Who doesn’t enjoy a good old ghost story that causes the hair on the back of your neck to rise, your flesh to goosebump and eyes to water without warning? It is human nature to be curious of that which we do not understand and Syd.31 explores those places in the dark where the shadow people lurk, waiting for you in the single release, “Demon Night“. Syd.31 is Dr Magic who is based in Manchester in the UK and the United Kingdom, like all cultures, is steeped in tales of the paranormal.

SYD.31 AND KRAMPUS FRIENDS

When I was a kid, we lived in a haunted house. Some ‘thing’ would walk down the hallway, into my room and just stand at the end of my bed. It looked like an old lady and it scared the hell out of me. Other people saw it too, but didn’t tell me until years after, thankfully. I still struggle to sleep alone with the light out…”Syd.31

The video was shot in the haunted Antwerp Mansion, the infamous Whitby Krampus makes his presence known and if you look carefully, maybe there hints of the ephemeral shadow people. You can hear the near panicked fear in Dr Magic’s voice because they are waiting for him to be alone in the dark of the night, so they may play. There is a psychobilly aspect to the number, not just with the chord progressions but also the use of a Gretsch guitar. All this lends itself to a nicely blended industrial rocking tale of misery. Plus, have to love the middle eastern style drumming at the beginning. “Demon Night” comes off the Syd.31 album, Machine Ready, that was launched in April this year.

I will add my own side note to this. As I wrote this late in the night, the online radio ceased to work. It seems the new router we had received had gone offline but the thing is this one guaranteed to work unless there is no power. It did come back on of its own accord, most unusual…..

https://syd31.bandcamp.com/track/demon-night-2

https://www.facebook.com/Syd31/

Kieren Hills aka Dorfpunk Tapes, is somewhat of an Australian renaissance man. His love of underground fare means he performs in more than his fair share of bands, from crust punk to goth, though his punk attitude shines through all. One of his incarnations is his one man, industrial punk act called Schkeuditzer Kreuz. In September of 2020, the EP Give Me Nothing was released.

KIEREN HILLS – SCHKEUDITZER KREUZ

This is your “Warning” that starts with a nationalistic anthem of a non existent, fascist state. It smacks of Laibach as it launches, hammering into your skull, the staccato beat with wailing siren. The warning is about a population devoid of control, will find others to exert power over to prove they exist.

Metallic industrial rhythm heralds in “Amerika:, a song written in the time of the Trump presidency and on a personal computer that had no working ‘C’. The angst of watching the erosion of rights, injustice and wholesale lies are ground out by Hills.

Consumerism drives economies, drives environmental destruction, plunges many into poverty and leaves many always wanting what they do not need. Greed is the theme behind, “But What If“. Screeching electronics, contorted in the fervour before the final meltdown.

Traitor” is a slower track in some ways with an electronic sludginess like sonic glue, however surprisingly does speed up with a near psychedelic overdrive.

Final track, “Give Me Nothing” is the equivalent of Edvard Münch’s The Scream, a cry to escape the tragedy of life. Not necessarily escaping through death but no longer plugged into the machine that pounds away with fuzzy fury.

It’s a little gem of an EP and gets better every play. It is punchy and doesn’t pull any punches about the state of society in general but then it just wouldn’t be punk if it didn’t have something to say. Should you ever get the chance to see Schkeuditzer Kreuz live, take it. The experience will blow your mind but in the meantime indulge in Give Me Nothing on Bandcamp for name your price.

https://dorfpunk.bandcamp.com/album/give-me-nothing-2

https://www.facebook.com/SchkeuditzerKreuz/