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Unsigned and Unholy: while(true), Chrmr, Mule Skinner

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If the chilled out progressive metal and layered vocal harmonies of latter-day The Contortionist are your cup of tea, you really aught to check out while(true). Appropriately enough, Last Chance to Reason’s Evan Sammons played drums on and mixed the track (his bandmate Michael Lessard ended up in The Contortionist), which is the solo project of Ricky Davenport, who plays all the other instruments and sings.

Post-hardcore/sludge outfit Chrmr channel a whole lot of influences in one package here, from the ’90s noise rock of Unsane, Helmet, all the Am Rep bands, etc. (and, more recently, Whores and Fight Amp) to the the death metal riff skronk of Gorguts and Dysrhythmia to vocals that channel vintage alt rock. It’s working, as my insides feel sufficiently unsettled after listening to their latest EP Respective Orbits.

Mule Skinner return with their sophomore effort Airstrike 23 years after their debut, which allegedly made waves in the New Orleans scene at the time. The band certainly sounds like where they’re from, with the musical imprints of Exhorder, Soilent Green and Goatwhore all over this thing. It’s fierce, it’s scathing, it’s swampy… all of that.

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