Wolves In The Throne Room + Haxan + Taint
Friday 30 January, Dragon Bar, Digbeth
Tickets £10 in advance www.theticketsellers.co.uk

The music of  The Wolves In The Throne Room is rooted in the  traditions of Black Metal, but they subvert the common aesthetic and ideology in order to remain true to their own personal manifestations. Their strong convictions appropriately compliment the confident decisive execution of their sound. This is the sound of paradox, ambiguity and confusion. Catharsis is the objective, not a lilly-white and guilt free existence. Death and rebirth, transformation and enlightenment. They believe that in Black Metal, there is great truth, transcendence and power.

“Our relationship with the natural world is a healing force in our lives. If you listen to Black Metal, but you don’t know what phase the moon is in, or what wild flowers are blooming then you have failed. The music is about wild forests, unfettered rivers, nature: furious and vengeful.”

This “natural” aesthetic permeates the bands every expression, Lyrically, musically, and ideologically. “Black Metal is the cleansing fire that frees us from the bondage of rationality, science, morality, religion, leaving us free to choose our own path…The deep woe inside black metal is about fear that we can never return to the mythic, pastoral world that we crave on a deep subconscious level”

Haxan is a Midlands based musical project that mixes dischordant black metal riffing, psychedelic atmospherics and melancholic doom into epic pieces that openly address mans relationship with religion, nature and self. Formed in 2004, the band rarely play live and openly shun most aspects of the modern music business. Their self titled debut album, available later this year will be a varied 40 minute concept piece and story that details the descent into madness and chaos of the main protagonist. Haxan tread a line between many genres to create something fresh and organic and truly emotional. Features ex members of Doom and Police Bastard.

Taint Of South Wales are something of an enigma. Many have striven to place their sound within a handy genre definition, only to find themselves wondering whether a band so dynamic and full of surprises can really be called ‘sludge’, or whether music so antithetical to boredom can justifiably be termed ‘post-hardcore’. Taint’s 2005 full-length debut for Rise Above, ‘The Ruin Of Nova Roma’ was a crafty beast that revelled in contructing such riddles for the listener and, of course, the critic. Pigeonholes are for pigeons, after all. It’s the purpose of great rock groups to not quite fit in.

Pram + Women
Friday !3 February, Hare and Hounds, Kings Heath
Tickets £6 in advance www.theticketsellers.co.uk

Pram Birmingham’s Pram craft fairytales from concrete reality. The second city’s spin cycle of perpetual renovation, from the slum clearances to its current cosmetic upgrade, is etched in Pram’s restless groove, an endearing and gently refusenik mix encircling early Rough Trade innovators The Raincoats, astro jazz, sci-fi soundtracks, creepy Victoriana, tropical analogue and tumbledown funk.

Women, latest signing to Jagjaguwar (home to Bon Iver + Black Mountain) produce light and spacious sounds, at other times eerie and dense with an ominous weight,  touching upon Velvet Underground, Swell Maps or This Heat while not really having any obvious precursors – a lo-fi masterpiece cloaked in layers of vibrato and guitar wash.
Noisy and claustrophobic songs smash through junkyard trash brawls while others lift and soar across the landscape of 50’s-informed pop; a contradiction and an enigma, the debut album by Women will find its way onto summertime pool break-in boombox mixes and the turntables of record store devotees.

“…. straddles the 1960s’ divide between the Warhol crowd’s speed-addled New York cynicism and the echoes of psychedelic San Francisco that bubbled up across the pond in the fey, catchy pop of UK groups like the Zombies.”
– Pitchfork


Chris Corsano & Paul Dunmall + Theo
Sunday 22 February, Hare and Hounds, Kings Heath
Tickets £7 in advance www.theticketsellers.co.uk

Both players, Chris on drum and Paul on saxophone, have vibrant solo and group and improvised projects but the two love playing together and this is a rare instance to be celebrated. Their music manages to move people in a way that is just beyond words. Bear witness.

Chris Corsano’s drumming has to be seen to be fully appreciated. An ‘into the void’ musician who collaborates with a huge range of artists and can still pull off mad solo shit. It is a rare drummer that can hold his own with his customized kit, clatter practice and circular breathing drone exhortations but retain a dynamic and structure that works. He also self-releases a CD of distorted and spiked keyboard pieces on the Hot Cars Warp label to confuse those who try to pin him down. Loose-limbed, intense, even melodic, he exposes the audience to sounds and rhythms that defy normality. He moves light footed around the world sparking off into all kinds of collaborations playing with/alongside Jim O’Rouke, the Dimension X project, Whitehouse, Bjork, Mick Beck, Okkyung Lee, Thurston Moore and Bill Nace among many.

For thirty years Paul Dunmall has carved out a reputation for himself and is now widely recognised as one of the most uncompromising and talented reed players on the International jazz/improvised music scene. Whether playing in small groups or big bands his musical sensitivity and imagination combined with a powerful sound to make him one of the most distinctive improvisers playing today.His octet and Moksha big band showcases his abilities both as a composer drenched in the Jazz traditions and Folk traditions and as a sympathetic leader able to give maximum freedom to a elite group of fellow improvisers.

Theo, the work of one Sam Knight, is one for themath rock fans. Taut, chugging guitar loops layer up with frenetictapping patterns that interweave in spiralling complexity before nearsub-atomically precise, powerhouse drumming clatters and builds eachsong into juggernaut of riffs and rhythms. To achieve something likethis recorded is one thing, but to see Theo perform live is quiteanother as each song blurs into the next and the dazzling guitar anddrum acrobatics leave jaws sagging on the faces of all who bear witnessto the talent on offer.

Vetiver + guests
27 February, Hare and Hounds, Kings Heath
Tickets £10 in advance www.theticketsellers.co.uk

Vetiver is an American folk band headed by songwriter Andy Cabic and often joined by Devendra Banhart, cellist Alissa Anderson, drummer Otto Hauser, violin Carmen Biggers, guitarists Kevin Barker and Sanders Trippe, bassist Brent Dunn.

Vetiver released their debut album in 2004 on the small indie folk label DiCristina. Since the album`s release Vetiver has toured extensively, opening for and collaborating with Banhart and Joanna Newsom. Before moving to San Francisco, Cabic was a member of the Greensboro, North Carolina indie rock band The Raymond Brake who released some records on the now defunct Simple Machines label. The band shared the bill with Vashti Bunyan on her US tour in early 2007.

The band is named after the grass, vetiver. Their music has been described as `surreal`, `lullingly pleasant`, `tender and accessible` and `quirky and warm`.

Mono + Iroha
Saturday 21 March, Hare and Hounds, Kings Heath
Tickets £10 in advance www.theticketsellers.co.uk

Just in time for their 10-year anniversary, MONO return to Birmingham in support of their fifth studio album, the absolutely massive Hymn To The Immortal Wind.

The music is naturally majestic, with MONO’s trademark wall of noise crashing beautifully against the largest chamber orchestra the band has ever enlisted. The instrumentation is vast, incorporating strings, flutes, organ, piano, glockenspiel and tympani into their standard face-melting set-up.

Recorded to analog tape with long-time friend and producer Steve Albini, there is an intimacy captured here that is at once beautiful and a little terrifying. The creaking of old wooden chairs as the orchestra rocks in their seats (both literally and figuratively), puckered lips rolling along flutes, and even the conductor’s opening cue can be heard during the hauntingly quiet opening moments

While Hymn continues to mine the cinematic drama inherent in all of MONO’s music, the dynamic shifts now come more from dark-to-light instead of quiet-to-loud. The maturity to balance these elements so masterfully has become MONO’s strongest virtue.


Featuring current and former members of Jesu, Cable Regime and Final, Iroha mixes layers of textured guitar and basslines with heartbreaking melodies and brutally slow beats to produce songs of melancholic beauty.

“Although its scent still lingers on, the form of a flower has scattered away. For whom will the glory of this world remain unchanged? Arriving today at the yonder side of the deep mountains of evanescent existence. We shall never allow ourselves to drift away intoxicated, in the world of shallow dreams”

If you are organising any live events in the midlands region and would like your listings posted here too then get in touch

Posted via email from Iron Man Records