The UK band Rhombus dropped the album The Longest Day in November. A four piece band, whom were able to draw on the talent of a plethora of others, have been together for approximately a decade. They reside in a town in West Yorkshire called Huddersfield which was famous during the industrial revolution. Now you may ask why I would be interested in such a fact. Huddersfield since that then has fallen on hard times with reportedly 40% of the children who live there, considered living in poverty. It was something I noticed in the lyrical content of the songs that made me decide to investigate. Songs born of the North. Those that love New Model Army well understand that term.

RHOMBUS

We start with the Manchester Airport runway chatter of incoming and outgoing planes, wind speeds and estimated speeds with music ambient playing behind, before it all takes off (pun intended). “You Depend On You” is a piece about how in the end only you can define and choose your fate, as you cannot rely on others. A solid mix of electronics and guitars as well as main male vocal with female backing vocals that highlight the tune. I will never say no to a song that has a middle eastern tone to it and “Sodium Sunrise” has that Dead Can Dance influence at the beginning. The call to Ma’at is for the ancient Egyptian goddess of balance, order, truth and justice, to see what has happened to the Kingdom while sodium is a highly reactive metal, that is silver white in colour, mixing it with the light of the morning sun. The guitar work is striking. “Get Over Yourself” is not a very punk song but it does have that sentiment, especially with the intro line being, We don’t drink tea and we’re all out of sympathy. Don’t drink tea? How very! But then a pot watched never boils and the sentiment is that unless one stops wanting what others have, they’ll never achieve anything.

There is somewhat of an Asian tone before the guitars chime in on “Always Hope” just as the sun always rises, which leads into “No Victim” an ode to the need for stress to cause people to grow and not stagnant. The title track “The Longest Day” is a harkening back to the 60s almost, especially with the harmonization and is about trial by fire tempering the steel of resolve. It leads into the single “Magnificent“, which is the rolling love song. A blaze of guitar rings in “Not For Me“and a nice bit of what sounds like a Hammond organ in the musical break! The bleakness of the electronics and piano in “Another Way” in warmed up by the drums and hum of guitar which seems in complete juxtapose with the final track, “Love Is The Answer” unless you are looking at it from the view point that love will give you the ability to show others compassion. Rhombus are very emphatic that this is what can create more peace than hatred…and they are more or less right.

I have to say the the guitar work reminded me a lot of Gary Moore for some odd reason. That is a big compliment because Moore was an extraordinary player. Rhombus are very passionate about not only the music they play but obviously about what is happening in society and the world in general. That is a commendable thing in a time where it is easier to gain plays for cute songs than for political/societal observations.

https://shop.rhombus.org.uk/

Rhombus | Facebook

Danish musician, composer and producer, John Mirland has released in December of 2021, his newest album Compromise Is Defeat after a hiatus from his solo project of nearly four years, his last album being Mechanic from 2017. That’s not to say that Mirland has been cooling his heels the last few years, finding himself releasing with his bands Negant and Eisenwolf plus collaborating with Claus Larsen of Leæther Strip as Mirland/Larsen. If that wasn’t enough producing and mixing music for a myriad of acts but he was still writing tracks for this album between 2018 and 2021.

JOHN MIRLAND

The slow immersion of static and beats lure you in, then “Another Form” begins to speed up and enveloping you. Before you know it, the fabulous pounding techno rhythm and synths, mixed with power noise, invade your senses. So far, this is boding to be in the realms of other worldly. “Beg For It” is just mega crunchy, ear grating goodness and has a beat like a heart on adrenaline, until the angelic heavens open over a synth-scape dream. It ripples with light, while the static growls below. Electronic bees is the best way to describe the beginning of “Fuel” before the cracking beat. The sublime synths glide effortlessly across the jarring sea of sharp tempo. The wub wub is intense from the single “Defiant“, like a rubber ball bouncing incessantly in your head, compelling you to move and dance. There might be a slight reprieve before giving you a serving of techno goodness.

Rust” is abrasive rhythmic noise that wants to take your breath away with it’s relentlessness. The oscillations push you on… towards what? The oblivion that comes with time maybe as time is forever pushing forward. With it’s raft of a-rhythmic beat signature, this is “Headless” that goes in and out of syncopation, backed up by the less crazed, “Generator“. For a more sedate paced piece, it is brooding and insidious. The electronic vocals are the heralds for an oncoming doom of ancient wrathful gods that then descends into minimal techno torment.The glass like smoothness of “So Cold” is just magic, both ephemeral and distant. The track “Torn” is a perfect example of that techno/industrial mix that I find the Europeans do well. The last track is “Wolf Among Sheep” and it is oppressive and dark as it, trance like, invades your very being.

Wonderfully mastered by Claus Larsen and released on the label, Læbel, this is really an album that should appeal to true connoisseurs of techno, power and rhythmic noise, especially those who adore Xotox. For me, you feel those rhythms deep within you, anchoring your feet to the earth but your soul wants to fly with the synth lines. It really is a remarkable talent. Those that know Mirland are already the converted,,,so get thy self some Compromise Is Defeat.

https://mirland.bandcamp.com/album/compromise-is-defeat

https://www.facebook.com/mirlandofficial/

Mirland – composer producer artist

https://laebel-music.dk/

Laebel | Facebook

The early 80s was a huge time in the development of the genre of goth within the UK. I have to admit to never hearing of the band Salvation before now. Not that this is a complete surprise living as far away from the UK as you can get. In the 80s and even 90s, most ‘gothic’ music was still fairly underground and passed by word of mouth apart from those acts that had broken into the charts such as Siousxie And The Banshees, The Cure, The Mission et al. You couldn’t look up bands on the internet which was in it’s infancy and I can remember watching the more alternative friendly music shows on the television and listening to the BBC near midnight (trying not to get caught as it was a school night). So this inspired me to do some investigation into Salvation, who released the live album, We Gave You Diamonds… Live At De Casino! in November.

SALVATION
(photo Neil Chapman)

This from the band’s bio – Formed in 1983, the original line-up of the band was Daniel Mass (vocals), Mike Hayes (guitar) and James Elmore (bass). At the time, Daniel Mass was working with The Sisters of Mercy, and lead singer Andrew Eldritch took the band to K.G. Studios in Bridlington to record and produce Salvation’s first single Girlsoul which came out on the Merciful Release label. Soon Eldritch and the band were back behind the mixing desk – this time at Stockport’s Strawberry Studios to record 6 songs for the prospective Clash of Dreams album on Merciful Release. The record was shelved before release and only came out in an expanded version in 2015. In 1985, Salvation recruited new guitarist Choque Hosein, and drummer Paul Maher replaced the drum machine. On 16.03.85, the band played their first live gig at Leeds University’s Tartan Bar. 1985 also saw the recording of the Jessica’s Crime 12” – this time with The Mission’s Wayne Hussey in the Producer’s chair. This was followed in 1986 by another 3-track EP entitled Seek. In 1987, with the addition of second guitarist Benoît Farvak and new bassist Richard Miechje, Salvation recorded their first album Diamonds are Forever which entered the UK Indie Charts in July that year. In 1988, the band signed a new record deal with alternative label Karbon and released both Sunshine Superman (a Donovan cover) and the All and More EP which gained BBC Radio 1 airplay. In 1989, Adam Clarkson (guitar) and George Schultz (drums) joined the line-up and Salvation toured extensively with bands such as The Mission, New Model Army, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and Pop Will Eat Itself. At the end of the year, Salvation signed to Miles Copeland’s IRS label and released a new single entitled Debris and their second album Sass. In 1990, they supported labelmates The Alarm on their ‘No Frontiers’ tour. Within the next 18 months, disagreements and infighting lead to the departure of singer Mass and the disintegration of the band. Salvation’s first CD compilation Hunger Days was released in 1997 on the Timeslip label and 10 years later, the band reformed to play Leeds Metropolitan University with The March Violets. Since then, the band have been touring regularly in the UK playing their own shows and supporting, amongst others, Fields of The Nephilim and Skeletal Family

Leeds was a melting pot of alternative music from the late 70s which would bring forth such bands at Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, The March Violets, Gang Of Four, Ghost Dance as well as the juggernauts of Sisters Of Mercy, Soft Cell and The Mission. Salvation came into existence during a time of both musical, social and political upheaval. They have a very loyal core fan base that will follow them to see them live and that quite frankly perked my interest even more.

So we dived into this live album. I don’t like to delve too deeply into live releases because these are often the creme de la creme of songs and fan favourites. The recording is brilliant. When did live recordings get so good?! I have some old stuff that sounds like it was taped through a tin can from the mosh pit and until recently avoided listening most live stuff but this is crystal clear, so very good and there are songs featured from throughout their career so far. Mass is the charismatic lead who chatters amicably to the audience between sets before the band wholeheartedly launch into each track. This was a tour where Salvation were support for The Mission and you can almost hear the joy this lot get from playing live. If you are like me and Salvation is a new name for you, then this might be the gateway to a new drug however if you love them and miss seeing them play live then this might tide you over until the next gig! This is the exciting thing about music…the chance to keep discovering gems.

https://salvation4.bandcamp.com/album/we-gave-you-diamonds-live-at-de-casino-tscd05

Salvation | Facebook

In the last few years there has been a big revival of the post-punk scene, with younger bands emerging with the older stalwarts, proving they can hold their own. London’s Ghosts Patterns are one such younger band and September of 2021 saw them drop the album Infinite, which is their debut full length, after releasing the EP Oracle in 2020. Comprised of members Terry Hale (vocals/guitar/keyboards), Somrata Sarkar (vocals), Letitia Austin (bass) and James Walker (drums/percussion), they are going to lead you away with their shoegaze filled odyssey.

GHOST PATTERNS

This album from the get go puts you in no doubt of what the band is about. The almost instrumental,”Intro (Death Wish)” is the beginning of the sonic journey through reverb and sound sculpting with sighed ahhs. From there, we are launched into “Lie In Wait” where we are truly introduced to the vocals of Hale, that grace the guitars without feeling like a separate entity and the insistent idea of a person waiting to pounce and while they do, concentrating on their breathing. Intricate bass playing marks “Oracle” with the vocals of portent by Sarkar. Dark and brooding with glimpses of Siousxie And The Banshees both percussion wise and melody, as the mists of Apollo close in on you.

No one can live in a “House Of Lies” for it is bound to fall and this track wends its way as a snake would before it strikes, with it’s cold reptilian beauty. The guitar and drums are so perfectly in sync. There is the buildup of “Sway“, where the vocals waver between discordant and resolving, maybe imitating the unpredictable nature of walking between danger and safety. The guitars and drums never letting you lose your focus. A joyous exuberance in “Feel It Out” and everything screams out that one needs to twirl around to this, as the guitars sing out in such an uplifting manner.

Safe” drones away and I’m not sure if they really feel any more safe with the crashing music followed by lulls and then repeated. Title track “Infinite” has an almost languid Middle Eastern quality which makes this piece even far most interesting. A warm and inviting soundscape that seems to portray an eternal factor. The final track, “Goodbye, False Dreams” swirls and pulsates with the disappointment of lost hopes then wiping them away with the wash of melodic overload.

The band have taken the tracks “Oracle” and “Infinite” from the EP for the album and honestly they are great numbers that deserve a bit more attention. The noise-scape quality is akin to the early years of Ride or The Jesus And Mary Chain, of whom both have used wonderful melodies wrapped in sonic walls of noise. It is nice to see bands that share the vocal duties as this often can give their music a completely different sound. Ghost Patterns have an obvious love of reverb and driving rhythms mixed with ambient vocals that are wistful But nothing is infinite, so make sure you check out this album..

https://ghostpatterns.bandcamp.com/album/infinite

Ghost Patterns | Facebook

Sometimes you are privileged enough to meet extraordinary people who are talented, make a difference in the world around them and most importantly are very human. Kieren Hills is definitely one of those rare humans. From Lawson, in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, he runs the label Dorfpunk, Dark Horse is his crust punk project, he has turned his hand to gothic fare with Death Church and has been involved in the music industry for a fair while. Schkeuditzer Kreuz is his one man industrial project and the first full length album, Isolated And Alone, was released on the 14th of December, which is a follow up to the EP, Give Me Nothing. I once described the music style as very Laibach and it still is but those harsh elements of industrial are very much present.

KIEREN HILLS -SCHKEUDITZER KREUZ

The song that kicks this off is the single “Broken“. From the start, you are going into Hills’ world with the warning that this is the representation of a brief psychotic episode. Massive reverb flies with the static, consuming your ears as the vocals savage your brain. It is the explanation of an episode where everything is over stimulating, you don’t want to die but the effort to actually live seems far too hard. The klaxons hail in “Warning” that has the drum machine pounding away as the music blares in.

All shall be reduced to the same particles of dust when the “Wraith” comes. The synths are almost ear bleeding in their pitch and give a sensation of dysphoria. All is lost as love and hope are wiped away to be replaced with fear and ultimately nothing. “State Violence State Control” has the blaring sirens of Australian emergencies services screaming in the background (so this is not the sort of song I will play in the car while driving because it always scares the crap out of me!!). If the title is familiar, that is because it is a cover of punk legends, Discharge, who are the godfathers of d-beat and this was also released on a split single but since then reworked and mastered for the album. It is every bit as angry as the original version, in electronic form, throwing two finger in the air to politicians, cronies and violent suppression of the masses.

Normally an interlude is a short piece to give the audience a break with some light music, that then soon gets back to the main entertainment or a bridge. “Interlude” is the interlude you are going to get and you better just hunker down and stick to the programme. It starts lightly enough with flowing synths before the rhythm picks up and Kieren informs you – It’s happened before It’s happened before And millions have died And millions have died And millions have died And millions of people have died. A warning that history is repeating itself because people either don’t want to see it or don’t educate themselves. The vocals bring forth visions of holocausts, military coups/enforcement, genocide and war.

Full of loathing and dark thoughts is “Disappointment” starting slowly and picks up speed as the those thoughts become a swirling overload. There is a beautiful synth line hidden within if one listens closely. It is like a veritable scream of fury into the aether, with the metallic beats. When someone refused to go to war because they were a conscientious objector, they were called cowards and “Traitors” to their country because they didn’t want to carry a gun and kill their own kind. Their is an urgency to this track like life itself depends on movement. Fittingly, the “Last Dance” is the final track and the track about finality. When the end comes will you have the last embracing waltz into the darkness? So I guess in a way though it sounds bleak there is a romantic side to it as well.

I am privileged to call this man a friend though I had seen him live before I had met him. In short his show blew us away. He is warm and charming, loves his family, music and pottering around in his garden because it brings him closer to nature. These things are also his sanctuary from the world and especially the last two years have been mentally difficult for many people.

100% of proceeds from digital sales will go to Transcend to help create a world where Trans, Gender Diverse and Non-Binary children are embraced and given every opportunity to thrive and flourish – the man has a beautiful heart and a keen ear.

Get in quick if you want the vinyl or cassette as they always go fast. Just to prove how hard core Schkeuditzer Kreuz truly are, the original pressings of the vinyl were done in China, finished and then confiscated after some complete and utter bastard had a listen, ending up in the whole batch being deemed subversive. That is so punker that thou. It’s an emotional roller-coaster but its well worth every moment and maybe you will find it as cathartic as Kieren Hills does because in the end we are not so Isolated And Alone.

https://dorfpunk.bandcamp.com/album/isolated-and-alone

Schkeuditzer Kreuz | Facebook

Distributors –

Bad Habit Records | Facebook Bad Habit Records

https://alreadybrokenrecords.bandcamp.com/album/isolated-and-alone Already Broken Records | Facebook

Pyrrhic Defeat Records (limitedrun.com) Pyrrhic Defeat Records | Facebook

Right, this might be the only time I do one of these reviews, but we will get back to that later. Thanatos is a dark electric/acoustic project that started in the 80’s between Sam Rosenthal and Patrick Ogle. November 26th found us with a new album called….. Country Covered. Yep. I was kind of dared into doing this by one Michel Rowland before I realised it was country music. The pedigree is there. Gothy band, recorded in William Faith’s (Faith & The Muse, Christian Death) 13 Studio and mixed at Martin Bowes‘ (Attrition) Cage Studio. What have I gotten myself into? Poop!

PATRICK OGLE – THANATOS

The album is the brain child of Patrick Ogle, who obviously loves country music or the fact he finds the craftsmanship of the music exceptional. There are nine tracks in total and they are all played on acoustic guitar by Ogle as he sings. There seems to be everything from oldies by Kris Kristofferson and Townes Van Zandt to more modern tunes. As with all country songs they cover a gamut of subjects that most other genre don’t. The loneliness of the wilderness, riding the open plains, gun slinging and bar brawls to missing your loved ones while working the land or simply watching the sky turn shades of orange, pink and hues of blue, as the sun disappears while you sit in your encampment.

The single off Country Covered is “Seminole Wind” was composed and originally sung by John Anderson in 1992 about Florida’s destruction and loss of the natural habitat that supports the ecosystem. The vocals and tone in this new version remind me a lot of legendary Man In Black aka Johnny Cash. The whole album is beautifully produced and it does almost feel like you are at a campsite around a roaring fire in the cool night air. Ogles’s performance never wavers nor does it ever sound like his heart is not there. For me, I grew up for the first six years of my life in small country towns where the music of choice was country and western as it was known back then. For some reason, even though I heard John Denver and the rhinestone cowboy, Glenn Campbell, all my life, I find it a really challenging genre to like and to this end, I am definitely no expert. If you found yourself in awe of what Johnny Cash did to Nine Inch Nails then you may very well find that this collection of country song soothes your soul. You will find this Thanatos album on the Projekt label and it name you price download.

Covered Country (name-your-price) | Thanatos | Projekt Records (bandcamp.com)

Thanatos – Projekt (facebook.com)

Michael Gillman (Gillie) and Daniel Allen are the brothers that make up the band Dirt Factory. Gillie is in Brisbane and Allen lives in Melbourne which means since the outbreak of the plague (covid) they have been in lockdowns for well over a year and unable to meet up or play live gigs unless doing them solo. This hasn’t slowed them down one iota because December the 3rd saw the third album released in two years, called Systems Deleted on Brisbane based label Viral Records Australia. Interestingly Dirt Factory almost exclusively use analogue equipment.

MICHAEL GILLMAN & DANIEL ALLEN – DIRT FACTORY

Oh yes from the start you can already hear how good this really is. “Delete The System” growls Allen, ‘fuck your commands‘ over rampaging rhythms that give this it’s bang. Second single, “Microscopic“, has guest, Roger Menso (ex-Dogmachine) on guitar and good grief, this is a new level Dirt Factory. It is a grimy, sexy beast of a song that takes your breathe away and gives you shivers up your spine. Allen sounds like a very angry dalek that has fully gone industrial and it sounds brilliant. Dirt Factory want to “Factory Assimilate” you and quite frankly I can think of worse things to do as the music beast down in industrial precision convincing you that you will obey. There is something symphonic and other worldly about “Hammer“. It experiments with low tones that sound like abused piano wires and high synths in direct opposition, while Allen is the bloody butcher. The original single is “Crash Landing“, because you know they are out there and they have those stellar synth lines and beats. Yes the aliens are here and you can listen to a report of an eyewitness and Allen’s inhuman screams.

Swallow the pill and “Suck It Up” is a dirge ridden number and I honestly can hear far too much innuendo. “Dive” is just a superb piece with sweeping electronics that fritter out and arc around you like electrical tendrils. Soundscape mixed with such hostile vocals. Jethro Hilliard (RAZRWHIP) guests on this track providing drums and sound effects. This has to be one of my favourite tracks on the albums. But wait, they then slam us with “Digital Media” with guitar provided by another member of RAZRWHIP, Johnny Ryall, who nails the electronic fuzzy tones that help propel this forward in real rock style. The next track is all about the animated dead…spooky. “Flesh” is horror inspired zombie fare with glitching beats and vocals as they stalk you. In the “Exstream” they are observing you, surveillance of every aspect of your life and you can be brainwashed but are you too involved in the conspiracies? Final eleventh track is “Ghosts” and this just is just a great bouncing track and probably the most reminiscent of Skinny Puppy and it pumps.

I love what they have done with Allen’s vocals and Gillie is just so talented with synths. This is a monster of an album, again beautifully mastered at NyteShayde by Menso. If this doesn’t get your heart rate up then you might be dead. The really scary part is that I already know that the lads have almost finished their fourth album which is both mind blowing and disturbing all at the same time. Gillman also revealed that the next album is already darker. So before they stab their way repeatedly with rhythmic timing through your chest, do listen to “Systems Deleted” because it kicks arse.

https://dirtfactory.bandcamp.com/album/systems-deleted

Dirt Factory | Facebook

https://nyteshaydemusic.bandcamp.com/

NyteShayde | Facebook

https://viralrecordsau.bandcamp.com/

Viral Records Australia | Facebook

https://viralrecords.com.au/

New York, New York, it’s a wonderful town and it is also where you will find the goth/post-punk band Black Rose Burning. George Grant is Black Rose Burning and on the 17th of November, which was incidentally Grant’s birthday, he released his second album called The Wheel.

GEORGE GRANT – BLACK ROSE BURNING

We start with “An Anthem For The Strange“, which is shy of two minutes. The album’s intro is short and sweet with the the sentiment that those who are different from the norm have a place in this world. “Black Sun Saturday” is a lament of being taken for granted and dealing with the pain. The chorus is catchy and the harmonies just make you melt. There is something about the beginning of “No Love Lost” that reminds me of The Cure, thought that doesn’t last for long, especially when the fuzzy tones kick in. An ode to a relationship in which there was no give and only take/demands.

Ever been involved with a person where you hung in but the other just made you wonder how long this will all last? “A Little Too Little” is the track with Grant imploring how much more do you want me to take, which is a glorious mix of electronic and guitar. There is the forever love song, “Antonia” which is so upbeat and even has a guitar solo which is pulled off very nicely. There is a futuristic feel to “Gravity Drive” and though the synths sparkle brightly, they belie a sadness and pain in the lyrics.

I am not utterly sure about “Automatic Man” but I truly believe it is going to one of those songs that different people are going to hear different things that are pertinent to them as it is a very passionate piece. Track eight is a cover of a favourite song of mine by The Buzzcocks, “Ever Fallen In Love With Someone You Shouldn’t Have Fallen In Love With?“. This is a really interesting interpretation and that to me is a good thing because if you are going to cover a song then you need to put yourself into that piece.

Next is “Lightspeed” and although Grant’s voice is nothing like David Bowie’s, I could honestly hear him singing this. It has a sonic, 70s glam element as we hurtle through space. The title track, “The Wheel” is the turning of time, as things change and the challenge of living free. “Every Single Time” hits like it is straight out of the 80s and musically it reminds me of Orchestral Moves In The Dark. A piece about when people dissolve a relationship but one is left with a broken heart wondering what could have been and thinking about the loss of what was. The final track is “Solar Angels” and you can’t help but imagine the wonderful trip with the references to celestial bodies as we leave into the night sky.

Black Rose Burning has the elements of post-punk such as the jangly guitars and the keyboards and yet there seems to so much more going on. Grant cites bands like Sisters Of Mercy and more so The Church as big influences on his music which I can hear in the composition of the music. Space might be the final frontier but Black Rose Burning are already stellar.

https://blackroseburning.bandcamp.com/album/the-wheel

Black Rose Burning | Facebook

When brothers Eric and Jeremy Hanes of Spankthenun released the album Bunker Tapes Vol I, in the beginning of 2021, they found they had created enough material to record Bunker Tapes Vol II, which hit us on October, the 27th. Spankthenun have been on the scene since 2019 and yet they are already an integral part of the American and world wide industrial scene with feature artists, other bands remixing their music and a huge number of guest remixes for other acts under their belts.

ERIC HANES & JEREMY HANES – SPANKTHENUN

The lads roped in Claus Larsen of Leæther Strip fame, to guest vocal on the single “Off Beatings” which of course had to be a single. This is a slow burn of angst that Larsen pulls off so well. There is something about the beginning of “I Self Me” that invokes goosebumps, it is possibly the scintillating synths mixed with the gritty vocals. Is it just me, or does the little electronic voice sound like the robots aboard the Cylon mother ship of the original Battlestar Galactica in “The Smoking Gun”? Nefarious things are afoot. It was never you says Jeremy in his abrasive metalized observation before we are hit with the rather dance-able “Right Father“, a call to keep the bastards in power honest and accountable, because it is true that the more the wealthy will continue to reap the cash and watch the poor fade away.

Sick Pathos” again has those brilliant beats that propel it along and lead into “Man In The Moon“, who sounds like a rather vicious fellow who spreads descent and mistrust with the music taking on the dark oppressive attitude. “Industrial Beats” definitely have industrial beats that pound on because there is a specific list of things this industrialist likes and needs. Hard to tell if this is tongue in cheek or not but make sure you get your beets (sic) as they are now stuck in my head. We all live in the broken machine,lockdown is “Lockdown” and honestly two years ago, the term lockdown was used for security facilities mostly and not civilians but now it is common vocab in this dystopian feel track.

The nonsensical “I Am The Fire” is a bit of a fun and the last track before the four guest remixes of which the first is the Mirland remix of “Off Beatings” with it’s more crunchy textures that the Europeans do so well. Nature Of Wires polishes “Right Father” and it is given a more sci fi feel while “The Smoking Gun” is given the treatment by Planet Damage and this becomes a different creature. Last of these great remixes is the Psychosomatik and they take “I Self Me” to dance floor heaven

Listening to Spankthenun really is a bit like a timewarp and landing back in the 90s when there was a turn towards a heavier, gritty tone lead by Skinny Puppy, Ministry et al. There are tell tale signs of the 80s industrial influences that graduate into the 2000s by the end of the album which was done on purpose. The remixes are the modern cream on top so to speak. Social concious mixed with great music never goes wrong and Spankthenun has both.

https://spankthenun.bandcamp.com/album/the-bunker-tapes-vol-ii

https://www.facebook.com/spankthenun/

Detonic Recordings released on November the 16th, the latest album from mnttaB called This Friction. Okay, it is a bit like this. We get an email with the album and cover plus a cryptic hope you like this message. That’s it. I know they are from Melbourne and possibly one guy. Is his name Richard Payne? Is he also known as Dik Detonic from Australian post-punk band S:Bahn? I bloody don’t know but have an inkling it is this ex Brit.

A POSSIBLE SIGHTING OF MNTTAB

So we kick off with “Alison” and there is the drum machine diligently doing its thing while the synths take center stage until the vocals chime in, A very English accent tells you that Alison is always in the right place at the right time, The tonal electronics start before the bright synths for “Denominator“. The lightness of the synths is in contrast to the lyrical content which speaks of lost dreams and entrenched sadness of being.

Title track “This Friction” is actually glorious for minimal fare. It has this science fiction feel with the sound building and becoming a near cacophony until the sudden stop. There is a woman speaking… is she speaking English? Is is hard to tell but it may be German. “Ulrike” is like a dream where you think you are awake but cannot grasp anything tangible.

Hmmm what to make of “Burnt To A Crisp“. His dinner may be ruined or all his hopes and aspirations but he’s not happy whatever the case. You mention “Xerox” and I think of Adam And The Ants which was a very catchy tune and this as well will get stuck in your head. This possibly the stand out song and I really like it with the bleating electronics and the way kind of becomes a bit intense and crazed. “Sensurround” is the last track and it feels like it was lifted from Blake 7 or Tron. It is fleeting, for as you get into it, then it is gone.

mnttaB describe this album as moods raging from abrasion to a caress. Contrail or Chem-trail? Kaleidoscope or Rorschach? Its hard to tell until you get up close. They aren’t wrong and it feels like going back in time when synthesizers were more basic, conjuring up the ghosts of Fad Gadget or Cabaret Voltaire and yet there is a fair amount of punk attitude also. Punk, minimal electronica and we are having a good time!

https://detonicrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/this-friction

mnttaB | Facebook

http://www.detonicrecordings.com/