Without doubt I have thoroughly been enjoying the experience of being outside and working amongst apple trees. I have the pleasure of working with a caring and humorous site manager, even if the owners/bosses aren't worth talking about unless it's in the negative. Unfortunate, but not atypical of the conditions throughout the New Zealand Horticulture Industry. Today a report was done on Kiwifruit growers in the Bay of Plenty, but this kind of worker exploitation and not living up to Labour Rights is rife across most of New Zealand (and very much so in the area that I am working). However, I take the good with the bad and am in a privileged enough position to be able to refuse working over 40 hours to meet a standard minimum wage rate knowing that the owners have to top my pay up if their contract rates don't meet that minimum rate. That's fine. Not so for the migrant workers who are hit the hardest due to their desire to make as much money as possible to return to their families and communities.
On Sunday I moved out of the work accommodation and into a new flat with a fire and two friendly flatmates. In fact, I may have sprained my thumb and over night it swelled somewhat and this morning I fainted in the kitchen while making my coffee and talking to Emma. I woke up on the floor wondering what had happened and Emma asking me if I was okay. After calling an ambulance and having me fully checked out, Emma left for work late, and Matt drove me down to the hospital for a follow up consultation. I generally don't cope so well with pain and injuries so it may have just been my body reacting to the injury. But it's great to have supportive people around me. It's something we all hope for.
On Saturday I took a trip to the beach, or estuary... It's an estuary. I come from Gisborne. I've lived in Whangamata. Maybe this stretches into the beach, but where I walked and took photos, it's very estuaryish.
It's not often I use the word 'beautiful' to describe things, but the sunset was gorgeous! :-)
She’s so young, so early out of childhood, yet so soon to become her own adult.
Sometimes J’nata wished she could trade the long arduous quarters of day for more time in her own life to experience and watch children become the same adults they were. Better adults. But it was never to be. Death came to parents within moments of children being born to their own children.
Had any adults ever lived to see children of children grow to fruition?
J’nata took the garden knife and started chipping away at the hardened dew-sap that had formed between the top of the apple and it’s stem.
Ch’rie watched her curiously. “Why doesn’t it fall off like all the other fruit?”
“All the excess sap from the previous dim day has hardened around the top of the fruit. It’s too hard to pull straight off so I’m cutting it down instead. The fruit’s fine, but it’s just a consequence of there being too much light during one of the dark days – all that excess sap caused by extra light has to leave the plants. Most of the time it simply drips into the ground from the plant leaves. In fruit-bearing trees is has a tendency to gather at the stems of the fruits themselves.”
Ch’rie was eating into one of the fruit.
“Those are supposed to be for the stalls," J'nata said.
She stopped, teeth buried deep in fruit flesh, voice spluttering juice everywhere: “Still tastes pretty good!”
A wry smile passed across J’nata’s face. “Hurry up and get that basket away to the stalls, otherwise people will be wondering what’s happened to you!”
Like a short, sharp, stabbing of hardcore, ‘Melt Your Mind’ comes at the listener with fast paced drums and bass setting up the flurry of attacks by the guitar. Brodsky’s vocals charge in with a scream before confidently singing “Feel the heat of a fire at your feet rising up one smoke-ring at a time, in this life we all get left behind so maybe, it’s gonna work out fine. Take it from me – don’t let it melt your mind.” Appropriate metal imagery has been reforged to bring positive balance to the thrashing instruments throughout and the album feels like an uplifting assault that sweeps the listener away with it. I can imagine crowds cheering and singing along to the line “Blow! Blow me a kiss of death” (‘Kiss of Death’).
In 2005, Cave In collaborated with Ben Koller from Converge on a two song single split ‘Shapeshifter / Dead Already’ and for the most part, this is where Brodsky and Koller decided to pick up from when they started jamming again in 2012. In 2013 the duo released the EP Helium Head, followed up in 2016 by Bleeder. Heart palpitating, unleashed fury is the best way to describe the music on these releases. It’s like the ugly offspring of hardcore and thrash metal who doesn’t care what you think but still wants to lift you up into the flames of rejuvenation.
‘Micro Aggression’ continues the bold attack while ‘Date with the Devil’ is a fun tale that ends with “Came inside her, Satan’s daughter; nine months later, who’s the father? Another day drags, tail between her legs.” Brodsky doesn’t discuss how the date came about, but the results are warning enough. ‘Irons in the Fire’ begins like an ode to both Iron Maiden and Metallica before quickly bringing back the thrash to remind the listener that this isn’t mainstream Heavy Metal here, it’s pure Metalcore. ‘Open Flame’ is a sleeper stand out that felt much like the rest of the album until I sat down and had a good listen to the song. “I tasted open flame, my tongue burned off again” rushes through two verses to get us to a bridge with pounding drums, and here the song breaks down with a guitar figure that feels like the protagonist has taken a much needed breather in preparation for the finale.
With Bleeder I felt there was a focus more on the rock and the melody, but on War Moans, while melody is still intact, the thrash has been brought to the forefront and propels everything forward with even more intensity. When the music slows down on the final track ‘Bandages’, that intensity is felt even more as Brodsky pines “Bandages on me – I’m wounded in love; Bandages on me – to cut off the blood.” A cutting guitar figure interplays with the bass over a trippy atmospheric backing, and distinctive vocals always make lines like “Scare, in the shape of my face, a version of me falling free” always feel heartfelt and sincere.
In a world where albums are getting unnecessarily longer to gain hit-counts on streaming websites, Mutoid Man reminds us at a mere 40 minutes of the importance of not wearing out the listener by keeping songs at a 3-4 minute length and packing every second with tight playing, massive riffs and catchy melodies. I can’t personally claim to like this more than Bleeder, but that’s just my own taste and perhaps a bit more variety on the tempo and riff front on the previous album, but War Moans has everything that a listener of melodic Metalcore could want: Riffs are furious, chords burn, bass thumps, drums pound, and vocals soar.
Some updates to keep me updated.