Sunday, February 26, 2012

Plate Six - Battle Hymns For A New Republic

Plate Six were from Alabama and had a really rad sound that I'm having trouble describing. Post hardcore with the thoughtfulness and restraint of Sinaloa, the burly machismo of Ancestors/Town Ship, and maybe a bit of Enablers-esque meandering and I think you've got a pretty good description of Plate Six. I actually wasn't super sold on this band on first listen. The vocals have this gruff hard rock twang to them which was off-putting at first, but soon meld with the music so perfectly. Plate Six manage to come across aggressive without falling into the usual cliches that can really break a band with this sound.

By the way, I downloaded this album from the amazing blog Forget The Radio. The guy who runs that blog knows a ton about mid 90s emo and indie rock and I always find something I've never heard. One of my fave blogs. Check it out.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Okara - Months Like Years

Doing that Shotmaker post has put me back in Ottawa mode. Pulled out everything that ever came out on Great American Steak Religion and Spectra Sonic Sound, two great labels who, at the time of the early-mid 90's, put out and documented some of the best stuff coming out of that area. And believe me, there's a lot of it. Blake, Uranus, Union Young America, One Eyed God Prophecy... there is an embarrassment of riches in this scene/era, but the one band (other than Shotmaker, of course) that, I feel, really needs a revisit for many (or perhaps an introduction to you fresh faces) is OKARA.

Formed in 1995, Okara played some super rhythmic post-hardcore. Ultra tense, sharp guitar lines, weighty vocals used as if it were part of the rhythm section. If you need some touchstones musically, Shotmaker is likely the closest thing. There's also elements of the rhythmic-math stuff of Louisville bands like Rodan/June of 44, but definitely keeps free of the meanderings of that stuff. Okara were pretty succinct in their approach: hit hard, do something interesting, get out.

I'm probably not making it too clear, but I LOVE this record. Stand it next to Mouse Ear (Forget Me Not). Canadian gold.

I'm almost certain Spectra Sonic Sound still has copies of this LP - I am unsure if it is still in the works, but there was also talk of a discography CD which should include the INCREDIBLE demo Okara did (which deserves a GGS post all it's own) - We are big fans of Spectra Sonic Sound here at GGS; many great records are on that label. Head over there and make Sean dig gold out of boxes.