/Tuesday Ten /549 /Tracks of the Month /Feb-24

2024 has started quickly with a whole host of release announcements, new songs and a variety of surprising tours coming up: so unsurprisingly, I’ve got a lot of tracks to cover with twenty featured (again) this month.

/Tuesday Ten /549 /Tracks /Feb-24

/Subject /Tracks of the Month
/Playlists /Spotify / /YouTube
/Related /545/Tracks/Jan-24 /Tuesday Ten/Index
/Details /Tracks this week/20 /Tracks on Spotify Playlist/18 /Duration/69:00

Other coverage may be sporadic at the moment as I’ve just moved house, and there’s a lot to do in the meantime.

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 boundless_
/Step Up
/Step Up

This one didn’t take much convincing to listen to: it was sold to me by a few US-based friends as “90s sample-heavy industrial that’s been listening to both the Thrill Kill Kult and PWEI”. I mean, that pushes a lot of my buttons…

And this EP definitely does. There’s a web of samples peppered through the tracks, groovy rhythms that nod back to the likes of Renegade Soundwave and vintage hip-hop, and a general feeling that this is a hell of a fun throwback. Sure, it’s not reinventing the wheel, but sometimes I just need something I enjoy, and this does that, in spades.

/Fat Dog
/All The Same

Is turn-of-the-millenium industrial suddenly having a moment? Rather more mainstream than the admitted excellence of _the boundless_ is UK group Fat Dog, whose recent single All The Same wouldn’t have sounded out of place at Infest or an industrial night at any point in the past two decades. A stately, grimy groove underpins a catchy track that going on the video, is not half as serious as the music makes it sound. More of this, please.

/Then Comes Silence
/Ride or Die

I’ve written quite a bit about this Swedish goth-rock band in recent years – mainly because they have a knack of writing excellent, anthemic tracks that push my musical buttons. The first single from upcoming album Trickery continues that streak, with Ride or Die being a sleek, melodic beast complete with stabbing synth hooks and slashing guitar chimes, as well as their trademark charge into a massive chorus. Really rather looking forward to the album, now!

/Iron Monkey
/Spleen & Goad

It might be (very much) missing the late Johnny Morrow’s psychotic vocal delivery, but otherwise, the lead track from the second album since the return of Iron Monkey – and in the thirtieth year since they originally formed – still has the filthy, nasty feel that made their sludge-metal sound so threatening (and thrilling). Misanthropizer rolls with a thundering groove and buzzing guitars, in a feel of an unstoppable force that’s simply going to go through you. Their hyper-aggressive, slower metal isn’t for everyone, but if nothing else quite feels heavy enough, Iron Monkey remain the band for you.

/Lord Spikeheart
/The Adept

I thought the chaotic goings-on here sounded familiar – this is the solo project of the lead singer of Kenyan electro-noise ragers DUMA who made a hell of a splash a few years back with their ferocious debut. This dials back on the grind elements and instead goes full-on industrial power, in a two-minute track that is jackhammer beats, threatening vocals and an atmosphere of forbidding musical violence. Yet more proof that industrial can still be fascinating, sometimes you just need to look a bit harder for it.

/Party Cannon
/Weird, But Not Illegal
/Injuries Are Inevitable

Death/slam loons Party Cannon – who are harder, nastier and funnier than most other death and grind bands, frankly – are back with a new album, and it is remarkably based around Action Park, the infamous New Jersey waterpark that was downright dangerous and chronicled in the recent film Class Action Park.

As is usual, the titles are as brilliant as the songs, it appears, and lead single Weird, But Not Illegal is heavier than an anvil, has riffs that could cut through lead and is fully aware that death metal should be fun.

/My Dying Bride
/Thornwyck Hymn
/A Mortal Binding

Having followed the kings of romantic, gothic doom since way back into the nineties, there was something about 2020 album The Ghost of Orion that simply didn’t click for me. Four years on, Thornwyck Hymn has swept all at disappointment away, as this is the My Dying Bride I love. A swooning, dark lament that progresses at their traditional slower pace, there is mournful violin and Aaron’s voice sounds back to his best. The water-borne video is quite something, too.

/Rotting Christ
/Like Father, Like Son
/ΠΡΟ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ (Pro Xristou)

As they pass their thirty-fifth anniversary as a band, these Greek extreme metal titans continue their explorations of the past this year with a new album that is “a fervent tribute to the last Pagan kings who stood resilient against the Christian tide, safeguarding ancient values and knowledge.”

The stirring lead track from the album appears to be about that latter element – the passing of knowledge in ancient culture, passed by actions and words, in times where not everything was written (and indeed, not everyone could read). By doing so, and ensuring it was passed on, it helped preserve what they knew and what they’d learned, so that they could evolve further. The song itself is the kind of stirring anthem that Rotting Christ have long perfected, and should sound amazing live.

/Eyes Wide Open

The passage of time has been kinder to Kittie than the appalling misogynistic treatment that the then-young band received when their debut Spit was released. In retrospect, Spit was a ragingly heavy album, that used samples and electronics in a subtle way to supercharge the best songs (Brackish and Spit – the latter recently covered to astounding effect by Poppy – being two of them).

For their first new material in thirteen years, their new single is a striking return. Chugging riffs and a heavy-as-fuck bottom end, it’s simply very good heavy metal, and that riff that dominates the chorus is *chefs kiss*.

/Shooting Daggers
/Love & Rage

One of a slew of great-sounding new bands out there at the moment are Shooting Daggers, a proudly non-binary, queer and multinational-but-London-based hardcore-punk band, who by their own admission want to turn their anger into positive change. Their new album is a great demonstration of their in-your-face hardcore sounds, with recent single SMUG also great. The pick of the album for me, though, is the 90-second rampage of Wipeout, a song of defiance by skateboarders doing their thing, ignoring sneering male skateboarders.

/Heavy Feelings
/Heavy Feelings EP

The relatively new, transatlantic collaboration between ex-Ganser vocalist Nadia Garofalo and UK-based Ben Shillabeer has returned after a couple of tenatative singles, with an impressive new EP. It builds on that first release with some intriguing new directions, not least the outstanding Bootlicker, built around a punchy drum loop and a fierce vocal from Garofolo that might well be her best vocal performance yet.

/We Can Erase You

Newly announced for Infest this week, initially they appear to be an unfamiliar band – until I looked at the line-up, to find Agency-V features Peter Steer, who has played twice before as part of The Nine and later Tenek. This new project – with Marie Williamson on vocals, and Lloyd Price on synths – definitely has something of a lineage with Steer’s other projects. Mostly in the fact that it is synth-based pop music, full of hooks and a general feeling that I’m going to love them live. The crunchy guitars that are a key part of the mix give it a bit of an edge, too.

/Static & Feeling (Dirty Mix)

After the resurrection of Sheffield goth stalwarts The Way of All Flesh in recent years, guitarist Kelly Dorset is now involved in a(nother) new project, this time a very different, industrial/synthpop duo. This is, I understand, their first single, and the stompy, industrial beats provide a good backing for Kelly’s guitar work and Paul Jackson’s impassioned vocals. I await further material with interest.

/Glass Apple Bonzai
/Brother Bones

Daniel Belasco’s project made a lot of friends when he played at Infest a couple of years back – and what I didn’t know at the time was the difficult times he’d had to deal with in the year before. This new album comes dedicated to Belasco’s late brother, who died during 2021, and the first song from it sparkles with life and hope. There’s always been that bright eighties production and sheen to the G.A.B. sound, but here it’s dialled up a notch to showcase a big, hook-laden song that feels like it might bring the sunshine along with it, after a dank, wet and gloomy winter.

/Principe Valiente
/Something New
/In This Light

The dreamy, downbeat beauty of the last Principe Valiente album Barricades is rather swept away by their latest single, a precursor to new album In This Light, due in May. Apparently the chiming gothic rock that makes up Something New is a return to the band’s roots, and it has to be said that they do this very well. The lovely, film noir stylings of the video suit the sound and delivery excellently, as well.

/St Vincent
/Broken Man
/All Born Screaming

Not that Annie Clark particularly cares about what people think, but the bizarre seventies-retro soft-rock of Daddy’s Home was self-indulgent and, for the most part, rather boring: but then, that might have been the involvement of Jack Antonoff. And prior to that, boring was something that St Vincent had never been.

So thank $DEITY that Clark has produced this one herself, and going on the savagery of Broken Man, things may well be interesting again. This song is electronic pulses and slashing, heavy guitars, and Clark letting rip vocally. The fiery video is quite something, too…

/Arab Strap
/I’m totally fine with it 👍don’t give a fuck anymore 👍

Aidan Moffat has never exactly been a lyricist celebrating the good things in life and love – instead concentrating on the darkness and despair within. The last album, though – which was quite brilliant, too – was an album that showed an unusual empathy with the downtrodden, with less sarcasm than before, and it was really quite affecting. The first single from an oh-so-Arab Strap album title continues that mood, interestingly, as Moffat looks at life through the lens of a woman getting endless abuse and derogatory comments, and how they try and shut out the world. It’s a bleak, but necessary portrait, and another brilliant song from perhaps an unexpected champion of the underclass.

/Isaac Howlett
/House of Cards

With Empathy Test marking a remarkable first decade at the moment (they play London next month), and all on their own terms, having self-released everything, it’s interesting timing to see vocalist Isaac Howlett strike out solo as well.

But then, listening to House of Cards, it begins to make sense. Empathy Test have made their name with lovelorn, synthpop balladry, and while lyrically this is in a similar wheelhouse, this is a far more uptempo track that would never have really suited a release by the parent band. Very much dancefloor oriented, but crucially Howlett loses none of the melodic magic here.

/Kim Gordon
/I’m A Man
/The Collective

Of all the musical routes alternative legend – and she absolutely is – Kim Gordon could have taken on a new solo album, I was not expecting grinding industrial electronics and bass-heavy trap. I’m A Man has this jagged rhythm pattern that sounds like metal being dragged along the ground over the top of slow-paced, booming beats, while Gordon takes a wry view from the point of view of a man who thinks he has it too hard. An absolutely fascinating, and unexpected, track.

/Cigarettes After Sex
/Tejano Blue

It feels like an age since I first heard Greg Gonzalez’s music, but in reality it’s only been 2016 or so since those first singles broke through. In the time since, their dreamy, lust-filled music hasn’t especially evolved, but when doing something well, why fuck with the formula? Thus, Tejano Blue isn’t a huge departure. There is a subtle hint of the Tejano sound of Gonzalez’s native El Paso, as well as a wistfulness around the loss of a relationship. Music for the dark, late nights.

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