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Graf Or­lock

Ex­am­i­na­tion of Vi­o­lent Cinema Vol. 1

L. A.-based cinema-grind afi­ciona­dos Graf Or­lock re­turn with their lat­est slab of grind-fu­elled hard­core, dubbed Ex­am­i­na­tion of Vi­o­lent Cinema Vol. 1. The new re­lease fol­lows 2016’s am­bi­tious Crime Trav­eler, which was an orig­i­nal story about a Cana­dian time-trav­el­ing as­sas­sin, and sees the band re­turn­ing to their com­men­tary on mod­ern Hol­ly­wood films. The 12-track al­bum tack­les movies re­leased in 2017, such as Blade Run­ner 2049, Brawl in Cell Block 99 and John Wick: Chap­ter 2, and cap­tures Gor­lock’s dis­tinct brand of chaotic grind and fierce hard­core, along with their use of per­fect, con­fronta­tional sam­ples. Ex­am­i­na­tion of Vi­o­lent Cinema is in­tense and ag­gres­sive through­out, as tracks like “Back in the Ground” and “A Man Named Sui­cide” con­tain in­ces­santly harsh riffs and pum­melling drums. Even tracks with slower mo­ments and groovier rhythms (“Al­ter­nate Route to Mex­ico” and “Five Stars Gen­eral”) have an over­ar­ch­ing gnarly tone and vi­o­lent at­mos­phere. In true Gor­lock style, the record also fea­tures thor­oughly cre­ative (al­beit dis­gust­ing) al­bum pack­ag­ing, which in this case de­picts an au­top­sied corpse, to match the hos­til­ity of its themes. ( The al­bum

ing and gen­tle duet of “The Swim­mer” evokes the op­ti­mism of sum­mer­time. Ex­per­i­men­ta­tion also has a home here: “Sun­rise” is math­e­mat­i­cal and elec­tric; and “Dutch Bliss” be­gins min­i­mal but is soon filled up and glow­ing with strings that cre­ate a slow chaos. Fel­lows is not in­ter­ested in sto­ries of sta­sis, but rather sto­ries in which we can raise each other up. ( Vi­vat Vir­tute) ROCK comes pack­aged in a body bag that hides the cover art.) Ex­am­i­na­tion of Vi­o­lent Cinema is yet an­other com­pletely unique of­fer­ing from the band that ex­udes all of the dry hu­mour and DIY aes­thetic that they have be­come known for over the past 15 years. ( Vit­riol)

Tell me about the theme and how it came about.

Gui­tarist/vo­cal­ist Ja­son Sch­midt: It’s based on the con­cept that the film in­dus­try is this dead corpse, with re­makes and all that stuff — it’s an au­topsy of the film in­dus­try. All the movies are from 2017, and are pretty vi­o­lent. But there are also lyri­cal par­al­lels with things go­ing on the world. For in­stance, [“A Man Named Sui­cide”] is from War for the Planet of the Apes, but if you didn’t know, you could be talk­ing about Trump’s Amer­ica.

Your pack­ag­ing has al­ways been re­ally unique. Is it im­por­tant to main­tain that?

There’s not re­ally a point in do­ing some­thing phys­i­cal if it’s not go­ing to be cool. The drive in the band has al­ways been to be pretty unique, and we want to keep that go­ing for as long as we can, in terms of the vis­ual rep­re­sen­ta­tion, as well.

of­fi­cial re­lease. Foxwar­ren cite Paul Si­mon and the Band as in­flu­ences, which is cer­tainly ev­i­dent through­out, given the ex­cel­lent mu­si­cian­ship, warmed by a mix­ture of ’70s tones and mod­ern flour­ishes. If you fancy Shauf’s oft-po­etic lyrics that dip into uncer­tainty in love, in­se­cu­rity in the self and char­ac­ter study, you’ll have more to in­dulge in here. There’s a sparse­ness to cer­tain songs, not un­like a Man­i­toba land­scape at sun­down. And as fleet­ing as a sun­set, the lyrics on this record deal with feel­ings that are also so — lovers left and won­dered about, and loss felt in life. It’s fit­ting that both “Lost in a Dream” and “Fall Into a Dream” melt into hyp­notic in­stru­men­tal breaks, while “Lost on You” has a pleas­ant start but haunt­ing end, with slow-burn­ing strings that turn to an eerie swirl of sound as Shauf re­peats the song’s first line, “Oh pa­tient day bring the idle night / Do we live with it if we close our eyes?” “I’ll Be Al­right” fea­tures rather de­light­ful per­cus­sion, and “Ev­ery­thing Apart” is an ab­so­lute ten­sion-build­ing stand­out (the mu­sic video by Ft. Lan­g­ley is a real treat, too), al­most lo­co­mo­tive in mo­tion as it takes you to the fin­ish. Here’s hop­ing a sopho­more re­lease won’t take a decade to sur­face. (Arts & Crafts) METAL

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