The lads from Norway’s Kvelertak like their rock loud and heavy, and the video for their self-titled band anthem seems to confirm what has been suspected for decades now: loud and heavy rock bands just have more fun on tour.
Hot on the heels of the release of sophomore album Meir, Kvelertak offers its take on the classic “tour footage”-style music video, complete with scorching party-rock riffs and copious amounts of alcohol consumption.
In 2010, metallic Norwegian sextet Kvelertak introduced its riff-heavy sludge ’n’ roll to a global audience via its self-titled, Kurt Ballou-produced debut, an 11-track monster that sounded equally fit for a house party as it was for the pit. Three years later, the band has refined and honed its sound, and on its Roadrunner Records debut, Meir — which boasts blast beats and Southern rock riffs in equal measure — Kvelertak has evolved into one of the heaviest rock-’n’-roll bands on the planet.
Being one of the most consistently devastating and innovative hardcore bands on the planet doesn’t come easy. In fact, it requires countless hours of hard work, a highly disciplined work ethic, and a level of stamina that even the youngest punks in the game can’t always muster.
For nearly 20 years, Salem, Massachusetts-based metalcore titan Converge has continually pushed its intense sound to new and progressively head-spinning extremes, hammering out 90-second explosions of speed and energy on one track, while delving into a gut-wrenching mixture of emotion and melody the next. Though expectations are best left wide open when approaching a new album from the group, two things remain constant: it’ll never be half-assed, and it most certainly won’t be boring.
Each week, Behind the Counter speaks to an independent record store to ask about its recent favorites, best sellers, and noteworthy trends.
POPshop & Spazz Records in West Monroe, Louisiana, is a record store and art boutique run by Brad and Leslie Richman. With a focus on metal and punk, the dual-purpose storefront is, according to its owners, the only store in the area to carry new vinyl releases. For its favorite-record photos, Brad, Leslie, and employee Erica Hijazi went all out, coordinating their clothing (and beverages) with their picks. It’s that attention to detail that makes POPshop & Spazz the focus of this week’s column.
What is Spazz Records, and how does POPshop figure into the equation?
Spazz Records has been in existence for about four years. It began as a small record store and venue for weekly open mic performances, band shows, and other events. We’ve recently moved and expanded to become both a record shop (with used and new vinyl, CDs, and cassettes) and a unique boutique, POPshop, full of local art, handmade goods, and other cool stuff. We still host free monthly all-ages shows for local bands, and participate in local events and charities.
What is the musical community like West Monroe, Louisiana?
Our area is made up of Monroe, West Monroe, and several other smaller towns in Northeast Louisiana. There has always been a strong musical presence at any given time, with styles and bands changing through the years. We have outdoor festivals such as Delta Fest and Celtic Fest, as well as year-round schedules of local and touring bands playing at various bars, clubs, and other venues. We are proud to carry several local bands’ releases, and we are active in helping promote local music.