/Tuesday Ten /560 /Tracks of the Month /June 2024

It’s been a busy, and sometimes chaotic past month, hence why this month’s /Tracks of the Month post is a week later than usual.

/Tuesday Ten /560 /Tracks

/Subject /Tracks of the Month
/Playlists /Spotify / /YouTube
/Related /558/Tracks/May-24 /Tuesday Ten/Index
/Details /Tracks this week/10 /Tracks on Spotify Playlist/9 /Duration/41:22

Sometimes, other things have to take precedence, and that’s why there hasn’t been so much in the way of posts in the past few weeks. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up again soon, but we shall see.

Anyway, in the meantime, here’s the best ten tracks of the past month (time constraints meant I had to hold over a few songs until next month, too).

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

/This Is Not A Prayer
/American Standard

Uniform have long been a band of ferocious power, but even they outdo themselves with the first track from their upcoming release American Standard. With lyrics seemingly co-written with cult writers B.R. Yeager and Maggie Siebert, it seems to have inspired the kind of aural savagery that reminds of early Swans – particularly the use of two drummers, but also in the near-seven-minute length of the track – while Michael Berdan roars his vocals at the limits of physical endurance. Oh yes, Uniform are a lot to take in, but as a band that deal with psychological extremes, right now they are pretty much untouchable.

/The Jesus Lizard
/Hide & Seek

Twenty-six years since their last album (Blue), and after a few sporadic reformations, The Jesus Lizard dropped a new single and upcoming album out of nowhere early last month. And in the bands’ world, not a lot has changed. They are still doing the same ripping, depraved rock music they’ve always done – with one of the best rhythm sections in rock, squalling guitars and of course David Yow beaming in one of his tales from somewhere else entirely. In this case, he’s grumbling about a witch that fucked him up, it seems, but it’s a something of a sideshow to what is a phenomenal, muscular track that I cannot wait to hear live in January.

/Mercury Rev
/Born Horses

Pitchfork’s lovely Sunday Review on Yerself Is Steam back in February absolutely nailed the old chaos of this most beloved and strange band:
In their formative years, Mercury Rev really did sound like a careening bus headed towards a fiery crash — one where half the people on board were frantically fighting each other for control of the wheel, and the other half were in the back obliviously singing nursery rhymes as the whole bucket of bolts went up in flames.
I’ve followed and adored this band ever since I first heard Yerself Is Steam as a young teenager, and they’ve blown my mind on many occasions – both live and on record. Last album The Light In You, nine years ago, was a wondrous return, and I’m still hoping the old magic is there for this new album.

Patterns, as the lead track for the new album, is a strange one. Jonathan Donahue is looking at bigger pictures here, finding patterns and links in everything that he’s seeing, and there’s that sense of wonder that has driven this band in ways that makes you genuinely believe that this band have no idea of the magic they create for their listeners. The nods to old-world musical grandeur is still there, it’s aiming for the stars, and there’s a sparkle here that once again, has me wanting more. A warm welcome back.

/ŋƎŴ ĐεΜºɳϞ
/†​Ħ​Ξ Ŋ​Λ​ʈ​Ʉ​ɍ​Ǝ ºƒ m​₳​Ɲ

A band I’ve featured regularly on this site over the years is German Bodywave duo Amnistia. Their commitment to their chosen style is impressive, a hybrid of EBM and electro-industrial which is equally at home with slamming dancefloor tracks as it is more reflective pieces, and doing both very well. Their instantly recognisable style is shown nicely on ŋƎŴ ĐεΜºɳϞ (I’m so glad I can cut-and-paste these ASCII-abusing titles!), that ebbs and flows between rage and calm, has some lovely choral samples, and lyrically appears to be a pointed jab at narcissistic abusers…

/Last Day At The Institute

Another long-time favourite of this site are Canadian group Encephalon, who like Amnistia have long been exploring older industrial styles and refashioning them in their own image. Encephalon went down a sci-fi-influenced, conceptual rabbit hole some time ago and judging on this ominous new single, the upcoming album is presumably continuing that journey. Like the video, there is a distinct feel of retro-futurism going on, and while the track builds and builds, I’ve got this feeling something – indeed quite a lot – is being held back. I’m expecting this to make more sense in time…

/In The Headlights
/The Machine In The Ghost

Also announced, at last, recently, was the first Haujobb album in nearly a decade, and keeping with the bands’ long-held view of constantly evolving and moving forward, this marvellous new song starts a new chapter. In The Headlights is stark, and unforgiving. Stately, thumping drums pound out the heartbeat of the song, and rather than a chorus there are blasts of synths like bright lasers. It’s unmistakeably Haujobb, mind, and all the better for it.

/Oransi Pazuzu

The Finnish, psych-black metallers return with the first taste of album number five, and things have got even weirder. There are bass drops, vocals that howl of horrors from the edge of the world, trippy, electronic-based rhythms that owe more to Massive Attack at their darkest than any of their Black Metal forebears, and I can’t help feel with this track that we’re being hung over the abyss, ready to drop in. Buckle up folks, where they are taking us next I’ve no idea.

/Gunpoint X
/Guns Guns Guns (BFG Remix)
/Perfection Of Human Error Remix EP

Blimey, here’s a band that has been listening to classic Ministry. This Glasgow band are playing in Ashford in November and going on this track alone, I think I’m going to be heading down to find out more. A relentless, guitar-based industrial thumper that’s full of well-placed samples, and is a sneering takedown of US gun culture that very much takes cues from what Al Jourgensen has been doing for decades. That said, the production is punchy as fuck and I could see this hammering holes in dancefloors (in the right kind of clubs): bring on November.

/Desperate Journalist
/Unsympathetic Pts 1 & 2
/No Hero

One of London’s best bands right now return with their fifth album later this year. The first single from it is a six-minute epic, one that rolls forward on Simon Drowner’s relentless bassline, before switching entirely for the final minute or two into a dramatic, shoegazey fever dream that is over all too quickly. Desperate Journalist have come a long way in a decade, and their distinctive sound in 2024 is a very impressive one indeed.

/Imposing Will
/Every Bridge Burning

We close this week with the shortest song here: the brutality of metallic hardcore/powerviolence band NAILS, whom we last heard from a good few years back. A new line-up has been created for this release, but their sheer force has not dimmed one bit: this is eighty-two seconds of sludgy riffs, galloping pace, a general feel of violence and a slow-motion breakdown to complete things that is likely going to absolutely destroy live.

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