Call it a bit of a summer break, but this is the first three-week gap between /Tuesday Ten posts in a long time – life has been busy.
So time to catch up. This is the best of the tracks for July, and then tonight I pick up with the next Livestream (/TheKindaMzkYouLike /029), and there will be another Livestream squeezed in before Infest, as I look ahead to that much-loved festival.
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
/Teeth of the Sea
For well over a decade now, Teeth of the Sea have tossed genre definitions and expectations into the wind. We’ve had mind-melting psychedelic excursions, thundering techno-industrial workouts, delicate electronic ambience – and sometimes all three at once, especially live, where their shows have to be seen (and heard) to be believed. So a new album always feels like an event now, and nearly five years on from the outstanding Wraith, they feel like they’ve changed it up again.
Work on a live soundtrack for Apollo’s Moon Shot at the Science Museum some time ago has bled into the album, as has the work of Frank Herbert, it seems, and lead single Megafragma requires repeated listening. The underlying rhythm pulses like a rapid heartbeat, while synths and (presumably heavily treated) vocal samples ripple through the mix like strafing weaponry as they phase between the speakers. It threatens a climax that never quite arrives, but that appears to be by design – and anyway, the album blurb suggests that if we want our ears blown out, we’ll have other chances. In the meantime, this is a fascinating, chaotic return from one of my favourite, most fearless of bands.
Regular readers of this website – and indeed listeners to our occasional /A Certain Shade of Green livestreams – will know that I’ve long been a fan of Rap Metal, a genre all-too-often associated with knuckle-dragging men and similarly outdated attitudes. Rather newer Leeds-based band Pulverise buck the trend somewhat, with a different outlook and more enlightened lyrics. Musically, they know their references, with down’n’dirty basslines, chugging grooves and more than enough metallic power to light up the ‘pit. This Egyptian-themed (lyrically, at least) track is their first in a few years, and hopefully there’s more to come. See also their previous, shit-kicking track Breaking Point, discovered thanks to a particularly brutal recent Rockfit session…
Mark Trueman stepped in at late notice to replace an unavailable Empathy Test last year at Cold Waves, meaning that I finally got to see his Choke Chain project at close quarters, and it was immediately obvious that live, the punk elements of his influences come right to the fore. On record, at least so far, it was clear that his aim was to bring together both punk and EBM, and this new single – the first taste of his debut full length release, out next month – that alchemy is becoming ever clearer. Underpinned by a classic EBM synth hook and rumbling beats, Trueman roars his vocals like it’s the last thing he might ever since, and that conviction sells the deal. Bring on the Infest show later this month.
/Comfortably Dumb [BLACK MAGNET OVERDOSE MIX]
/White Room Torture
Remixes of death metal bands aren’t especially common, it has to be said, but even if they were this excellent take would still be notable. Jesus Wept provide short, sharp shock tactics with their own music, with catchy, surgical Death Metal that perhaps owes more than a bit to Carcass, while Black Magnet have impressed in recent years with their vicious industrial metal and seems to have positioned them as the new hope in a genre that hasn’t exactly been leaping forward in recent times.
So what happens when the two bands join forces? Black Magnet basically supercharge every element, with thunderous booms of bass and a mechanical force that turns this into a monstrous, cyborg upgrade (complete with electronic blast-beats). Quite possibly the best remix I’ve heard in 2023.
/Sins of the Future
A relatively new project from two artists working together from far away (one in California, one in Denmark) has resulted in an excellent album that draws on EBM and classic, 90s electro-industrial. The pick of the album for me is late-on banger Pale Aggressor, which nods in particular to early-era FLA in the dense synths, heavy rhythms and sparse vocals and should detonate sympathetic dancefloors. Indeed I intended to play it last week in my sets at Work! (To Live) 5 but I ran out of time…
/EBM Way of Life
The ever-entertaining, strictly-old school Swedish EBM duo of Container 90 have just this past week released their fourth album, which doesn’t especially move the dial on what they do. But then, why should it? EBM lifers that are happy to write dancefloor rippers about all kinds of subjects, from politics to musical life, to sport and even tea (!), it’s clear that they do this because they love it. This album highlight – which is a tad slower paced than some other tracks here – does exactly what it says on the tin, even to the hook of “We let the bassline lead the way“. Fair.
/Burn Your Bible
/God Is Dead
The self-styled Satanic doo-wop of Twin Temple has gained an awful lot of fans (and attention!) in recent years, much of which appears to be thanks to breathless word of mouth. A second album felt like a long-time coming, mind, and happily this first new single from it doesn’t disappoint. As gloriously sacrilegious as ever, Alexandra James’s striking, powerful vocals sweeten the pill as she sings of sex, Satan and desire. Business as usual, then, but just that bit bigger and better. I can’t wait to see what happens when the mainstream discovers them, we might need to get the popcorn in for that…
/Dead Blood Cells
The first release with new singer Lilith Firechild sees Kent-based industrial group Dead Blood Cells moving on. Rather different to last single Locked Away, which came out at the turn of the year, this sees a driving darkwave rhythm led astray by Firechild’s dramatic vocals – and which circles the dancefloor before spiralling out of control as the track collapses in on itself, as if all energy has been expended.
If only I’d had this to play last week: Diesel Dudes are back with more punishing EBM to get you fit and hench. The bruising opening track to the album is Zamboni, which appears to refer to ice rinks, fitness and fighting. As you do. The video is as tongue-in-cheek as it comes, as they play at being low-level gangsters running an ice rink, as far as I can tell. EBM can sometimes be a bit too serious: DIESEL DUDES are here to remind you that it can be good and fun.
/Explosions In The Sky
/Ten Billion People
Not, we are assured, the end of Explosions in the Sky: instead the band examining the idea of ending on their new album. Things have been pretty dark and bleak in recent years, and perhaps the return to their expansive, somehow uplifting post-rock core is something that might help some listeners get through everything. This track – the opener to their new album – does what the band have always done so well. They build and pull back, build and pull back, a wordless swell of guitars, drums and piano that doesn’t require an almighty rush of noise to complete it. They are back, take their hand, let’s go.