June saw the release of the debut single, “Rose+ Crown” for AMMO as a solo artist. AMMO, located in Los Angeles, has previously been in bands such as Black Flamingo and currently with Brass Box, as well as pursuing artistic outlets such as film making and photography.
The title track starts with a lonely guitar which is highly reminicent of start of the New Model Army piece, “Wonderful Way To Go“, though that is as far as the similarity goes. This is light and airy, with jangly guitar within an epic swirling sound scape. AMMO’s voice sits comfortably at the centre, luring you to sit and listen longer. This is shoegaze without the brashness of overt walls of noise.
The ‘b’ side is “TotalRecall“, written originally by Adrian Borland of the legendary 80s British, post punk band, The Sound. It was already a wonderful track and AMMO brings a sweetness to it. A song of longing and being out of time, that is achingly beautiful, especially with the knowledge that Borland suffered mental health issues which eventually lead to his suicide.
Along with drummer, Alex Posell, a former bandmate of Black Flamingo, who helped co-produce and record, AMMO is creating lush sounds that may at first seem bleak, but warm the soul. Mourning Sun Records, which is AMMO’s label, plans to release a future album called, The Great Chaos however the meantime enjoy “Rose + Crown“.
Based in Portland, USA, four piece, DIE ROBOT, are definitely a band to keep an eye on. They have toured with some fairly big name acts and their latest single, “Talk City“, was mastered by Robert Scott from Joy Thieves Productions.
This will certainly catch your attention from the beginning, starting with the beat, to the electronics drawing you in. The guitar work is meaty and the vocals are the icing on this commentary of the current state of media. So do you believe everything that is said to you via information corporations that have their own agenda? The synth line on this is killer.
Was it done on purpose that when they sing, talk city, it sounds like toxicity? Rather clever play on words. This is a banger of a tune, that romps along nicely before giving you a small rest, then galloping off again. It’s music with a social conscience that reminds me a little of another band, Die Krupps. Definitely check out DIE ROBOT with “Talk City“.
From Brisbane, Australia, three piece group, Killtoys, have released their single, “Funerals“. This alt rock/post punk band consists of drummer Beven Bancroft, bass guitar player Stav Tsolakides and vocalist/guitarist MickBristow, who have been playing together in different band incarnations through the years.
Where oh where to begin. It’s rock but it’s dark and foreboding, giving a Black Sabbath feel. A bass heavy start with Bristow’s light, and let’s be clear, slightly creepy vocals, beckoning you to join the nightmare vortex of the dead who live on. So it’s a bit metal and yet there is a huge undercurrent of glam with its sing song, gothic ambience, that swells and lulls to drag you under its influence.
Have to love the fact that they sound bigger than the trio they are but also that Bristow does not follow the normal vocal technique of growling out the lyrics to this style of music which has to be said, is refreshing. The guys are definitely finding their groove and hopefully soon, an album will grace us but in the meantime checkout Killtoys‘ Soundcloud where you can find the dead and dirty, “Funerals“.
Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is the industrial/metal group, Deadlight Holiday, who in March, have hit us with the new single, “Blood //Body“. This single isn’t connected to an album.. yet, but with the trio having released their debut in 2019, we suspect it won’t be long before another graces us.
From the opening cords, you know this isn’t going to take any prisoners, with that heavy nu metal guitar sound, made famous by Korn and Machine Head, mixed with a political message. An observation of the climate, where governments incarcerate children and wage wars their own innocent citizens, who dare dissent against agreeing with status quo.
The remix , featuring ex pat Aussie, Zoog Von Rock, is full of the turgid, snappy electronic goodness that Angelspit is known for. Zoog has injected a cutting, cold, hard serrated edge into this track, making it wonderfully sharp and dirty. Love it.
The third track is an instrumental. It reminds me of the vinyl 12″ mixes that were huge in the 80’s that often had the pure instrumental track of the single.
It’s a ripper of a song and the passion of Zoog makes the remix just a thing of angsty beauty. You can find DeadlightHoliday on Bandcamp, so partake of their “Body//Blood“.
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.
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…..
Dissonance is the moniker for Dallas artist, Cat Hall who has been a part of the electronic scene since the early 90’s. With the start of a new year, we are being graced with the new single, “Damage” that features fellow U.S. musician, Melodywhore.
Melodywhore is the musical creator, who to great effect gives us the industrial beats while Cat Hall goes from using honey before bringing the heavier, more masculine and angrier vocals, that dominates this number.
There are no less than six remixes of “Damage” to sink your teeth into. From first to last there is ex guitarist of Lords Of Acid and current band Banishment, Joe Haze, with his futuristic, alien overlord takeover sounds, followed Adrian Halo of Machines With Human Skin with his more laid back and sexy mix.
A bit of 80s electronica arcade style vocals and funky beats with horns is the Steven OLaf mix, then it’s Jon Von Herrmann, also known as VönOn The Spectrum, giving us a swirling and thoughtful version.
Brian Carter of REVillusion does the fifth remix which feels stripped back to bare metal bones and the last remix is by Glenn Kirchner Hinkley which is pretty cool and full of clean synths with a retro feel.
“Damage 1st Assault” reminds me a lot of the classic Nine Inch Nails number, “Terrible Lie“. Cat Hall has gone for a heavier, more attacking sound for this single and has a lot of well known friends to do some great mixes for her. So check out Dissonance’s “Damage“.
If you are looking for some experimental ambient music, then possibly we know of the EP you need to hear. Spectrograph released at the end November, their EP, A Giant Leap Of Faith, on Depth Records.
This project began in 2012, combining the talents of multi instrumentalist and vocalist Virginia Bones with Phiorio who is a producer of electronic/dance music, as well as a DJ. They describe their style as post industrial/electro.
The tones are low and seemingly, almost basic but the more one delves into “Dmbt“, the more complex and convoluted it becomes with its revolving beats and tonal injections for this instrumental piece.
The single, “Dead Kittens“, is a dark affair. Slow and foreboding with fuzzy electronic pulses and synth keys that at times feel like they are wandering randomly within a space that has been forgotten.
Minimal clicks and whirs in a loop present “A Giant Leap Of Faith“, and there begins a layering effect of sounds. An occasional cymbal, electronically altered vocals of Bones and two notes of a piano creep across this piece, only to be joined by other noises. Strangely enough it never feels overwhelming or crowded and yet there is a claustrophobic ambience.
Last track, “If You Think You Can Fly” seems to convey the most urgency, like it needs to be on the move on a midnight jaunt to who knows where. It is bleak, metallic and wonderful with those odd noises.
Well constructed and rather interesting to say the least. If you don’t get electronic music then this won’t be for you but if you love electronica that push music limits with intelligence, then you should most definitely have a listen to Spectrograph’sA Giant Leap Of Faith.
You may or may not have heard of unsigned, industrial act Corvax. Based in London, but hailing from Wales, DavidMarvelly is the man behind Corvax and his second EP release, Talk To The Man.
With four tracks, we step off with “Pills” which feel a bit like listening to early TrentReznor, when he was young and angst ridden. This is clanking industrial with twinkling wisps of synthesisers. Mavelly will quietly tell you he doesn’t want to feel anything any more, then threaten you wanting to take the pills.
Title track, “Talk To The Man” is far more smooth and slicker. This is also the single with its groovy electric guitar and obviously influenced by Mike Patton. Over all has a very oppressive and claustrophobic feel.
“Good” makes me think EinstürzendeNeubauten with the low dark vocals and percussion lead instrumentation that wanders into different styles and back again.
Last track is a fifty-one second vignette called “Failure“, featuring the lovely vocals of Maella, accompanied by acoustic guitar and bursts of wind like electric noise.
This isn’t the longest of EPs but makes up for it in experimentation, leading to some pretty cool sounds and following in the footsteps of some rather big names. Go check out, up and coming artist, Corvax with his Talk To The Man.