Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

LA LUNA

BandLA LUNA aka BRAIN FEVER
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Emo-violence / Powerviolence Thrash
Related artistsChris, Never Better, Fabulous Dad and Nicolas Field.
CountryCalgary, Alberta & Toronto, Ontario CANADA
Years Active2009-2017
Song: "Always Already"
Album: "Always Already"
Year: 2016
For fans ofMahria, Vril, Frail Hands, Council Of RatsLord Snow, Rayleigh, Foxmoulder, I Hate Sex, Swallow's Nest, Gillian Carter, Loma Prieta, Yung Nat$ and O'God The White Whale aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Pint-Sized Records / Middle Man Records / Dingleberry Records / Mellow Club / A Mountain Far / Thanos Records
This post's artist is from the November 2017 Mix. This is track #8.
You can download: the November 2017 Mix#11 right here or get the new December 2017 Mix#12 here.

I'm not 100% sure where and when I first heard about LA LUNA. It was definitely before they moved from Calgary over to Toronto in 2015. I have videos from November 2013 (linked here) and distro'd five copies of the 2013 12"LP (those sold out pretty darn quick) so I guess it'd be one of those. I probably got the chance to see them play around 10 times while they were here and I will link all of the show reviews at the bottom of the post under the Additional links section. I also interviewed the full band in their apartment in Toronto as they cooked me dinner, the video for which is linked here.

Here's an extremely quick history. LA LUNA began as BRAIN FEVER back in 2009 as a powerviolence band. Throughout the next three years they experimented with a few styles and released a demo tape, splits and two LPs. Their final LP as BRAIN FEVER was titled 'La Luna' in 2012. The LP was rereleased under their new moniker LA LUNA and the same LP was repressed as the 'La Luna' self titled 12". They then recorded songs for an LP as LA LUNA that was shelved in 2015 due to label issues. In 2015 they moved to Toronto, acquired a local drummer (Keon!) and released the 'Always Already' LP on cassette independently and through Middle Man Records. In 2017 they released the LP on 12" vinyl, began a 40-day Canada/U.S.A. tour and disbanded a few shows in. The band was very conscious of social and political issues, including but not limited to sexual preference, abuse and gender equality. The members have also done a plethora or work trying to help their scene and putting on shows, and I'm thinking of Vanessa, in particular. The band, unfortunately, met their demise due to a members' prior behaviour that was disclosed by an individual. I have no knowledge of what actually happened but you can read the band's statement in their final facebook post here.

Let's do a quick run through of their discography. It beginis with the 'Live at Goodlife' demo tape that ended up being the very first A Mountain Far release, the label that was run by Em of Foxmoulder. The recording, which is live (in case you hadn't already picked up on that) from a bike shop, is of surprisingly good quality. The songs vary in style but are generally punk and hardcore, with my favourite being "Uncommon", a shared vocal track with a heck of a lot of screaming going on.

In 2011 BRAIN FEVER were part of a split tape put out by A Mountain Far titled 'Hands In Hands In Hands' and contributed three new songs, all of which have a much more distinct sound and are very telling of where the band would go in the future. Also released in 2011 was the self titled 'Brain Fever' 12"LP, a likely influential point for bands like I Hate Sex, who are from the same province. The maturation here is obvious, boasting some fantastic songs containing incredible parts. A few examples would be the violence of "Noah Constrictor" and "Technitude", the syncopated and spastic nature of "It's In the Water", the incredibly powerful last half of "Moments Like These", as well as the intro guitars, spoken word and bassline in the epic closer "We End". I would posit that this is a stronger release than their 2012 followup 'La Luna', perhaps to much opposition.

The 'The Discord Of A Forgotten Sketch split' 7" was released in 2012 with their fellow Canadians from Montreal. This collection of songs are very dark and cathartic. "Black Weed" shreds right from the get-go, showcasing a hyperactive band about to transition to the name LA LUNA. "Death Giver" expands on the previous sound, as they manage to embed the audio equivalent of a nightmare. The final song on their side is "Falling Apartments", another abrasive two and a half minutes balanced by some beautiful, jammy instrumental work and clean singing by guitarist Nicholas.

Originally recorded and released as BRAIN FEVER in 2012 on tape, 'La Luna' made its way to vinyl in 2013. Screamy, angry and vicious, this release probably best encapsulates the band's emo-violence phase. Tracks such as "You Can Take the Love Out of Lover", "Neverland" and "Never Talk, Only Shame" are extremely short and intense, but it's the lyrics and delivery that cut like a knife. Some prime examples are; "Winter" with the lines "But if I'm not holding onto anything, what's it all for? This winter isn't cold enough.", "The Fool's Card", which repeats the futile line of "These hands can't hold water!", and a lengthy, poignant stab at society on "Destroy Everything You Love" with the lyrics "I can't change what I've become. Too many lives are charged by egos. Too many people lock themselves in their rooms, declaring the world an ugly place. Maybe our moms didn't hold our hands tightly enough or maybe society held them too tight. This is wrong and this is right - all I know is I can't hide this anger anymore and I'll scream to the top of my lungs, 'destroy everything you love!'". As much as I enjoy this record and screamy music in general, their direction with 'Always Already' surpasses this release, although the ferocity and anger are palpable.

The 2015 'Tour Cassingle' contains two exclusive songs, "Boys Club", which is harsh and dark, and also "Storm Song", which is both emo-violence and twinkly emo, not to mention fucking awesome.

'Always Already' has quite the story, originally written in 2014 but not released on tape until 2016 and vinyl in 2017, it was...eh just listen to the story straight from the band's mouth in this interview. The LP made a ton of best of lists in 2016 and opens with the very strong "Empty Portrait", which lays down the style you'll hear on the rest of the record, which is a mash of different genres leading to a very thick and heavy screamo/hardcore sound with shouted, yelled, screamed and spoken vocals. It also contains a crushing final 30 seconds from 1:50 onward. "Outdoor Voice" contains some very interesting guitar work and kind of reminds me of Loma Prieta, or maybe that's because Nicolas once told me that whilst writing this record he was jamming a lot of Loma and Kidcrash. "House Party" is a departure for the band, and is by far the poppiest track they ever released. It even includes a fair amount of clean singing, although I find this track's experimentation much less appealing than their other material. "Undreaming" is 4:37 of heaving swells amidst melodic and driving hardcore while the title track "Always Already" is LA LUNA's opus, boasting guitars and an intro to die for. It builds and falls in on itself numerous times in a stunning rise before going all out at the one-minute mark, bouncing around bassy breakdown city during the next minute and barreling into seventh gear at the second-minute mark. It then spends about 30 seconds chilling out and then moves into a gang vocal end that eventually meets back up with the into during the final 20 seconds. The remaining tracks, numbers 6-10, to be exact, are good but hold nothing on the first half of the record. That being said, "Withdrawal of Consent" and "West in Peace" are quite piercing.

It's a shame that the band was finally getting recognition, going on a massive tour in support of their new record and then disbanded a few dates in. I think everyone will be watching with anticipation for what the members do next. From what I know Nicolas and Keon play in rock band Chris while Vanessa has done a one-off demo with Never Better featuring Shawn of Coma Regalia and Tom of Capacities and What Of Us. Vanessa and Nic are about to record a demo with their new band Digest. Zach from Animal Faces is in this new project as well.

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DISCOGRAPHY

***As BRAIN FEVER
2010 - Live at Goodlife Demo cassetteLP (download here)

2011 - Hands In Hands In Hands (4-way split w/Creeper, Being A Bear and Mighty Atom) cassetteLP (stream/donate/download here)
2011 - Brain Fever 12"LP (stream/donate/download here)

2012 - La Luna cassetteLP (re-released after the name change in 2013 on 12")
2012 - The Discord Of A Forgotten Sketch split 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)

As LA LUNA
2013 - La Luna 12"LP (remaster of 2012 BF album) (stream/donate/download here)
*note → represssed twice more on cassette in 2015/2017, there is also a limited edition version /14 of 12" w/glow in the dark screenprint

2015 - Tour Cassingle (stream/donate/download here)

2016 - Always Already cassette/12"LP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2016) LA LUNA - "Always Already" (from 'Always Already')

(2016) LA LUNA - "Empty Portrait" (from 'Always Already')

(2016) LA LUNA - "Outdoor Voice" (from 'Always Already' release show) live video

(2016) LA LUNA - video interview

(2016) LA LUNA - Basement Show trailer

(2015) LA LUNA - "Storm Song" (from 'Tour Cassingle')

(2013) LA LUNA - "The Fool's Card" (from 'La Luna')

(2013) LA LUNA - "Winter" (from 'La Luna')

(2012) BRAIN FEVER - "Falling Apartments" (from 'The Discord Of A Forgotten Sketch' split)

(2011) BRAIN FEVER - "It's In the Water" (from 'Brain Fever')

(2011) BRAIN FEVER - "Technitude" (from 'Brain Fever')

(2011) BRAIN FEVER - "Moments Like These" (from 'Hands In Hands In Hands' split)

(2010) BRAIN FEVER - "Uncommon" (from 'Live at Goodlife')

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LA LUNA & BRAIN FEVER additional links

LA LUNA Facebook

BRAIN FEVER bandcamp

LA LUNA bandcamp

Video Interview

November 15th, 2017 w/Circle Takes The Square, Lord Snow & Fucking Invisible

August 6th, 2015 w/Joliette, Lord Snow, Foxmoulder & Life In Vacuum

May 10th, 2016 w/Lentic Waters, Locktender, Respire & The World That Summer
('Always Already' cassette release show)

August 1st, 2016 w/Black Love, Respire, Terry Green & The World That Summer

September 3rd, 2016 w/Sarin, Not For You, In The Name Of Havoc & The World That Summer

January 21st, 2017 w/Respire, Terry Green, The World That Summer & Wimp City

April 19th, 2017 w/Edhochuli & Hang The Old Year

May 10th, 2017 w/Soul Glo & Narra

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