James Fella on Seas Will Rise, Nathaniel Nichols, Jimmy Pines and Washboard Jere

Categories: Sound Off

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Clockwise from top left: James Fella, Seas Will Rise, Jimmy Pines and Washboard Jere, Nathaniel Nichols' Cloud Cave art
Welcome to the latest installment of our weekly feature, Sound Off, in which Jason P. Woodbury is joined by a different guest each week to listen to and discuss three tracks from local Phoenix artists. If you would like your songs to be considered for future Sound Off columns, please email music@newtimes.com.

This week's guest is James Fella, a Tempe musician, who in addition to creating shredding art pop with Mangled Men and compositions on his own, runs Gilgongo Records, which has issued records by Woods, Zs, Raccoo-oo-oon, and a slew of local artists. I met Fella at his place in Tempe, where we sat in his car and listened to a CD-R containing songs by Seas Will Rise, Nathaniel Nichols, and Jimmy Pines and Washboard Jere. That's right -- dude only has a record player in his place.

Seas Will Rise: This Teardown Town

Tempe-based hardcore band Seas Will Rise will release Disease Is Our Refrain on March, 6, 2012. The band will be spinning the album at Delinquency with DJ Johnny Volume on Tuesday, January 31, at the Yucca Taproom.

James Fella: Yeah, so that's Eric [Saylor] singing, right? Does that sound right? I played with Eric in the last version of Bullyrag, A.K.A. Fucking Thunder eight years ago. That is so a sound that he loves [laughs]. I would say he is finally doing a band that is as close to the first His Hero is Gone LP as possible without being a blatant rip. Which is no complaint. That's a super good recording. It sounds great; his vocals sound awesome. That's the best his vocals have ever sounded. He must be super stoked on that.

Up on the Sun: They tweeted @Phxmusicdotcom when we asked who has albums coming out in 2012. They tweeted something like "Check out Seas will Rise: Crushing hardcore." I asked how crushing and they tweeted back something really funny ["Somewhere between soul crushing and spirit crushing. But just under mind crushing but well over will to live crushing."] I like I like this a lot. It's short, and the drums sound great at the end, with the feedback squeals and the drums.

That would be within the spectrum of hardcore that I would be totally into. I hadn't heard that yet. More than anything, I'm so stoked that's Eric. He must be so excited playing that.

You are in a lot of aggressive bands, but there's a big difference between what you do and what this is.

Even when I used to play with Eric - again, it was forever ago - our band was more of a post-hardcore thing, much more melodic and musical than the majority of the bands we would play with. We were playing with aggressive loud hardcore bands. I mean, I think they all blend perfectly well together, but that was much more musical than most of my normal work, aside from Mangled Men. But I don't know, I think that was not too over the top aggressive. It's loud and thick for sure, but also, I listen to so much more insane punk or noisy hardcore were the drums are so fast and overblown that you can't even follow it, the guitars are just like razors, you can't describer it. [But this is ] beautifully structured, well written, aggressive music.

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