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 Of Violence“. 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 BROW-OBLES

Coor’s vocal and musical style, he has described as being heavily influenced by The Cure and The Chameleons, 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“.

https://coorblimey.bandcamp.com/track/a-history-of-violence

https://www.facebook.com/CoorBlimey/

https://coorbrowobles.wixsite.com/tmprince

March the 19th is the release date for the album And The Light Goes White by LA based act, The Dramedy, 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.

DAVE DRAMEDY

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 Bites Me” 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 Sunshine Blind) and appearing on her debut solo album with a host of other heavyweights such as Rich Witherspoon (The Wake), Dave Wolfenden (Red Lorrry Yellow Lorry, The Mission), Gordon Young (Children On Stun, Pretentious Moi?), William Faith (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.

https://thedramedy2014.bandcamp.com/album/and-the-light-goes-white

https://www.facebook.com/thedramedy2014/

https://www.thedramedy.com/

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 Anthony Moraga, vocalist Faydra Cronin, guitarist Tyler Spatz and drummer Alex Kaiser.

YUKA ZOLO

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 Xmal Deutschland 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. Yuka Zolo can be found on Bandcamp for name your price. So check out a bit of goth rock… watch out it bites.

https://yukazolo.bandcamp.com/album/bleed

https://www.facebook.com/YukaZolo/

Are you partial to some post punk- gothic goodness? If that’s the case, Norwegian band, Painted Romans have released a single in January that will warm the pit of your dark heart called, “The Cold Delight“.

Mats Davidsen is the original Roman who delivers lead vocals, guitar & drums programming, with Jan Ottar Nystad playing keyboards and Thomas Sejn├Žs on bass, joining around September of last year.

I have to say I rather enjoyed this a little too much. It’s dark and morose just like all good goth songs can be and yet full of movement and life at the same time. There are hints of The Cure, Clan of Xymox and March Violets. Could easily be played at a goth club mixed in with older classics.

This takes me back to early 80s, when bands such as Echo and the Bunnymen, Psychedelic Furs and Simple Minds were blowing us away with their wonderous guitar/synth filled, forlorn brilliance.

You can find the single on Bandcamp as well as other previous releases. Painted Romans are developing a rich, flavoursome sound and that only bodes well for the music to come. So turn down the lights, ready the candles and have a dance to “The Cold Delight“.

https://paintedromans.bandcamp.com/track/the-cold-delight-single

https://m.facebook.com/paintedromans/

https://paintedromans.com/

Norway’s Mayflower Madame, released on the 19th of November, a single off their album, Prepared For A Nightmare. It is called “Ludwig Meidner“, named after the German artist, who is most famous for creating apocalyptic landscape art pieces. Meidner wished to evoke an emotional response from the viewer and these art works were created before even the First World War, which Meidner was a participant in.

A tribute to the man, the artist and the perhaps the madness of wanting to feel more… what extremes would you go to, to get that rush?

There is a harkening back to the early to mid 80s, when post punk was evolving into goth. It is serpentine in the way the music winds with the jangly guitars. There is a healthy dose of Mission like tunefulness and the keyboard chimes in giving the song an ethereal feel.

MAYFLOWER MADAME

These guys do a beautiful blend of gothic rock beauty, highlighted with that shoe gaze swirling guitar. Guitar based post punk is in good hands with Mayflower Madame, so do yourself a favour and have a listen to “Ludwig Meidner“.

https://mayflowermadame.bandcamp.com/album/prepared-for-a-nightmare

https://www.facebook.com/mayflowermadame

Brixton Alley are three lads, Alex, Ben and Jonny, from the UK, who somehow ended up in Brisbane, Australia. This punk/pop/rap fusion band also released this year a new EP called, “Nevermore“.

Alex Wells is the drummer for the band with his brother, Ben Wells, playing bass and contributing backing vocals, as well as Jonny Magro as lead singer and on guitar.

BRIXTON ALLEY

There are vibrant highs, through to staccato vocal punctuations in the first track, “Headache“. The frustration of finding work and trying to escape the hometown/village and its sad populace, in order to find something better.

The guitars sing out to you in “Voices” and it is a bit of an indie pop anthem to the youth of the day… the daily struggle with moments of beauty. The girl in the song might be hearing voices but maybe we need to hear those inner voices.

The brit pop influenced guitar lines bring us “Owl“. This is a cheeky observation on men out on the town, ogling girls to the point, their heads swivel around like the feathered night predators, as they greedily look for pretty prey. This has a really nice, catchy hook which you will hear in your head after the song has finished.

Animals” has a reggae sensibility with rap incursions. It is feels joyous and yet laments that we have forgotten our primal instincts. A good laid back rock number.

BRIXTON ALLEY

The acoustic beginning of “Outsider” shows a slower and more romantic piece. This is a modern ode to love, including cigarettes and a can of cider. This is laconic and slightly darker that it admits to, with the pleads to over look mental struggles.

The tunes are fun to listen to and yet are observations on modern existence in this age of excess. In some ways they remind me of one of my favourite post punk bands, New Model Army, with their swagger and revelations. It’s all about the journey, so it might be time time join Brixton Alley and have a listen to Nevermore.

https://m.facebook.com/brixtonalleyband/

The Greek gothic/post punk scene is very much alive and kicking. Lefki Symphonia are a part of the strong Mediterranean movement and last month released the single, “Black Twilight“.

These guys have been around since 1984 and you can hear that influence in the music. The guitar work is very reminiscent of Wayne Hussey, circa Sisters of Mercy period.

I could be wrong, but the lyrics might be waxing about those of a vampiric nature or at least emotional trauma that deadens all feeling, because in the end it is human to feel.

The vocals and over all feel of this number remind me of Finnish act, To/Die/For. So if you like your brooding, goth rock, then you might want to check out Lefki Symphonia and their “Black Twilight“.

https://lefkisymphonia.bandcamp.com/track/black-twilight-single

https://www.facebook.com/lefkisymphonia/

https://lefkisymphonia.gr/en/

Do you remember a classic song by the title “Agent Orange“? It might strike a cord as it was originally released by Scots, Ski Patrol in 1980. In August, Vision Video, a four piece from Georgia in the USA brought forth their version.

This retelling still has that spine tingling feel to the anti war classic. It is post punk heaven but with extra goth punk thrown in.

The original starts off far more quietly and gains speed and volume while the Vision Video begins simply and takes off yet they are more up front vocally.

Love the floating guitar chiming in that adds to the ethereal feel of the music paired with the verbose singing.

An extra added bonus is the band having Tom Ashton involved with the production of this single. For those not familiar with the name, Ashton plays guitars in American goth daddies, The Wake as well as at one point, playing with Dutch icons, Clan Of Xymox.

Agent Orange was the defoliating chemical used during the Vietnam war and the song was a comment on the lasting effects of this chemical warfare, with severe birth defects and soldiers dying from cancer.

Vision Video now uses it as a political call to rise up from apathy, to take control of our future. Good protest songs are timeless and Vision Video has done a brilliant rousing goth version of “Agent Orange“.

https://www.facebook.com/visionvideoband/

https://m.facebook.com/visionvideoband/

This year, the band, Amaranth, in conjunction with Sounds And Shadows, released the epic goth/EBM/industrial compilation, Tiny Gods Who Walk Beside Us. All songs were donated by the bands for a rather wonderful cause.

Most dark alternative types will tell you they are very fond of animals and especially cats. When band member of Amaranth, Ken Magerman found out his young cat, Freya, had cancer in her leg, Ken was devastated and desperately wanted to save his feline companion’s life. This is an expensive procedure, so musician friends from around the world offered songs to help pay for this treatment, so began this complilation.

The classical undertones of Lorelei Dreaming bring us “Edge Of The World” (I.X.XI Remix), which is grand beginning with beautiful choral touches that give this great depth and a glittering beauty.

For Freya” is a very raw piece from Amaranth, but then this is understandable knowing where this song is coming from. With bluesy overtones that expand to anguished gothic rock.

A quieter synth lead piece from US act, Covenant Of Thorns in “Dahlia” (The Joy Thieves remix). A sweet number that is both darkness and light at the same.

Got to say, Corlyx‘s “Deform” (ESA remix) is a really a great song and remix. A mixture of trap syncopation and lazy beats keeps this very entertaining.

Antipole and their sexy song, “1983” featuring the completely sexy Eirene (People Theater remix) show you their brilliance. Danceable, pop electro synth number which you can’t help but enjoy the airy joy it exudes.

Like silk, Ego LikenessDarkness” (Dracos Deep Mix) will grace your ears. This is smooth, electro beats and oh so catchy to boot with this remix.

Machinery Of Desire drip with gothic honey in the form of “Forever Remain“. I would not be surprised in the least of they were influenced by Wayne Hussey’s The Mission. That similar winding flowery style.

The synth musing of Adoration Destroyed in “Both of Me” (Authentic Impulse Remix) as they try to reconcile the two sides of their personally. Those that like Third Realm will really enjoy this number.

Crying VesselIllusions” (remix Dead Agent) is a throw back to the early 80s electronic period. A simple, clean track with a light touch in the remix, making this a really danceable track.

The haunting number of “Code Blue” by I Ya Toyah (remix Arcontas Blank) rings out with that wonderful heavy organ based synth filling it out. A song close to singer Ania Tarnowska’s heart, about the loss that comes with suicide.

Really digging Twin Tribes the more I hear them and “Dark Crystal” is a great example of their post punk, goth electro sound. Really fabulous tune that chimes away and gets into your head.

Radiograph is in essence John Edwards from Palais Ideal and he has contributed “Catnipped“, an instrumental piece centred on an electro beat/ synths with guitar accompliment. Edwards is well known musician in the scene and a deft hand at penning a tune.

Silver Walks has remixed “Fuck That Fascist Beat” by Caustic. This already a good song which now is even more urgent in the remix. The song is probably more poignant than ever before and is old school style industrial done well.

Straight from the beginning, you hear that this is going to be a bit special. Seven Federations gives you “Syzygy” or a celestial alignment. It is reminiscent of Attrition’s classic “Into The Waves“, with its simple beauty.

VlimmerSchnittstelle” is ethereal and unearthly as they try to interface. Even though ethereal, it feels so organic at the same time, natural.

Dogtablet are kind of a mini super group. “Showtime” (Melodywhore Slave Remix) is a rhythmic groove piece with piano as the standout instrument amongst the electronica.

If you like pure instrumentals with some sublime synths and an interesting configuration, then Kiss Of The Whip has “This Pain Is Ours” for you.

Welcome to Steven Archer’s The Showroom“. It’s s little dirty and has a bassy chorus which is never a bad thing. Archer who is also Stoneburner, is all class.

This isn’t even mixed and Cliff and Ivy have a tremendous earworm in “Will To The Power“. I have to say, Christian Death. It smacks of many the great things about Rozz Williams and company in the 80’s.

The off kilter start by Orcus Nullify, launches “March Of The Lost“. Very much in the vein of the Bauhaus vibe with a experimental edge. A dirge to the those forever destined to wander without end.

The sombre tones of Ritchual‘s “You Lied” lilt with a plaintiff anguish. This is clean, delightful synth wave with a European flavour even though they are based in Austin.

Sister Sarin is the project for Hemlock and she gives to you “Split“. This is a percussion heavy piece with all the keyboards rounding out the beat heavy sounds.

Get ready for the nightmarish spokenword performance of Swansect with “Clovermouth“. This is claustrophobic and sinister in the modern era electro.

Rob Early and Simeon Fritzpatrick are 11Grams and you are going to feel them in your “DNA“. This is a blend of old school industrial with a clever reinvention, which they are well known for. Slow and menacing, as it gets under your skin.

Ego Likeness is the last track on the album for the digital download with “Breedless” (Sombre Remix). The lyrics are truly interesting to listen to, with ‘maybe my mother was a hydra‘ as well fae folk and other such creatures making Ego Likeness the crooning sexy beasts they are.

This is a great showing of gothic, synthwave, EBM, darkwave and industrial being represented and definitely worthy of many listens. The best part of this story is that Freya may have lost a limb but she is still with Ken and a truly loved being.

My last cat passed away at 20 years of age and I mourned her death for many years until l adopted a rescue cat and to be honest, fell in love all over again.

Once cats were revered as celestial beings in Egypt and one can understand why. We love their arrogance, sass and let’s face it, they can be completely selfish pricks yet if you do love them, they will give you so much in return.

So show some love for Freya and her kind as well as all the wonderful bands that have been so generous.

https://theamaranth.bandcamp.com/album/tiny-gods-who-walk-beside-us

https://loreleidreaming.bandcamp.com/

https://acot.bandcamp.com/

https://corlyx.bandcamp.com/

https://antipole.bandcamp.com/

https://egolikeness.bandcamp.com/

https://machineryofdesire.bandcamp.com/

https://adorationdestroyed.bandcamp.com/

https://cryingvessel.bandcamp.com/

https://iyatoyah.bandcamp.com/

https://twintribes.bandcamp.com/

https://palaisideal.bandcamp.com/

https://causticngp.bandcamp.com/

https://sevenfederations.bandcamp.com/

https://blackjackilluministrecords.bandcamp.com/

https://dogtablet.bandcamp.com/

https://kissofthewhip.bandcamp.com/

https://stoneburnerofficial.bandcamp.com/

https://cliffandivy.bandcamp.com/

https://orcusnullify.bandcamp.com/

https://ritchual.bandcamp.com/

https://shadowsandrust.bandcamp.com/track/tripwire

https://swansect.bandcamp.com/

https://11grams.bandcamp.com/

Die Notwendigkeit der Notwendigkeit translated into English means the need for the need and is also the title for the first album release for the Munich based trio of PAAR.

This three piece comprises of vocalist Ly Nguyen, Rico Sperl plus Matthias Zimmerman and they can be found on the Berlin based label, GRZEGORZKI Records.

Can’t help but notice that German precision, perfect beats and timing. “Common Crimes” starts and is soon in the swirling heady territory of the wonderful Curve. Nguyen’s vocals curl and bedazzle, adding to a powerful wall of noise.

PAAR

Beauty Needs Witness” is brooding and bass heavy, seems to hold a great sadness of lost innocence. The guitars almost cry out to you.

The intro to “Rework” is delightful and breezy. This is what Siouxsie and the Banshees would sound like if in a lighter brighter world. The guitar work again is an exquisite construct to hold the vocal jewel.

Modern” at the beginning makes itself known with frenetic buzzing guitar work and an almost imperceptible oriental quality to the tune at times. Nguyen is joined by guest vocalist Grotto Terrazza also known as Thomas Schamann, who’s deep sonorous tones melt nicely in accompaniment.

Again a nice lightness that highlights the darkness is heard in “Pure” which wouldn’t amiss on a Cocteau Twins album.

Eis” is a little faster and more jaunty and the guitar work is wonderfully jangly and this song has a lot of personality. It would almost be a crime for it not to be a single.

So what lays in the “Lakes“? Not sure because either it’s unknown or they aren’t listening. But seriously a tune with mystery at its heart.

Last track is “Metal” and this is sassy, in same way as Blondie both vocally and guitar wise. That punk infused joy of new wave music, with a shimmy inducing last song, which is a great one to end on.

Earlier I mentioned Cocteau Twins and a lot of this is very much in the vein of that 4AD ideal and ethos. This embodies that movement of when new wave was developing out of the punk scene in the late 70’s going into the 80’s, fused with that sweet European cold wave/dark wave sound and cool culture.

Art inspiring music and music inspiring art which might explain the title, the need for the need or Die Notwendigkeit der Notwendigkeit, for art and music do not exist without the other muse and here PAAR are the catalyst.

https://paarmusic.bandcamp.com/

https://m.facebook.com/Paarband/

https://www.instagram.com/paarmusic/

https://m.soundcloud.com/paarmusic

http://www.paarmusic.com/