I’ll admit, it’s been a minute since I’ve been excited by a new Russian Circles song. After their album Memorial, I kind of fell off on them a bit. Perhaps I was looking for more evolution from them or something else. Either way, my time away has made for this new track they released today be on repeat since I heard it. This is the Russian Circles I remember and liked. Great riffs and rhythms power this pummeling track. The song the released is called “Conduit” and it’s from their upcoming album, Gnosis out August 19 via Sargent House. If this is the direction Russian Circles is going with on their new album, I can tell you right now, it’s about to get very loud and awesome!
I was combing through my CD/Record collection the other day and I noticed that I have quite a few albums by strictly instrumental bands. There is something truly remarkable about being able to create a piece of music that hits all the right emotions and feelings with just music and no lyrics. So, naturally this got me thinking I should compile a list of the best instrumental bands.
This list is in no particular order and needs your input!
01) Explosions In The Sky
02) This Will Destry You
03) Moving Structures
04) Russian Circles
05) And So I Watch You From Afar
07) Godspeed You Black Emperor
08) If These Trees Could Talk
11) Red Sparrows
13) Set and Setting
14) 65 Days of Static
15) The Cancer Conspiracy
17) Stars Of The Lid
19) Tangerine Dream
Through many heavy music circles there are certain bands that when they are brought up, people get really excited. Amongst a few friends of mine, when we are talking about heavy bands, Botch always seems to be brought up. Botch was one of those bands that were pioneers of what is commonly referred to as “mathcore,” due to their off time rhythms, and complex intricacies. Throughout their short but very influential career, Botch managed to release two very acclaimed albums, American Nervoso, and We Are The Romans, along with a few EP’s and splits. Their live shows are still notorious for being a bit of a free for all of aggression and intensity, just like fellow mathcore pioneers The Dillinger Escape Plan, whom they have shared the stage with many times. Botch officially decided to break up the band in February 2002 and performed their final show on June 15, 2002 in their home of Seattle. Tensions were growing within the band amongst its members and the direction of how the band should go, thus leading to the break up. Over the years when asked vocalist Dave Verellen has said, “I’d be first in line to keep this goddamn band together.” Other members like guitarist Dave Knudsen, who would go on to form Minus The Bear, has said “I could totally see doing anything with any of those people that’s not Botch but something else that’s creative and fun… and maybe more aggressive.” Though in 2014 bassist Brian Cook, now of Russian Circles was quoted as saying that he would never reunite the band, but in another 2014 interview, he revealed that the other members of Botch felt like the band ended too early and that they had been urging him to stop saying the word “never” in regards to a possible reunion. So hopefully in the next year or so we can get a Botch reunion. With The Dillinger Escape Plan taking a lengthy hiatus after they finish touring on their new album Dissociation, Botch can come back and carry the flag for the style they helped to pioneer.
Band Members and Bands They Are In Now
Dave Verellen (Vocals)- Narrows
Dave Knudsen (Guitar)- Minus The Bear
Brian Cook (Bass)- Russian Circles, Sumac
Tim Lantona (Drums)- N/A
Since the late 80’s Seattle has been the birthplace of many great bands. We really don’t need to go over the list. There was one band that came about in the early 00’s that took a very artful approach to their music. Formed by former members of Botch and Kill Sadie, These Arms Are Snakes gave new life to post hardcore and experimental rock. During their career they released 3 full length albums, 1 EP, and over half a dozen splits (a couple with Pelican and Russian Circles). They had one of the most energetic stage shows and best live sounds to boot. Their evolution and growth in songwriting and craft got better and better with every release. After their break up in 2010 the members all went onto other projects. Brian Cook (bass) went on to continue playing with Russian Circles. Ryan Frederickson (guitar) formed a band with former Botch singer Dave Verellen called Narrows. Steve Snere formed the more electronic Crypts and Chris Common went back to work as a full time producer/engineer. These Arms Are Snakes left a lasting impact in the underground scene and are deeply missed.