke up; vocalist Andrew Mailloux decided to pursue other avenues whilst the remaining members carried on as the instrumental The Ghost Apparatus — there has always been a feeling that they’d cut the chord too early, that they’d not yet made the record they’d been reaching for with Eidolon and Feathergun.
Iconoclast is brazenly reticent, a ‘halt’ hand gesture with a ‘come-hither’ finger. The landscape alters with slow ceaselessness, and what is at first cloaked by a lit mist of woven synths and airy, intangible voices becomes blackened by soot and ash – but rather than recoil, you allow it.
Wil Wagner and company are doing okay. It’s a relative term, of course; their version of equilibrium might be past the tipping point of saner men, but consider that they’ve managed to rally a troop of diligent fans, many homegrown and more from the other halves of the globe – it’s likely an over-fulfilment of any success envisioned underneath Melbourne skies.