A new year, and a new look for my posts on /amodelofcontrol.com, for the most part, a case of tidying up things and getting a cleaner style.
There is no change to what I’ll be posting for the foreseeable future. Regular /Tuesday Ten posts, and /Welcome to the Future most Fridays, as well as other posts where time allows. One other major change over Christmas has been a total revamp of the /events listing, using a better back-end to it. I’ve progressively added the majority of upcoming events relevant to this site (livestreams and clubs/gigs in London and the South East, as well as other events from friends across the country). My old friend Kelly D also has an events listing at The Goth Calendar, and that covers Northern events more comprehensively.
This week’s /Tuesday Ten wraps up the best /Tracks of the Month since the beginning of December or thereabouts, in other words, covering releases that wouldn’t have been eligible for /Countdown/2021 (as I run that between December and November each year), and as is often the case, there have been a lot of songs to cover even in that short period (especially as the week(s) immediately around Christmas and New Year are like a dead zone for new releases).
Coming this Friday, too, will be the traditional New Year wrap of upcoming new releases for 2022.
A quick explanation for new readers (hi there!): my Tuesday Ten series has been running since March 2007, and each month features at least ten new songs you should hear – and in between those monthly posts, I feature songs on a variety of subjects, with some of the songs featured coming from suggestion threads on Facebook.
Feel free to get involved with these – the more the merrier, and the breadth of suggestions that I get continues to astound me. Otherwise, as usual, if you’ve got something you want me to hear, something I should be writing about, or even a gig I should be attending, e-mail me or drop me a line on Facebook (details below).
/Track of the Month
/Wild Type Droid
Failure has, three albums into their second phase and thirty years into their career returned to earth. Greg Edwards made this clear in the press releases for this new album:
“This feels like a good place and time to abandon the space iconography and theme once and for all…In a lot of ways, this album feels like a return to earth. All minds have been called back to their bodies. There’s a lot to attend to right in front of us.”
It certainly feels surprising in some respects, but perhaps everyone has to come back to earth sometime – and it isn’t as if there is any drop in quality here. In fact, Wild Type Droid is a notable step forward from the subdued In The Future Your Body Will Be the Furthest Thing from Your Mind, as the band shed the Segue interludes that began back on the landmark Fantastic Planet (and are a thread that linked across three albums in the end). Submarines was one of the early singles from this album and remains a thrill. A thundering bassline provides the ballast for Ken Andrews to soar across it, as he muses his frustration at being tethered amid a plague he cannot control or influence but remains determined to fight on and, eventually, be able to live a normal life again.
/Aethyr Abyss Void
The long-awaited debut album by Adam V. Jones and Sarah Graves under the HAEX name didn’t disappoint when it finally arrived in December, just a week before Christmas. “Forged from the roots of Industrial and steeped in esotericism”, goes their description on Bandcamp, and I’d actually agree when trying to find ways to describe them. The powerful single Cursebreaker leans into the thunderingly heavy, mid-paced rhythms that a number of newer industrial acts have resurrected, complete with a searing, guitar-led breakdown mid-track, while Adam V. Jones treats his vocals to aid the unsettling delivery. All that time in development – a couple of the tracks on this album have been available in demo form for a few years now – has been well worth it, as the album sounds polished and brilliant.
/Notes on How to Trust
/This Shame Should Not Be Mine
The recently renamed GGGOLDDD (previously GOLD, a name used by quite a number of other artists over time) made a hell of a splash with their commissioned Roadburn online performance last spring, such that they are returning to play it again in 2022 as curators of the festival to accompany a studio recording of the entire piece making up their next album. We already knew how extraordinary a live band they are, thanks to their brilliant performance at 10 Years of Chaos just before lockdown (/Memory of a Festival/034), but that Roadburn set was something else. The first single from it, the oppressive, snarling Notes on How to Trust confirms that there was no danger of the band dropping the ball transitioning it to the studio. Milena Eva’s anguish and fury at the events of her past that inspired this are palpable and drive the track to extraordinary heights.
/Bob Vylan Presents The Price Of Life
Bob Vylan have impressed so far by doing things their way, and also by creating their own take on a thumpingly heavy grime/punk sound, but maybe, their upcoming new album might expand their reach just that further. New single GDP is entirely unsubtle, but still smart and sharp, as Bobby himself reminds that economic theory means absolutely fuck all to those that are fighting to get by, those who might not pay attention to the news – and, thus, improving GDP might look good for Government statistics, but doesn’t mean shit to those who simply need to get paid in one way or another. This song tells more about the basics of poverty and the reasons for it than many textbooks.
/Fools (We Are…)
The press around the upcoming, ninth ADULT. album suggests that like everyone else, they’ve been deeply impacted by the unravelling of pretty much everything in life over the past two years. The disquieting video to this excellent new single – where unpleasant looking liquids literally flow from wall-mounted toilets into others, among other odd imagery – sums up our new world well, with all manner of plans, hopes and dreams disappearing down the toilet, while ADULT. provide a soundtrack that is, as ever, just that little bit off-kilter, with 4/4 beats twisted out of shape and additional beats knocking things out of step. ADULT. have always been brilliant at an edginess to their sound as if they know horrors are ’round the corner – this time, they have been proved right, and their music reflects it.
/I Believe In Dani Filth
/Volumes of Vomit
The Scottish Death Metal party animals are back, with a new full-length album and, it seems, no intention of changing their ways. So their gloriously coloured logo continues to brighten up every festival bill they appear on, their song titles are strange, tongue-in-cheek and oddly wholesome (sometimes), and crucially, their songs continue to consist of absolutely ripping death metal. They call it “slam metal”, and it isn’t hard to see why – this track is six minutes of brutal, slamming death metal, with a never-ending avalanche of riffs, breakdowns and guttural vocals. I’m buggered if I know what they are singing about – are they really providing a pep-talk for Dani Filth? I suspect not – but maybe they should introduce Death Metal to Sesame Street, and borrow Cookie Monster to help them out. If anyone can do this, it’s got to be Party Cannon.
The outstanding Hallucination Scene, released in 2020, announced Black Magnet as a striking new addition to the industrial metal canon, and the first track from upcoming new album Body Prophecy suggests that the previous release was no fluke. There is a more breathless pace, perhaps, to this first new track, with urgent drum patterns and the vocal delivery perhaps tipping the hat to Strapping Young Lad, but the grimy, cyber-human hybrid feel of what has come before is retained, with a distinct feel of the human battling to be heard amid the chaos of the machine, and the fury that results bursts out of this track.
/You Did This
/Thoughts Beyond Words
I first heard David Dutton’s work as genCAB fifteen years or so ago, on a variety of compilations that came to my attention thanks to Sean Payne and Cyanotic (particularly the excellent h0rd3z ov thee el33t comp, which had a host of up-and-coming US industrial/electronic artists on it, some of whom have gone on to reasonable success), and the project has resurfaced sporadically since, but mainly with the odd single since sole album II transMuter back in 2008. Thrillingly, all the years that have passed since have not dulled Dutton’s skills. The initial single from this album before Christmas, Altar of Progress, is an uptempo dancefloor thumper, but even better is You Did This, a dense forest of synths, multitracked vocals and the melodic hit that Dutton is so good at.
Scott Fox continues his remarkable, relentless rate of work with the latest iVardensphere album, just a year after his involvement with the latest This Morn’ Omina release. The title track to his latest album is a dramatic, bruising feast of percussion, perhaps leaning into the Old World ritualism of Heilung as much as the thundering tribal techno/trance Scott Fox has long been interested in, and the result is a fascinating, brilliant track. It feels like iVardensphere has had new life and inspiration injected, and accompanied by a spectacular video (which feeds into another new track, The Shattering Queen, as one lengthy ten-minute piece), I’m now intrigued to hear what else is to come from Ragemaker.
Robert Hampson reformed LOOP with new bandmembers a good few years back – I should know, I was nearly deafened by one of their extraordinarily powerful live shows at the time (they were supporting GODFLESH, who felt oddly restrained after LOOP) – and while the reconstituted group have released a few new tracks, this is from their first new album since 1990. The droning, forward driving force of their classic sound is present and correct, that’s for sure, while Hampson’s vocals and the guitars work in perfect melodic lockstep, thrilling with a wordless chorus of sorts that is just glorious. Be warned, the video is dizzyingly bright, befitting the psych-rock feel of their music. It’s fucking great to have them back on record.
/The Devil & The Universe
/The Great God Pan Is Dead (Long Live The Great God Pan)
This hugely entertaining, occult-themed Austrian duo continue to plough their furrow of dramatic, danceable industrial music that just happens to have darker themes – and going on the fact that their upcoming album is entitled GOATopia, it is hard to believe that they don’t have their tongues deep in their cheeks. This song invokes the Greek god Pan, a god associated with, among other things, fertility and spring. As we emerge from what feels like a long winter already – and two exhausting years of dealing with a pandemic – perhaps strange, mystical sounds accompanied by thumping drum rhythms might be just what we need as we consider what’s to come.
/I Don’t Think I Turned Out Right
/Sleeping Through Summer
One of the victims of lockdown was dexy’s second album, which was originally intended to be released sometime about eighteen months ago, as I recall, and indeed this first, brilliant, single from this much-anticipated album I’ve heard live a couple of times before, in those “before times”. An uptempo rock track, it’s a paean to doing your own thing, following your own path and making something of it, and in my humble opinion, is dexy’s best track yet, with a big, anthemic chorus and a carefree, easy-going demeanour that is really infectious. As is the great video, too, where dexy and his bandmates lark about in a variety of outfits in North London indie-hangout Paper Dress Vintage.
First take: Metropolis has picked up yet another Swedish post-punk/goth band? Second take: wait a minute, this is dreamy. Oh yes, this is gloriously dark shoegaze-goth, with deep, rich vocals and an intense sense of longing that engulfs the entire track. Sure, with those basslines, they’re more than familiar with The Cure, but bands of this style rarely release ballads as lead singles. Consider me interested in Barricades when it comes in March.
/Author & Punisher
/Drone Carrying Dread
Like any great engineer, Tristan Shone continues to evolve his work, taking advantage of new technologies and new ideas – and that is perhaps one of the many reasons why his Author & Punisher project remains so fascinating. What had also become obvious was that he didn’t appear entirely interested in simply making his sound more and more extreme, as he could easily have done (live, every time I’ve seen him perform, mind, A&P remains brutally loud and heavy). Instead, he seems to have gravitated to making it emotionally more extreme – as Drone Carrying Dread has the feel of thundering, mechanical doom with a human heart. Here, Shone sings his heart out, with little distortion on his voice, and the outcome is a slow-as-molasses piece with a remarkable gravitas. All of a sudden, the cover of Portishead’s Glory Box that is apparently on the upcoming album begins to make more sense…
It has been a little difficult to keep up with the work of James Church (nowadays working alongside Levi Paul as a duo), seeing as he has one of the most relentless release schedules I can think of. I’m glad I caught this track, the forerunner of a new album coming next week. Destroyer (rise) concentrates on huge, powerful drums and ominous atmospheres, and is also something of an exercise in restraint, never quite unleashing what is threatened across the track. The production here, too, is phenomenal, with every detail nice and clear in the mix.
/The Crystal Method
/Act Right (feat. Billy Dean Thomas and VAAAL)
/The Trip Out
Nowadays the solo project of Scott Kirkland, 2022 marks twenty-five years since the remarkable debut album Vegas, not that it appears that Kirkland is too interested yet in looking backwards. Instead, the beginning of 2022 will see the release of the eighth full-length Crystal Method album, with a host of guests along for the ride. Act Right is a groovy, acid-laden track, too, with the hyper-flow of Billy Dean Thomas adding an impressive flourish to an intriguing, slower-paced stomp, but never losing sight of what has made The Crystal Method so distinctive over the years.
/The Birthday Massacre
/Dreams of You
The Birthday Massacre was rather unfortunate with the release of Diamonds, as it came out just as the world shut down in March 2020, meaning that the band – usually so strong live – were unable to tour the album whatsoever. The downtime seems to have inspired the band to simply write another album instead, and the world-weary Dreams of You is the first taste thereof, seemingly detailing a relationship that is coming to an end, and the protagonist has realised as much, and Chibi’s vocals are accompanied by the trademark TBM sound of bright, eighties-esque synths, powerful melodies and thick layers of guitars – straddling the ground between goth, new wave and industrial rock neatly.
/BABEL BEFORE THEM
/Triangles of Mania
Despite now living on the coast, away from London – and indeed, with the precarious state of everything right now, not exactly socialising a great deal either – it transpires that there is a fascinating, small-scale music scene down here in East Kent that dabbles in different realms of alternative and extreme music, and I hope to be covering more of that across 2022 (a variety of things allowing, mind!). This track has reached me via a mutual friend locally, and remarkably confirms that there is at least one other Coil fan in this part of the world, to the point that they have released an excellent track on a compilation of like-minded souls who are “keeping the spirit of Coil alive”. BABEL BEFORE THEM is full of dramatic synth flourishes and backroom drones, thundering drums and powerful vocals, very much building on the idea of Coil rather than a straight copy.