How fast is this year passing? I blink and we’re already into May, and thus it is time for the latest round-up of the best tracks that have passed my way.
There were a couple more tracks that I wanted to include, but as they aren’t shareable yet, they will need to wait until next month – my policy is that if I want to write about a song, there must be a way for me to share it (streamable) here legally.
Anyway, on with the show.
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
/The Place To Be
downset. frontman Rey Oropeza is a hardcore lifer. Leading his bands (originally Social Justice, which morphed into downset. in 1992) since the late eighties, with a few breaks inbetween, it’s a thrill to see the much-loved LA rap-hardcore crew return at last. Their first single back was appropriately released on 29-April (if you know the band, you’ll know), and sure, it makes a few nods to their past, but it sounds fresh and snarlingly new. Welcome back. Rey is still seething with Anger at the oppression and and poverty in LA, but he’s also a voice (as ever) of positivity, as clearly loves his city too, despite the failings, and this song balances both brilliantly.
/Until The Day I Die
Australian industrial-noise artists KOLLAPS appear not to have allowed the past couple of years to mellow their sound one iota – not, perhaps, that I’d really expect it to. The opener to their third, upcoming, album is three minutes of pulsing noise and sampled howls that has a sudden, shocking, jump in volume halfway through to spectacular effect. The other track released so far, by the way, is just as nasty. The Hand of Death adds in a barrage of percussion using various metal implements and a general feeling that they are ready to destroy everything in their path.
/Enter The Flesh
First heard yesterday on the BBC 6 Music All Day Rage, it turned out that the grimy, sludgy doom of the title track wasn’t exactly telling us everything about this new band. Elsewhere, they lean into savage grindcore, industrial electronics and thundering tech-metal – and all of this in just twenty minutes. Two of those minutes are taken up by the rampaging roar of Enter the Flesh, a track stuffed with Riffs, Blast Beats and bellowed vocals that suggest there might be serious damage inflicted in moshpits when played live.
One of the hits of Infest 2016, German electro-industrial (perhaps even leaning into Futurepop) group RROYCE have been carving themselves a niche in recent years, and with their latest single, I reckon they sound better than ever. The song has a perhaps harder edge than some of their material, and it kicks up into a storming, anthemic chorus that I could very much see being roared along to by crowds at gigs to come. Add to that an absolutely fabulous video that includes entertaining use of RROYCE and goth puppets. Get on it.
/Every Now and Then
/Every Now and Then EP
Also returning this past month have been German electro-industrial veterans Solitary Experiments, whose new single is a reflective, perhaps somewhat downbeat song that rather reflects these uncertain times. This isn’t exactly new territory for SE, who’ve long peppered their albums with excellent ballads, but this is a little more faster-paced song that is about emotional and personal support in a time where many people have been honest enough to ask as much. A new album is coming, apparently, and I’ll be interested to see what direction they take on it.
/The Night Falls
Let’s be clear here – the last thing listening to Greyhound will do is allow you to sleep. Steffen Lehmann (as it appears Greyhound is he alone, these days) is an old hand at this now, Greyhound having been a presence in industrial noise for over two decades, and this is the ninth album under the name. At points, they have been unremittingly extreme (they were one of the first artists my wife banned me from playing in her presence, a great many years ago), but interestingly in recent years they have, perhaps, dialled back the noise a bit and added a bit more rhythm – and perhaps light and shade, too. The Night Falls, though, feels like old-school Greyhound. Pummeling rhythms, a punchy mix and a general sense of overwhelming noise. Just as I suspect Greyhound likes it.
/Ashes to Dust
I was rather a fan of Tal Kliger’s earlier work as Nuclear Sun in the mid-part of the last decade, and after a fair bit of looking back – in the form of older demos and a host of intriguing covers – his new album is at last nearly here. The Reason is a tour-de-force of glitchy industrial, groovy metal guitars and immense vocal hooks, as Kliger offers a searing takedown of someone in some style. A great return and I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the album later this week.
/It’s Time…To Rise From The Grave
I should perhaps listen to more extreme metal again – although attending Incineration Festival this weekend should get me back in the habit. In the meantime, here’s US band Undeath, whose latest album is a ferocious, entertaining thirty-five minutes that ensures there are memorable hooks amid the death metal carnage – as well as the usual songs about death, zombies and killing. In an album that’s almost all highlights, mind, Necrobionics stands out for the neck-snapping bounce of rhythmic force and a guttural roar that’s likely to require vocal cord surgery in time.
/tick tick tick
Stephen Mallinder has long been acknowledged as an industrial pioneer – alongside Richard Kirk and Chris Watson, his work in Cabaret Voltaire helped sow the seeds of early industrial music, as well as giving countless other bands a leg up in their native Sheffield thanks to their long-time studio Western Works (now of course long gone). But in recent years, Mallinder has begun working with other bands and more recently begun releasing solo work again, as if his curiosity around electronic music has been piqued again. Hush is a sleek, industrial-funk track in some respects, but built around techno BPMs, and the result is a warm, engaging track that has much to enjoy across the six-minute runtime.
/Landscape Body Machine
/No Cable 2022
/No Cable 2022 Remix EP
Back in 1997, Craig Huxtable released a LBM track that sampled a foul-mouthed rant to a cable company – and twenty-five years on, that celebrated track has had a rework and brush-up. It isn’t exactly Pimp My Ride – you can compare to the remastered original on last years’ Structure reissue – but there is a noticeable move toward a heavier, bass-heavy drum pattern and warmer synths, and perhaps a generally richer sound as befits twenty-five years of technological advances in electronic music. Also worthy of note are the remixes here (from Urceus Exit (an unexpected revival of that project, perhaps?), Slighter, Caustic and The Gothsicles).