Welcome back to “The Underground In…”, where I will be taking a look at unsigned, unknown, local, or beginning bands trying to make it in this overwrought sea of musical saturation. I personally know how hard it is starting out in any industry, let alone as a metal band, and will do what I can to help get some more well-deserved exposure to the little guys working their way up. This week I’ll take a look at the new EP by the esoteric Swiss madmen, Coilguns.
Coilguns are hard to classify. They’re a little bit punk, a little bit grind, a little bit hardcore, a little bit rock, a little bit ambient, and a whole lotta fucking crazy. Their unique brand of heavy can at one moment make you feel uneasy and at another completely serene, and it’s all performed and composed with such angst and emotion that you can’t help but feel something when you listen to it. It harkens back to the good old days when bands like Botch, Converge, and Deadguy were just starting to make waves in the underground metal scene, brimming with atonal riffs and unsettling dissonance that provoke spasms of dementia and fury. Truth be told, their sound is a refreshing reminder of why I got into heavy music in the first place.
Coilguns features members of the experimental prog metal behemoths The Ocean; Jonathan Nido on guitar, Luc Hess on drums, and Louis Jucker on vocals. Their music, however, is far different than anything The Ocean have ever done, choosing instead a more simplistic and off-the-cuff approach to their frantic brand of heaviness.
The EP starts off with what is sure to become a hardcore anthem, “Parkensine”, a kinetic shot in the gut that bounces around from spastic riffage to expansive atmospheres in a artfully crafted and uber-compelling way. In its wake rises one of the stand out tracks on the album, the short-but-sweet “Zoetropist”, keeping up the frenzied heaviness and subtle technicality that “Parkensine” previously established. Bridged by one of Jucker‘s patented rasping screams, the song leads seamlessly into the sludgy, droning chorale “In The Limelights”. “Witness The Kern Arc” brings things back up to speed, kicking off with a mid-paced, mathy riff followed by one of the coolest moments on the EP: a dissonant interlude that leads into a chugging hardcore-laden dirge that smashes head first into a brick wall. The closing track, a two-part opus called “The Suftan Process” brings the record full circle, traversing back through familiar territory in a new and refreshing way, bringing about a seriously epic conclusion.
All in all, Stadia Rods sees Coilguns expanding on the throwback sound they established with their first effort, a split with the homogeneous experimental noisecore band Kunz (also featuring Louis and Luc). What’s more, Stadia Rods was entirely written and recorded live in the span of a week, which is a feat that most bands/songwriters could only hope to one day achieve. That aspect, coupled with the complex, dynamic and well thought out songs on the EP are a testament to the collective musicianship and creativity of the band and is very inspiring. If they continue on this path, I can see no reason why Coilguns won’t be one of the frontrunners of the reemerging post-hardcore scene.
As of right now Stadia Rods is only available in a limited edition run through the band, but don’t fret. They are currently in the process of preparing a vinyl release through Dead Dead Dead Music which will be available March 15. Until then, head over here to get a taste of what to expect. Mark my words, you’re going to be hearing a lot more about these guys in the coming years.
Stadia Rods – 9.2/10
3. In The Limelights
4. Witness The Kern Arc
5. The Shuftan Process Pt. 1
6. The Shuftan Process Pt. 2
Favorite Track: Parkensine