The start of a new year, so it is time for my usual round-up of music coming our way soon (here is last years). Sources are, as usual, a selection of direct band and label sources and press reports, and are believed correct at the time of writing.
As always, it is important to note that this is a listing provided in good faith, and things can (and frequently do) change. Release dates may change, albums may get canned, bands may even split up, or labels may close or change. It is, also, very much a list tailored to my/my reader’s tastes. So no Belle & Sebastian here.
If you are a band or label reading this, please feel free to update or correct by the usual channels (Facebook, G+ or e-mail are usually the best ways).
Last album Rag Doll Blues was the amodelofcontrol.com album of the year for 2012, and I can’t wait to hear what Michael Arthur Holloway has in store for us this time around.
His atmospheric, sometimes-creepy, intricate songs reward repeated listening, and even his (many) covers that he releases are well-thought-out and often fascinating takes on songs we know all too well. He has even made Phil Collins palatable of late, as well as some exceptional Prince covers – but best of all, check out his take on Skinny Puppy’s Dead Lines.
Either way, I’m really intrigued to see where the project goes next, and so should you.
A bit out of the blue, at least to me, the sixth Mind.In.A.Box album was suddenly announced at the end of last week (out in March), and it is heartening to see them bold enough to continue with their bleak, dystopian tale of Black. They have their style, it works brilliantly, and we’re promised more live shows this year. I can’t wait.
I wouldn’t normally include this – frankly Brian Warner’s music has been toss for a while now – but I’m fascinated by the return of MM to a more, er, goth sound. No, really. For once, it seems there are no gimmicks, just good music. His last good album was ten years and more ago, but maybe, just maybe, this might be worth picking up. Here’s hoping.
A long time coming, but finally, one of London’s best live bands get to showcase their exceptional music in long-form, with their debut on Saint Marie. Having been fairly sparing with releases so far (just three singles, covering seven songs and a remix), the album should whet the appetites of existing fans and should also gain them many more besides. What do they sound like? Female-fronted-shoegazey-electronic-rock with a snarl. Or, just, a damned good band.
Somehow I missed the initial announcement about this – after reuniting over the past year or so, playing some US shows, there has already been these Space Rocker’s first new material in seventeen years (see their bandcamp), and now a new album to come this year. More importantly, there are plans to tour the world in 2015 too. This is London calling…
Does Scott Fox ever stop? It barely seems any time since last release The Methuselah Tree made it into the top three of 2013 in these parts, and here’s hoping that the new album manages to combine the tribal/world elements with stomping industrial as well as that did. Only two months to wait to find out.
My first (alternative) musical love – in other words my gateway drug into this whole world twenty-five years-and-a-bit-more ago – and their return in recent years has at least allowed me to finally see them live (they were *amazing*), and now, they are recording again. I’m sure exactly what we expected, but I’m fairly certain Motherfucker wasn’t it. Wrongfooting their fans has been a speciality of the band for years, and you know what? It’s really grown on me. So let’s see what these contrary bastards have up their sleeve for the album eh?
Or should this be entitled “Stabbing Westward return”? Even this nominally newer band are making the link back to their past, with three ex-SW members, and a sound (judging by the lead single Alone) that could come straight from Ungod. Brooding basslines, thumping rhythms, and Christopher Hall sounding as glum as ever. Maybe a bit less navel-gazing than before, lyrically, but the single is a stellar return for us old-time fans. Fingers crossed the album delivers.
The Future Unformed
Surprise of the year, so far, though, has to go to the unlikely return of Sister Machine Gun. Their nineties material in particular is cold, harsh and groovy-as-hell (let me remind you of the brilliance of Wired), and it will be interesting to see where Chris Randall takes things this time. The album is coming out on WTII Records (where else for an old-time Chicago industrial band, eh?), and I’m willing to bet money that they will be on the Cold Waves bill this year (as if I needed any more reason to hotfoot it over anyway).
The Race For Space
Debut album Inform – Educate – Entertain was something of a surprise hit, it’s masterful use of old public information and propaganda films as “vocals” over taut, melodic quasi-krautrock striking a nerve in many. Part of this is down to the wonderful material they are working with, part of this is simply because the songs are so good anyway. But there has been many wondering – including me – whether they could repeat the trick, but clearly the band have been thinking along similar lines, as their forthcoming second album moves into new realms, above the earth. And the first single from it, Gagarin, is a joyous, funky four minutes that has been really excited about what is to come.
Other Releases with Dates:
19-Jan – Sleater-Kinney: No Cities To Love
26-Jan – Napalm Death: Apex Predator – Easy Meat
30-Jan – Angels & Agony: Monument
16-Feb – The Juliana Hatfield Three: Whatever, My Love
20-Feb – In Strict Confidence: Lifelines Vol.3 (2006-2010)
23-Feb – Pelican: The Cliff
03-Mar – Modest Mouse: Strangers to Ourselves
10-Mar – Regenerator: Hunter
30-Mar – The Prodigy: The Day Is My Enemy
Anticipated Releases with no dates yet (in no particular order):
“April” – Beauty Queen Autopsy: Lotharia
“Spring” – The Qemists: Warrior Sound
“Spring” – High-Functioning Flesh: TBC
“Autumn” – Caustic: TBC
Autoclav1.1: Werewolf Country
ESA: Themes of Carnal Empowerment Pt. 3
Deviant UK: TBC
PJ Harvey: TBC
Frank Turner: TBC
Death Grips: jenny death – TBC
Death Grips: the powers that b – TBC
Paradise Lost: TBC
The Young Gods: TBC (Line-up now features Cesare Pizzi rather than Al Comet again)
Frank Ocean: TBC
My Dying Bride: TBC
Thee Faction: Reading Writing Revolution (Download otherwise now unavailable Up The Workers! and help fund the release of the new one)
Keith TOTP: TBC
pinkshinyultrablast: Everything Else Matters
Sunn O))): TBC
The Body & Thou: You, Whom I Have Always Hated