Tuesday Ten: 155: Tracks of the Month (April 2012)

A new month, therefore ten new songs you should hear about.


Track of the Month

A World With No Relief
Electronic Saviors 2: Recurrence

How on earth have I missed this band before? This track doesn’t make my “here is one I missed earlier” corner only by virtue of it being so good. And, too, this will not be the only track from this monster (8CD, for the premium edition!) compilation that only just made it through my door, courtesy of the postman, a week or two ago. It has been noted elsewhere about the importance of the first track of a compilation recently (I can’t imagine many people listen to them on shuffle in the first instance, do they?), and this compilation has, as I might have expected, got it spot on.

So: I’ve seen Tenek in support lineups at gigs I’ve attended recently, but not seen them. More fool me, now I hear this, and a bit of digging for connections, after the general sound was so familiar, confirmed my initial thought – it is Geoff from The Nine. Now, I was a bit of a fan of that band, still have the CDs, and still listen to them. And whether the band like the connection or not, this doesn’t half sound like his previous: so, melodic electronic rock(ish). But in a great way: the sound is that bit punchier, his voice that bit stronger, and the melodies and, critically, the chorus are absolute killers.

Monster (v2)
Electronic Saviors 2: Recurrence

Here is another from that comp. Last time Interlace had the futurepop-anthem-in-waiting, the unusually named 23RAINYDAYS take the mantle here. Apparently a band that have been around for sometime, and described as “electronic gothic rock”, apparently, but here this is straight-up futurepop of the highest order, with vocal harmonies, oh-so-slightly-cheesy synths, and a chorus you can probably hear on other planets.

The Escape
Dependence 2012

I think that when I finally get around putting all of the tracks and artists ever featured in my Tuesday Ten series, music involving Frank Spinath will be at the top of “most featured”. There is a reason for this, of course – he has never put a foot wrong. And after a few years dedicating time to his other projects (Edge of Dawn, Ghost & Writer, various guest appearances), this is the first genuinely new Seabound song in five or six years. Not that you’d know it – this is back to their icily understated sound, with that eerie sense of controlled calm, seemingly following straight on from the quite glorious Double Crosser. No dancefloor anthem, of course, but god it is good. So, about that long promised new album, eh?

Die Krupps

Another band that are back, but after a much shorter absence. I thought their “comeback” EP a couple of years back was actually kinda dull, with none of the snarl and style that the band had throughout their heyday (and revisted brilliantly on Too Much History). This, though, is much, much better. A thumping, muscular EBM rhythm, guitars filling the gaps, and Jurgen growling away. The only thing seems to be missing, really, is much of a hook. Not that will matter on the dancefloor, I guess… 

Marc Heal
The Doll (rough mix)

(no longer available)

And another return. So, no more Cubanate, but there is music coming from Marc Heal after all. And not surprisingly, it is aggressive, guitar-based industrial. Well, what else did we expect? The surprise, perhaps, is that this doesn’t half sound like KMFDM. At least until Marc lets rip with his bellowing voice, anyway, at which point it could only be him. An intriguing new start, this: what the other promised tracks sound like is now of great interest.

Come and See
Electronic Saviors 2: Recurrence

Ok, so a third one off ES:2. And this is one that takes me back a long, long way. The first Decree track I’ve heard in ages, and it is a crushing, metallic monster. But it takes a while to pull itself out of the murk, brooding and pulsing with inferred power, before finally letting rip and sounding like a very angry man with an enormous axe to grind. Grind being the operative word, too, as guitars and electronics squeal like they are being forged from sheet metal, and Sean Lawson must be nearly bursting blood vessels with his raging vocals. Perhaps I really did miss a trick not picking up Fateless last year.

Death Grips
The Money Store

Last year Death Grips released an album that spread by word of mouth – and I’ll admit that it took me ages to pick up on it. Once I did nail it down, I was hooked instantly – a rampaging melting pot of samples, beats and searingly aggressive raps. Not far off industrial in its intensity, I can’t have been the only one that raised my eyebrows at them nailing a major label deal. So, the second album is here already. I’ve not bought it yet – that will wait until payday on Friday – but this track, the closing one, is simply astonishing. The anger and volume is here, but unexpectedly, so is a monstrous, club anthem sound. Seemingly constructed from about fifteen samples, including Nitzer Ebb, if I’m not mistaken, it is notice that when on form, Death Grips are now one of the most forward-looking acts around.

We Breathe
Isolate EP

(no longer available)

A side-project, or new project, from a member of Digicore, as I understand, this is really quite something. Downbeat, pitch-dark electronics, with an elegant female vocal over the top, other tracks on this EP dabble in quasi-dubstep rhythms, but this is not far off trip-hop, or a million miles away from How To Destroy Angels. Free to download, with a “tip jar”, this is well worth your time and a tip, as it were.

Family Crest
Vertical Mass Grave

Oh yeah, Jason Novak from the cracknation crew returns with a more metallic project. Well, I say returns – I’d totally missed this band until I saw a link to this track. Oddly enough, it isn’t really all *that* far from the later Acumen Nation material, which was frequently metal as fuck. But this is heavy, heavy tech metal, with barely any reliance on electronics at all, aside from some clever sampling trickery early on that seems to place the samples in a part of the mix that aren’t coming directly from the speakers. Anyway, those who like their metal more challenging than just chugging rhythms and guitar solos, this is for you.

Fiona Apple
Every Single Night
The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do

It’s been a while since I paid much attention to Fiona Apple’s music, I must confess. However I adored her first album Tidal, and with the fuss about her first gigs in a while recently (still no gigs outside the US, this time yet, mind), I thought I’d give the first new track a go. And you know what? There is something about this that really is quite special – a small, delicate ballad, or so it seems – until the chorus arrives, with a backing choir that had me going Oh. My. God. the first time around. And every time since. And yes, I know she is hugely divisive, pretentious, etc – just look at that new album title. But get past the reputation and try the song instead. Some of you at least may be rather surprised by what you hear.

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