Some say post punk is having a revival. In the world of goth/darkwave/coldwave, it never went away, not really. I present a young chap from Gillingham, UK, Coor Brow-Obles and his latest single, “A History OfViolence“. This is his third single and part of a storyline about a doomed romance called the Dysfunctional Lovers saga.
The guitar work from the beginning evokes memories of The Cure around the time of Pornography, as it wends its way to meet Brow-Obles low tones. The layered vocals bring in the chorus of a relationship that is no longer equal and that is tearing him up, physically and emotionally.
Coor’s vocal and musical style, he has described as being heavily influenced by The Cure and TheChameleons, but for me, I could hear the whisperings of another English band, Play Dead.
It’s dark and it’s dreary, just the way we like it. For a one man band, Brow-Obles pulls this off really well and it’s a real throwback to the early 80s days of British goth. Unfortunately there is no video, so check him out on Bandcamp which is name your price or Spotify. A name to watch out for is Coor Brow-Obles and you should happen to have a penchant for goth fare, please go listen to “A History Of Violence“.
Last year, Normoria released the EP, Voyages and at the end of January, this single, “The Judases” was let loose. Based in both the USA and Sweden, they describe their sound as, ‘a fusion of many elements: primarily dark electro and rock/industrial‘.
An interesting take on the concept of karma and what happens to those who are friendly to your face but would happily trip you into a bottomless pit. ‘Whatgoes around, comes around‘ is the shouted chorus of affirmation. It graduates in fury with the non stop beat.
I would have to say this song probably does well live due to the fact its a stompy number that they can also yell back to the band in the throws of jumping around. From what I’ve listened to, Normoria are passionate about the environment and their fellow humans. Will you follow them to the land of Normoria, to where “The Judases” are not allowed?
March the 19th is the release date for the album And The Light Goes White by LA based act, TheDramedy, aka Dave Dramedy. The Dramedy have been around since 2014, with EPs and the album StrAngr(S)tiL in 2018 under their belt, so with this new LP, has come the joys of recording in a time of pestilence.
Kicking this off is “Vow“, and acoustic guitars starts the steam locomotive style rhythm. It’s a bit like a western and then you hear the bangs like gun shots and glass tinkling that might happen in a bar brawl accompanied by electric guitar and raw vocals.
The second single released off the album is “Parasite“, with wonderfully jangly guitars. Something eats away at the back of my mind… the way Dramedy sings and then it hits me. He reminds me of Stan Ridgeway (ex Wall Of Voodoo) in the animated drawl and the post punk ambience. This is a great little number with a lot of heart, even if it’s about the fact that all is lost. I think Buffalo Tom would have been proud to call this their song.
“The Clock Strikes Heaven” does sound very spontaneous, as if written in one sitting and they just said, this is it. For a tune about when you’re time is up, it seems pretty cheery and has a slightly live feel to it.
Heavier guitars herald “Popsicle” and can we say sexual connotations. Sucking on popsicles can make people very, very happy but the downside is addiction and a nasty case of diabetes. Gosh, I’m not sure if this a promise or a threat but it does make me giggle and even with the driving guitar, Dramedy doesn’t sound like he’s taking it all that seriously.
A more acoustic flamenco influenced turn with “Days“. Lyrically, it could be the verbalising of an abusive relationship, purposely going off key to set you on edge.
The first single, “Waiting On You” changes track again. Like a 50s doo whoop of teenage longing with a dose of blinkered crazy on the side, you hence get the slightly erratic guitar work upping the ante. This number also appeared on an EP in 2019 but less dressed up, let us say.
There is a very skiffle Brit-pop sensibility to “What’s Left To Say?”. It still it definitely overall American but the timing and rhythm have that undeniable joyous bouncing flavour that you got from bands such as Swervedriver and Suede.
Oh I hear a bit of the deathrock in “Life BitesMe” and quite frankly life can be like that in these times of covid… watching the time tick by. This could also be a reference to a dead romance that one can’t get over. A cacophony of guitar, drums and enthusiastic vocals.
On a more reflective note is “Circle The Road” which questions why someone else gets to walk away from a relationship and leave the other with no answers. I hear the influence of Jesus and Mary Chain in the guitar here.
As it began, so it finishes with an acoustic piece, “All Our Yesterdays“, which is a ballad with harmonisation from Caroline Blind. Again there is the sound of Jesus And Mary Chain in the structure and also the sentiment, with a bit of Screamadelica, Primal Scream thrown in for good measure.
Dave Dramedy comes with some lofty cred in the post punk/goth community, as the main live guitar player for Caroline Blind (ex SunshineBlind) and appearing on her debut solo album with a host of other heavyweights such as RichWitherspoon (The Wake), Dave Wolfenden (RedLorrry Yellow Lorry, The Mission), Gordon Young (Children On Stun, Pretentious Moi?), WilliamFaith (Faith And The Muse, Christian Death) and we could go on. Plus he was in the deathrock band Readership Hostile, which has its own claims to fame.
This is not some over polished jewel but then there is no fun if everything is over produced. You won’t find any voice modulation or slick production. You will get the bull, horns and everything though, with all the emotion and genuine candour. It’s a little western (pew pew), a bit more angst soul searching and a lot of jangly guitar. Get The Dramedy on and indulge in And The Light Goes White.
Warm Gadget was last heard from in 2015 when they released their EP, Hallomas III, after the 2014 album, Brides. These industrial/metal musicians from Bend, Oregon are back with a new single, “NewIndustry“. Members are Tim Vester on vocals, lyrics & effects and Colten Tyler Williams on guitar, bass, synth and pretty much everything else.
This is definitely heavily saturated with big guitar noise and a harkening back to the late 80s and early 90s when the industrial landscape was being rearranged by bands such as Ministry, My Life With TheThrill Kill Kult and KMFDM. The order of the day was to bring in the heaviness of metal riffs with the harsh electronic noise of the industrial scene and Warm Gadget have drunk the ambrosia from the well, so to speak. Vester almost growls his vocals like he is snearing at the world while Williams powers through with not only the guitar but the dark foreboding synth that holds this all together.
There currently is no video but none the less you can easily check out the single on Bandcamp, which is name your price. Warm Gadget kept me thinking of the song “Warm Leatherette” and FadGadget which aren’t bad connotations and electronic tangents. Check out Warm Gadget’s, “New Industry” and await the impending EP to hit.
January saw the debut release for deathrock group, Yuka Zolo. This is a six track EP, titled Bleed, from the four piece band consisting of bassist AnthonyMoraga, vocalist Faydra Cronin, guitarist TylerSpatz and drummer Alex Kaiser.
The first song is “Dissector” and it is like the old, unpolished goth tunes that came out of the post punk period of the 80s. The guitar work clear and melodious while the vocals chime together. This could be a tune about them being cut up and eaten by a serial killer.
If “Spinebender” isn’t a homage to early Christian Death I’ll be darn surprised. It races with breakneck speed like it’s on the mine ride to Hell with a cacophony of guitars.
The cajoling vocals on “Deprivation” are slightly off timed to the music giving us an unsettling feel. Not sure what sort of deprivation is going on here but she feels it and he feels it… it all seems a bit sexual.
The single, “217” is a little slower as Faydra’s singing wends between the guitars, in a short tale of the immortal. One minute, fifty eight seconds short but who says long is better.
The beginning of “Absolution” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on The Banshees‘ seminal album The Scream with those lyrics about no face and sacred waters. The pace seems to have become more introspective for the second half of the EP.
The last song is also the title track. “Bleed” with the imagery of sullying the holy by puncturing the woman’s hymen… she bleeds and is considered unclean, in the eyes of some. It punches home and as quickly as it started, it had finished.
Have to say the band Yuka Zolo are pretty hard core in their pursuit of music with members based in states of Wisconsin and Arizona in the U.S., however the EP was recorded entirely in Madison, Wisconsin.
Definitely deathrock influenced all the way with Rozz Williams styled attributes and although the bio said Siouxsie And The Banshees, I have to admit I heard more a correlation to XmalDeutschland until “Absolution“, but both bands with powerful female leads. This is not over produced and has a little of that punk, two finger salute, screw you if you don’t like it… this is what it is. YukaZolo can be found on Bandcamp for name your price. So check out a bit of goth rock… watch out it bites.
This is a retrospective review of sorts. We are going back to 2018 to the release of the EP, “I Will Show You Fear In A Handful Of Dust”, by Portuguese goth rock band NU:N who appear on Black Genesis Records. NU:N are comprised of three members Francisco Vaudeville on bass, guitarist Pedro Eternal and vocalist T.M., the band forming in 2014 in Oporto.
The traditional lullaby, “Toutouic“, from the area of Brittany, features the delightful vocals of the DivaOf Destruction herself, Eva Doyon. It is sweet and sorrowful with no musical to accompany for this lovely opening piece.
Now for a dose of traditional goth rock, with jangly guitars, plinking piano and Fields Of The Nephilim styled vocals, we are offered, “Shadows Of Love: In Contempt“.
A slight Romanian twist seems perfect for any song called, “Midnight’s Inertia: The Vampire’s Lair Part II“. A slight middle eastern flare and then launches into guitar work. This reminds me of 90s band like Rosetta Stone and Nosferatu.
“Tomorrow We Will Say Our Goodbyes: A Nocturnal Fragment“, is a slow and gravelled out number with acoustic accompaniment. A heavier, electronic sound in “Brave New World“, though there is still that classic bass. T.M’s vocals vary between sludge and full throated, in a glorious chorus.
Final track is “Gotas: De La Remembranza“. Gotas translates to drops while Remembrance was the Spanish band that originally released “Gotas” in 1996. Despite my being unfamiliar with the language, this drips of loss and wanting for that which has passed.
This is goth rock for people that love a bit of vampiric love with the harkening back to a sound I connect with Nephilim and second generation of goth. Get your fangs into NU:N for your immortal soul.
Now have you ever just had thoughts like ‘Iwonder if Jacksonville group, Batáviahave friends…..?’. Well now I can definitively answer this question as YES! And so we have the release of the mega remix album, out on Tigersquawk Records, strangely enough called Batávia And Their Friends. A plethora of mix master goodness from the band themselves and other guest artists.
You will find remixes of original tracks “The Absinthian“, “Scab Mask“, “Step 13“, “Ab Intio“, “Fields Of Gray” and the cover of Duran Duran’s “All She Wants Is“.
How to review a remix album? *screams into the void and then composes one’s self* Due to there being multiple remixes of the same tracks, I thought it best to compare the styles.
There are four remixes of “The Absinthian“, beginning with the Grendel version which keeps the light tone of the original, incorporating a calypso feel. Second version is by Beta Virus and this track becomes a different electronic beast with a pulsating beat. Then there is the techno funky bounciness of the Green Fairy mix, which seems to be a collaboration of Batávia and the Joy Thieves. The last mix of this song is done by Ghstprxy, which starts off simple and slow, seemingly wandering until you are hit with blocks of driving guitar.
Three mixes of “Scab Mask“, with the first by Batávia and you can’t help but love hearing Terri tearing it up and having her vocals stuttering in staccato to the music. Mach Fox of Zwaremachine has his turn at this piece, bringing a more sinister ambience, with a heavier industrial sound. The last “Scab Mask” remix is by Microwaved and you notice the metallic rhythm and off kilter, repetitive synth in the background while the guitar powers on through.
“Step 13” gets the treatment, first with the Hell mix by Spankthenun and if you know Spankthenun, you will know these guys love their old school EBM and giving it teeth. The next two versions are by Batávia and they create a cyber age delight for the ears in the first and the Haunted Halfway House mix which really does have an eerie sound to it.
Two mixes of “Ab Intio“, with the first being a nearly dreamy, echoing siren reworking by Insatiable Void that has a church like trance quality. And the other by Psyence Fiction is delicate as it is metallic, which may sound like a strange brew but it works so well.
The BatáviaUHF mix of “Fields Of Gray” starts with half tuned in news and ads, then meanders through those fields.
The remix of “All She Wants Is” is damn chunky. The guitar is the centre piece instrument with twangy beats bringing up the rear. This is the Synrix remix in all its glory.
Like so many modern remixes, the songs are often taken into new and varied territory and the artist reworking the stems, injects a part of themselves, making it unique. This creates amazing collaborations. Batávia And Their Friends is no exception. You won’t get bored of hearing the same song because in essence it’s no longer the same song…. but it is. This is brilliant and let’s face it, just for the cover alone! That’s a completely amazing retro photo featuring the quirky and yet entirely lovely Terri and Ed Cripps. Batávia for the win. If this makes you a bit hungry for more, please check out these artist’s pages below…..
HOSTILE ARCHITECT is Brisbane based Mitch Kenny and he is quite the busy industrial bee, with his second release on BrutalResonanceRecords, out on the 28th of February. The single/EP is called “:LOG. 3::SEMTEX“, which comprises of the single, an extra song and a remix of the single.
“SEMTEX” is a type of plastic explosive to give this number context. The concept ‘your body is a collapsing temple, your body is not yours to give‘, seems to imply that to become free, you must destroy that which holds you to this plane. As always, there are the nice full body beats that are guaranteed to get you moving and that signature sound Kenny has incorporated.
The instrumental piece, “MACHINEGUNCONTROL” goes for over seven minutes and yet you won’t notice the length of this number as it belts along. There is something quite delightful in listening to crystal clear, percussion lead music.
The Null Cell remix of “SEMTEX” is smoother and yet seems to end up swirling in a mind blowing vortex of ominous tone. It is reminiscent of old school industrial with those rhythms but still ultra modern.
The production is great, nice and crisp, a perfect mix by Null Cell and another great release from the HOSTILE ARCHITECT who is soon to unleash an album. In the meantime there is “:LOG.3:: SEMTEX” to keep you keen and whet your appetite.