The signature of (the real) screamo is one of both beauty, sadness and dread. Despite its harsh nature, the newest collboration between APOSTLES OF ERIS and RAINING is bound by a weird dreamy state, rarely breaking from its unique spell. Soon after their recent release on Larry Records, APOSTLES OF ERIS making a return with a new member, the one and only David Norman (aka Screamo Angel) on vocals, is beyond welcome! Their impressive delivery is paired with raw, emo-violent delivery from Dunedin, New Zealand’s RAINING and the whole offering has its own vibe. Weightless and unreal. Beautiful.
Blending screamo sounds from so many countries you’ll lose count, this split with APOSTLES OF ERIS (U.S./Canada) and RAINING (New Zealand) shows two bands doing nearly everything themselves (recording, mastering, art, etc.). APOSTLES started as a solo project for Jesse Mowery (Majorel, In Wolves Clothing, Altar Of Complaints, etc.) and recently added Dave Norman on vocals (Swallows Nest, The World That Summer, мятеж, etc.) mixing European screamo with darker elements. RAINING boast a bunch of vocalists screaming and crooning over their five songs, at times sounding like the chaotic In Loving Memory, and other times sad, mid-western emo.
For fans of: Raein, Mihai Edrisch, In Loving Memory and Infant Island
Cassette /100 on gold sparkle/50 (25 w/swirled marble cases), blue sparkle/50 (25 w/swirled marble cases) with lyric insert. 5 tracks by each band. Download code included.
APOSTLES OF ERIS
Apostles of Eris was started in 2009 when I had an abundance of riffs that either didn’t fit in my other bands, or that my bandmates didn’t like, so I used it as an excuse to learn drums. It was originally just called Eris, but there are other bands with that name, and I wanted it to be more connected to discordianism. Originally I only played shows, playing drums and shouting along to guitar parts saved to a loop station. In 2013 I saw the band Mahria live and was inspired to get a 7-string guitar. From then until 2017 it was all written on that, turning into mostly a recording project. I moved back to standard guitar in 2018, because I feel like so many people downtune or use alternate tunings that I wanted to show there’s still plenty of possibilities in standard or drop d tuning. David officially joined on vocals at the end of 2018. This project has always been a vessel to express what I want to do musically, documenting my journey as a musician, and helping me figure out how to record with many limitations. – Jesse
1. …and one for all that I know
This was the first song that Jesse sent me for the split and I am still smitten with it. The guitar intro sounds like Via Fondo to me and I was able to muster up some late-Orchid influence to go along with it. The song is actually tied to track 4 and was intended to come after it, but after completing all five songs we felt splitting them up was best for the flow of our side. So the full title for the two songs should be read, “A fire for your horrid life and one for all that I know.” Essentially the song is about banding together with like-minded individuals and setting fire to the traditions and concepts tied to our place in the world and who we are. Be it sex, race, religion, the economy, etc. if we are to survive as a species we need to ignite the cage we’ve been born into. It’s not easy, but “We must let go, burn all I know.” – Dave
2. Fascist Pacifist
Perhaps the quirkiest of the five songs, this one ended up being my favourite. I think the chorus is pretty crushing and I tried out a little drunken Daughters thing during the second verse. Jesse’s guitar swing at 1:43 still gives me goosies. This song is pretty obvious in its message – if you are willing to stand by and do/say nothing as the hate, intolerance and pollution increases in the world, I don’t fucking care if you die tomorrow. “If you won’t stand you’re as good as in the ground.” – Dave
3. Mikey Got His Gun
I don’t think I’ve ever cried while writing lyrics, but I had to stop the first two nights I tried. This story is about my brother and his near-death experience with a cavernoma which left him partially paralyzed, unable to use the lower half of his body and one of his arms. He was 32. I was on vacation the entire time and didn’t know what was happening. When we were teenagers he read Johnny Got His Gun (a book about a man who loses all functions save his brain and eyelids and struggles to stay sane while attempting to somehow make contact with his caregivers, who think he is now but a shell) and he cried when reading it on a long car ride. He told me the thought of being trapped like that was terrifying. Then it fucking happened to him. The doctors told him he would never walk again or regain the use of his arm. The news was crushing, but Mike disregarded their prognosis and has since made progress that brought his rehab team to tears. “Fuck your prognosis, I’ll crawl my own goddamn way out.” – Dave
4. A fire for your horrid life…
I used to think that everyone can change. Maybe love or education was needed. Maybe patience. I don’t have any more patience. If you are racist, sexist, pro-Trump, anti-immigration, pro-religion, etc. I hope you and all of your ideals are engulfed in a fire that burns you right out of the fucking history books. – Dave
5. The Eye
I battle with depression, as many do. This last song (both in the tracklist and in writing) is about my inability to cope with the world and all the shit in it. The evil, the greed, the death, my own failures, my partner and my children – it all swirls around under the ever-watchful eye of my depression tornado. – Dave
raining was formed a good few years ago, when tom (drummer), rory (bassist), and I (guitar, vocals) lived in a dark house up in the dunedin hills. Tom and I would pretty much just improvise in his room, and Rory would join in, at times. We played more of a post-rock style, then, though at the time I was heavily into a midwest-emo phase. Our music was from a place of great discontent and self-neglect, and we never quite mustered anything of a consistent/real song, just jam pieces. The motivation wasn’t really there.
After leaving for nearly two years, then returning practically out of the blue, Tom and I started up jamming again, with Rory joining in with some more consistency. I was crashing in the hallway at Rory’s flat, an old converted four-square supermarket, with a few others (including Chris and Ro), and had just formed a band with Dave (from Zegema Beach Records, and also one-half of Apostles of Eris), Jo, and Karl. Karl and I had always planned to form a screamo band, but we ended up being in two. After Dave went back to Canada, Karl joined Tom, Rory, and I, at which point we had three songs. Our earlier songs were more blue-skies midwest emo than screamo, inspired by the likes of Midwest Pen Pals, Snowing, Texas is the Reason, and Boy Problems (among others). After meeting Dave, however, I got into a fervent blitz of discovery in the heavier spectrum of emo, which I’d prior had only a hint of its existence.
Throughout the evolution of the band, we picked up Ro and Chris to fill out a complement of a total of four vocalists—sometimes slightly tricky to co-ordinate, but to good purpose—with a range of ideals and styles, and all of us, ultimately, going through our own personal strife. I am in no position to tell the other’s stories but, throughout 2018 (in which the bulk of our material was written), I had tumbled through unemployment and hopelessness, as well as living with others’ emotional violence (aptly enough), manipulation, and drug abuse; all of which I have, in former lives, ended up having to flee to escape.
I have mainly written these songs, fuelled by the witnessing of this injustice inflicted by others, by the toxic byproduct of those we allow ourselves to believe and, even, trust; whether their intention was active or passive. Overarchingly, what we see in our personal lives shapes our view of humanity. I saw our culture of inter/intra-personal abuse with clear eyes, not only in the ways that people intentionally break down others in their actions towards the other, but also in those towards the self. At the same time, by living on a tourist attraction, I saw the culture of abuse of the spectacle/phenomenon, the sick harvesting of throwaway experience for the sake of small talk or a slideshow, and a subsequent squelching of local culture—a mounting cultural issue in New Zealand. Both facets formed sides of an ugly jewel, through which was shone a truth we know, but often do not admit: Humanity is a pointlessly destructive force.
From here, these songs were written: Towards the crest of this terrible wave. [On a lighter note, I almost always keep grasses in mind in the stories behind the songs. There are parallels between the actions of grasses and those of us (as there are parallels between all).] – Tom
The opening riff was written by Karl, and the track kind of fell into place pretty easily from there. We’d had a series of jams we recorded, and there was this one with a sweet bassline moment, Chris singing, and strummed guitar slowly building. We couldn’t quite remember how it went, so instead re-engineered it as it turned out. It’s not a long track, and eventually we linked it up with the following track (inoperant).
I titled this after an instance of the phylogenetic tree, a structure for depicting and investigating evolutionary trees. The concept of a blank tree, or a tree with no leaves, and the connotation internally following—the product of an ancestry leading to an empty present—sang resound in my head. I thought of all the pasts flowing into futures of nothing. The song is kind of an empty cataclysm, the path to the branch-ends of the blanktree. Bridging blanktree and inoperant (usually just feedback) are shattered voices and swells of noise, a vague portrait of the overcast skies beyond. – Tom
I think this actually turned out to be my favourite song to write of these, it just has so many riffs that are fuckin’ fun to play. Although it made it a nightmare for the others to figure what to do with it, in the end I think it came out sick! There’s definitely a bit more of a midwest influence to it, with clean twangy, noodly guitar work and big open chords. The last riff was heartily influenced by Merchant Ships and, as soon as we heard it, we knew it was a keeper. Ro’s sax in here, especially right at the start, has such a freakin’ great tone.
The title was originally ‘inobservant’, and it was only in a momentary typo of Chris’s that ‘inoperant’ came to be the title. I guess both reflect the underlying meaning well, but inoperant sounded cooler. At least, to me. The song is about careless actions, being led into, or of a self-leading, demise. This is a bitter song for me. My closing words probably say it all: ‘i hope you/found it there/in your room/your effaced self forgets’. – Tom
3. two mirrors
I love interludes. In one of my other projects, I tend to make albums with more interludes than actual songs. This one was pretty much all recorded on cell-phone (with the exception of Karl’s parts), emphasizing the lo-fi, DIY aesthetic we attempt to adhere to; although, when we went into our final recordings, we did our best to get something comprehensive and clean. We didn’t quite have the time to record all tracks with cellphones, although we had thoroughly considered it.
chris wanted to leave the meaning behind his spoken word unspoken, mysterious, and I can’t fault that. – Tom
4. sleepy ernst
Really, this one hinges on the distortion. I was messing around with that central palm-mute riff for a while by myself and, all of a sudden, I had dialled in this shrieky, bastard of a tone that felt like being scraped over the face by harsh static with each repetition. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t spend a hell of a lot of time polishing my tone, but hitting the sweet spot with this one was a glorious moment. Again, sleepy ernst sports a noodly clean midsection, perhaps the modicum of park jefferson I’ll never be able to shed shining through.
If anyone got the reference in the title, I’d be stoked. In relation to that reference, the song relates to mass-media running marketing through the back of our heads. We’re in an unprecedented state of advertisement culture, constantly being inundated with messages aimed at the modification of our very psyche; in order to generate insecurities to create a fertile ground in which artificial desires may be sown and cultivated. These messages are not only propagated through conventional advertising means, but also through all media we absorb. This shapes our very selves, our ways of life, and in the glamorisation of self-destruction is the means of oppression. We are taught to fall asleep, to wash the sorrows away; those generated by systemic mistreatment, which we are taught to blame ourselves for.
There, perhaps, is an unintentional hypnotic element in this track’s writing, reflecting the theme. – Tom
5. chervonenkis in the swamp
Finally, we reach the closer. This track came about by happenstance, being a jam following on from the end of “waiting room” (to be released on another split sometime soon, hopefully); which lead to the initial title “waiting room 2”. This was the last song we wrote.
For a while, we had been going in a sludgy/slowcore-ish direction, which was predominantly reflected in our jams, and I guess I was tired. The opening riff was a culmination of that. While working out the kinks and continuing to figure out things to put in, I tried out what would become the riff that comprises most of the second half of the track, and although it was happy and simple, we all seemed to like it. I think the description at the time was “kinda Mario 64”, and that’s how I describe it still. At the point of recording, the song was still pretty fresh and the content wasn’t necessarily stable, but, in the end, it came out better than expected. Incidentally, we usually try to adhere to a completely-original approach, but at last minute put in the sample at the start; Apostles of Eris have a sample in their second track, and I thought it’d be a good idea to have a bit of matching. Plus, the timing worked out pretty well.
The final title came (mainly by my choice as I thought it was good and nobody contested it) out as ‘chervonenkis in the swamp’, as I couldn’t stop thinking of the story of Alexey Chervonenkis, one of the developers of theory underpinning statistical machine learning. He lost his way in Losiny Ostrov National Park near Moscow, and was later found dead in the swamplands.
The track itself reflects the anxieties of living in a modern society, viewed through the parable of Chervonenkis’ last hours. Our eyes are slowly opened, upon wandering into the world with dawning cognisance, to the terrible realisation that we are, at once, completely lost and wading through a swamp, that only serves to bog us down as we wander through; an ever-darkening sky overhead. The song roughly comprises three section, each having both a soft and heavy component, in turn. The first section is the swell and crush of the realisation, and the middle section is hopelessness and frustration of the endless wading through the mud. Finally, the last section is our laying down in the long grass; where the stars fade to a luminous blue, our anxieties, too, fade away. This is acceptance of the final, where the only joy here is to be found.
Once we admit what we are fighting ourselves against, we can begin to live without the fight. – Tom