Feeling in the mood for some electronic beats in an 80s style? Then we have “OutAlive” by LikeWhat. This New York act released the track on January 11th, 2022 and I was reliably informed it was created on an ipad with a guitar. I honestly don’t know much more about this project yet…..
There is something so reminicent of the wonderful TobiasBernstrup. It could be the singing style and annunciation of the vocalist. The rhythm with the synths are stalking you and will find you wherever you try to hide. The guitar chiming in is extra foreboding as you won’t get out alive.
Electronic music will always lend itself to an apocalyptic vision, concealing and on the run from an unnamed, yet terrible foe. This is definitely one of those tracks that you think, at the end that it finished far too quickly. Damn it, we need a longer remix!! So you can guess by that statement I may have liked it quiet a bit. Get your darkwave on with LikeWhat and “OutAlive“.
Vlimmer, German post-punk/electronic project for Alexander Leonard Donat, has released a split single comprised of “Erdgerurch” and “SpaceDementia” in January, on Blackjack Illuminist Records, which is also run by Donat.
“Erdgerurch” is a wonderful post-punk piece that has a retro feel with the sublime synths and deep vocals, matched with the drum machine that is spine tingling. Every so often you hear a fuzz of electronic noise creeping at the edges and this feels so warm and familiar that it is instantly likeable. The beginning to “SpaceDementia” is surreal and continues in that vein with the vocals. It is a bit like being on the deck of the Star Trek Enterprise, if they were a bit dark and flying to their doom. An impression of infinite space to be lost in forever as it wavers between soft orbits and growling flight. Originally written by Matt Bellamy and performed by Muse, Donat sings in his native German and it loses none of it’s impact, sung with such passion.
I really enjoy it when Donat sings and especially without electronics distorting his vocals and this is no exception. From the beginning, you are immersed straight into “Erdgerurch” and there is no escape from this beautifully crafted song as it captures your soul in sway while there is a crystalline quality to the cover, “SpaceDementia“, a reflection in the obsidian black of the expansive universe.
December 17th, 2021 was when the EP Pieces was released by New Jersey band, PanicLift on MetropolisRecords. PanicLift are currently releasing a series of EPs, five in total and Pieces is the second in this series. JamesFrancis is the frontman of PanicLift whom have been around since 2006 and his live band is made up of DanPlatt (keyboards), BenTourkantonis (drums), CristianCarver (drums) and KenziBurke (bass).
There is something definitely grandiose about the first track, “DiseaseOfKings“. An amalgamation of synths, guitar and soaring vocals that feels a little raw, when the world is breaking around them and life has lost its colour and taste.
“FailurePrinciple”is a track that just instantly catches your attention. The synths just fly at you, exploding into shards of glass, that while pretty, are sharp and reinforces the message that stress without hope becomes a cycle of pain.
The last three tracks are mixes. GenCAB are back with a new album of their own, ThoughtsBeyondWords and have remixed “DiseaseOfKings” giving it a far more electronic flavour that swirls through your head. It is a given that any song mixed by Assemblage23 is going to be fairly stellar. TomShearer gives “FailurePrinciple” the treatment and I can see this doing so well on dance floors. Last mix is done by KALCYFR which is a thunderous dubstep and bass beast.
So it is a tight little EP with a great choice in guest mixers. Both songs are little gems and so now we wait to hear the next EP from PanicLift.
Purveyors of gloom and dead things that go bump in the night, VAZUM, are a very productive duo. It seems not that long ago we reviewed the album Rated V and now they have a new double single, that is not on the last album. “Gallows” is the name of the single dropped at the beginning of January and it is a double single in pixie point boots.
An eerie guitar swell that rolls into Sturm’s vocals, so is issued forth the warning to not to go to the Gallows, for a terrible fate will await you. Her voice is light and airy, bringing notice to the heavy done of the music, causing a sense of unease. The second song is the LostForestMix of “Gallows” with a wondrous far more synth spin which is equally spooky and a little electronically colder.
It is nice to hear gothic music that embraced both the more traditional guitar based music and evolving a more industrial sound as well. “Gallows” is an atmospheric deathgaze (goth +shoegaze) piece and dark synth affair you can indulge in.
The 17th of January sees the release of the single “Decimate” from Matt Hart. This is from his Below The Terra PT.1 album, which is due this year. If you have been following Hart, you will know that he has been building up a story with his music. It is the tale of the Earth that has been visited by alien machines, who are hell bent on changing the surface of the planet to something much colder that suits them while also eradicating the humans. Though the humans have held on in small numbers burrowing down into the soil, looking for sanctuary.
A menacing start, that suddenly knocks the breath out of you and the voices of the mechanical overlords can be heard reporting control. The humans find the world so cold and no opportunity of reclaiming what has been destroyed. There is a wonderful layering of textures, between the driving guitar, the stellar synths and the pounding rhythm.
“Decimate” is possibly the point where the last of humanity looked at their planet and thought, we can’t stay anymore, it’s time to go. You cannot mistake the anger and loss the Hart expresses on the behalf of the survivors. As always, Hart gives us a dance floor track with instant appeal and one other appealing thing worth mentioning is that it was mastered by Krischan Wesenberg of Rotersand. So we watch and wait to see what happens is this apocalyptic cyber world of man verses machine.
Sea Lungs are a relatively new band from Melbourne. A union of friends in the gothic/post-punk scene who aren’t necessarily in the same room to make music. The single, “Piss Up A Rope” was released in December, produced and mastered by Ant Bannister (Sounds LikeWinter) of Mantravision. Andi Lennon (Sounds Like Winter) provides vox and lyrics, while Jarrad Robertson (guitar, drums) and Dase Beard (guitar, bass) created the music. A point of interest is that Jarrad is also a music blogger who writes good ‘stuff’ with his project Neptune Wakes…. I sense a nautical theme here.
Sea Lungs spin tales of Gin-soaked dockside demise. Bearing witness to the fall of a perverse empire and dancing to the sounds of the death rattle. – Bandcamp self description
Lennon’s vocals are so reminiscent of Rozz Williams, it’s a actually quite breathtaking. For a song called “Piss Up A Rope”, it is not mentioned once and is not to be confused with the Ween song of the same name. There is a torpid air to the beginning that belies the true angst below the surface. From the jangle of guitars to the near strangulation of one, it never falters in the quest to provoke you. CEO’s reap the money, bloated corpulence, while their workers earn virtually a pittance. The vocals cajole you and coerce you to open your eyes
Amazon are huge in the US and UK, with people even buying their shampoo online rather than going down to the local shops. Mega multi-billion companies that are allowed to reap the bounty that their workers never see and never seem to be taxed. So, it is thought provoking but also there is great musicianship that goes into creating such a song with passion. Really enjoyed this track and it will be interesting to see where Sea Lungs go from here.
Deathline International have been around in the industrial scene since 1991, when they formed in California before releasing their debut album, Reality Check in 1993 on the label COP International. 2022 will see them drop the newest album, Pax Americana, 11 years since their fourth album Cybrid, but before that happens, we have been getting tastes of what is to come from the group in the form of singles. The latest is called “Parasite” which hit us in December of 2021. The current lineup for Deathline International is Th3Count (Christian Petke), SLam (Simon Lam), James Perry [Ashes Fallen], and John Fryer who has a curriculum vitae that might take some people several lifetimes to rack up. His most iconic band was This Mortal Coil and is a part of the super group The Joy Thieves, while riding solo as Black Needle Noise. As a producer he has worked with luminaries such as Depeche Mode, Fad Gadget, Nine Inch Nails, Die Krupps, Cocteau Twins and so many more.
The original single version is done by Fryer, the master of mixing and he has made this a far more sinister piece. The synths are just perfection as they roll over the words ‘only in America is it controversial for me to start the programme declaring that global warming is really happening‘.. There is the list of the four horsemen of the apocalypse of which humanity brings closer each passing day to the brink of no return by not finding ways to protect our planet. Pestilence, War, Famine and Death. There is the perfect mix of guitar versus electronic, all beautifully balanced and brutally laid before you with the bones of the future generations.
Stabbing Westwards are stablemates at COP International and the remix by Chris Hall is actually the first version of “Parasite” off the rank and it is so smooth, that Petke’s vocals ooze all over it like the Exxon Valdez. I like the fact it has retained the heavy electronic component and layers those elements with ease so that it just grooves along. They were not lying about the Sonic Assault remix. Electronic blasting beats full of anger and passionately promising to bludgeon you to death like the wide eyed harpy seal you might be if you don’t take notice of Sick Jokes emphasizing the end is nigh. It feels as if is it spinning out of control and imploding towards the end. Again Sick Jokes are signed to COP International
Yep. The production is spot on. The song is catchy. Three versions to keep everyone happy. A plethora of talent. Well that was easy. Listen to Deathline International, reduce your carbon footprint, recycle, re-use and maybe there is a chance to make things just a bit better than just being a “Parasite“.
For many of us, James O’Barr wrote such an iconic comic in the form of The Crow, it touched our collective dark souls and later became the equally wonderful movie. SEVIT are a five piece, darkwave band from Texas who decided to see if they could write a song for the mythological track “It Can’t Rain All TheTime“, which of course also became the most recognised line from the movie. They released it as a single on Hallow’s Eve, October the 30th, 2021.
Heavy 80s vibe with the bass and drums that have a early New Order flavour. The guitars are deliciously vocal and there is a cute synth break. The vocals and lyrics perfectly align with the whole ambiance of the title track and at the end we hear the original snippet from the movie of Eric Draven singing with Hangman’s Joke. The b-side or added extra track is “It All Comes Down To Me“, which is a far more languid affair. Tendrils of Pornography era Cure permeate. Echoing refrains of bleak sadness in a pool of existential crisis.
“I always wanted to embody myself into the character’s mindset and finish the lyrics the way I always wanted to hear them in their entirety. I started to imagine the words I would have written if I was Eric Draven.
The Crow was a beautiful film – so much sadness and so much longing, so much heart… When I decided to write this song, I wanted to revisit my hearts emotional vault and I wanted the words to belong to the film’s character, Eric Draven, who I imagined to be dark, poetic, theatrical, daring, passionate and beautiful. ” – (Jackie Legos – Vocals/Guitar)
I really like the concept of this but more to the point SEVIT has run with it and pulled it off. In someways, for many, The Crow feature movie and soundtrack were a gateway into the gothic/industrial music scene and those of us that were older, it was watching a beautiful and lush portrayal of the comic and a dark romantic story that love goes beyond death. Check out these guys as their sound warms the corners of my little gothic heart.
A new single has dropped for Norwegian band, Painted Romans called “In The Hour Of Fear“. Thomas Sejnæs (bass), Jan Ottar Nystad (keyboards) and original member Mats Davidsen (vocals, guitar, drum programming) making up the dark, post-punk/pop styling that is Painted Romans, who have been active since 2007 with an array of albums but are finding their niche in the renewed interest in post-punk.
Oh my, Davidsen is giving us the deep and gravelly gothic vocal treatment along with those 80s inspired guitars and hooks. The synths give a mysterious air in the background while the guitars chime out, unmissable and constant. Lyrically there almost seems to be a list of the types of people found in a horror movie, the types that get picked off one by one by some mysterious entity.
I love the guitar work in this because jangly guitar is very much a staple of the post-punk scene, though vocally I was reminded of the deep male vocals of many of the early 90s European goth bands. So, you might not be in need of a fright or even a bite but there is always time “In The Hour Of Fear“.
Industrial music actually covers a lot of scope, from heavy dance music to experimental, ambient noise and this is where we introduce British band, Decommissioned Forests. So far there have only been singles released by the three men behind the project, though the latest single, “Ants Part 1” will be on their debut album Industry.
From the start you can hear the undeniable homage to Coil in their spoken word phase and Rael’s utterances are uncannily like the late John Balance. Ants Part 1 (Our Last Supper) is just over nine minutes long and is like a dissonant journey that seems pleasant, yet the lyrics are the disembodied oddities of strange and disturbing sequences. The one running thread is the ants running riot over the picnic as they transcend the existence of this plane it seems. The band agreed the track “Functional Programming For Humans” was their favourite to play in the studio.The low tones almost could the far off church organ while the quirky sounds could be firing synapses while the commentary is how not feel any emotion like an automaton unless it is turned on. Grand soundscape with cold barren wept vistas. The last song is “Base” and the first bars start like a droning sea shanty though this drone is sinister and full of loathing as the piano enforces it’s disappointment.
Decommissioned Forests (is) the result of friendships going back to the beginnings of this century and a shared love of the darker post-industrial world of Coil, Current 93, Cabaret Voltaire and Nurse With Wound. In this collaboration, Daniel Vincent (of cult space rockers The Resonance Association) handles the music, ably abetted by Howard Gardner (the multi-media artist behind Non-Bio, Pillars of Golden Misery and Down With Freedom), whilst the vocals are channeled by Max Rael (the lynch pin of post-industrial noiseniks History of Guns) – Decommissioned Forests bio says it better than I can. You can hear those influences so clearly in the music these guys create and there is definitely a passion for the genre. There is a timelessness in a way to Decommissioned Forests, not only the themes but expressions of love, loss, life and always the ants.