For my first Tuesday Ten in nearly a month, it’s back to the usual monthly round-up of things you need to hear.
Track of the month
As chance would have it, I received this track on promo the day after last months tracks of the month – and had I received it one day earlier, it would instantly have become track of the month for last month, instead of this one. The first notice that things had changed with this band was the brilliant and-all-too-short Do You Feel The Same (runner-up in my tracks of the year 2009) – where industrial met pop, and got along famously. Partly as a result of that song, there has been a buzz building for this now-long awaited album for some time, and this has only been heightened by a few ecstatic reviews of the album, and for me by the two promo tracks I received. Basically, this track takes the now long-out- of-fashion idea of “futurepop” and basically takes every other so-called peer back to school. This is glorious – a build, a beat, an incessant vocal…and then an utter monster of a hook and chorus that should see this band in the singles charts the world over. This is far too good to be just for the industrial scene – it is pop music, pure and simple, going for the mainstream by stealth, as it still has a hard-edged industrial feel to the rhythms. I’ll even suggest now that this might well be the best track I hear in all of 2011. The whole album, by the way, is almost as wonderful as this.
Written In Blood
This Is Forever
Wow, I fucked up missing out on this when it got released. Justin Warfield going electro-goth, and it is astonishing. A driving, oh-so-slightly filthy track that hints at a whole word of fun going on in the shadows of a sordid one-night-stand. Yes, it’s another band with an obvious debt to Joy Division, New Order and a whole host of eighties goth, but when they come up with songs like this I’ll forgive them all of it. The video is rather striking, too (and rather NSFW). Amazing to think that Justin Warfield was the vocalist on this, as a comparison…
Virus (Memmaker Remix)
It’s probably no great surprise that a few elements of this month’s rundown are coloured by my time in Canada. However this is one of only two tracks from a release that I picked up while out there, and indeed the only one from a band that I actually saw live. No indictment of the festival – I just simply have too much to cover this month! Anyway, this band were definitely my find of the festival. I’d heard of them before, just not got ’round to hearing them aside from a couple of tracks prior to seeing them live – oh, and seeing the pre-Kinetik club night go absolutely and utterly batshit to this. Ok, so it’s bad form to recommend a band on the strength of a remix, I know, but this is definitely worth your time – Memmaker have turned an already stompy dancefloor tune into a cast-iron dancefloor monster, that just takes a little time to get going. The disadvantage of the slow start was to empty the dancefloor initially when I dropped it at Autonomy on Saturday…but as it got going the dancefloor just kept on filling again. Not bad for a track most of the punters will never have heard. Anyway, both albums are well worth picking up (especially the industrial-as-fuck metal casing, with bolts, limited editions!) – top quality tribal-influenced industrial (noise) that has enough going on to keep you interested off the dancefloor, too.
I got this album on promo about a month or so ago, and it has taken a little while to get around to listening to it in full. Now I have, it’s certainly worth mentioning here as it is an impressive album of industrial aggression, with a surprising use of vocals in this style of music that actually works pretty well. The album got my attention in the first place, though, for the cover of Chemlab‘s Derailer. Perhaps wisely, not a great deal has been done with it – other than to make the production and sound even more dense than the original – and Matt Fanale (of Caustic fame, of course) delivers a marvellously snarling vocal for the track.
Kill Your TV
Kill Your TV EP
Talking of noisy, this brute of an EP arrived in my inbox while I was away in Canada at Kinetik. And…holy fucking shit. Vendetta Music are doing a great job of hunting down some seriously nasty rhythmic industrial at present, and going on this first release, they are apt labelmates for W.A.S.T.E.. The title track is the pick of the bunch, a writhing squall of pounding rhythms and screeching noise, and of course some snappy samples. For dancefloors who like their industrial very noisy indeed…
An EP at last, five or six years after I first heard Teenage Hitman (which is also on this EP). Looking back, I rather curtly dismissed it, too, in my review of the Modern Destruction compilation in February 2006. I wholeheartedly retract that now, as over time the track has grown on me enormously. And, it should be added, it is accompanied by four other quite brilliant tracks on this EP, of which the opening track Rise is the strongest. A bubbling cauldron of electronics, with multiple elements meshing together to make an impressive, unashamedly “old-school” industrial track. I really like the heavily-treated vocals, too. Now, about that album…
Another comeback for one of the most underrated bands from the “nu metal” scene – although Cold were only ever part of the “scene” by connection, musically being rather darker and with no rapping to be seen. I was a big, big fan of the first three albums, but really lost my love somewhat thanks to the underwhelming A Different Kind of Pain prior to their split. So now, they’ve reformed (yep, another one), and have come back with this – it starts with an insistent, treated-to-fuck guitar line, and builds into one of the best songs Cold have ever released. Here’s hoping that the rest of Superfiction is as good as this.
What with the lengthy (and seemingly finally resolved) delays for the new Skinny Puppy album, although I’ll believe it when I see it in my hands at last – I have to confess that I was a little surprised to find a new ohGr album coming in the meantime. Happily, this new album is vastly better than anything he has put his name to since his first solo album (Welt) which sounded so different to just about everything else at the time, and, frankly, since. Somewhere over the past year or so, he has managed to be able to tap into something resembling a similar manic energy to that found on Welt, and no more is this clear than on the opening track 101. The thundering drums have a Skinny Puppy feel to them, the vocals could only be ohGr, but there is something about the melody, the refrains that bury their way into your brain, and the clean production that really make this an essential track.
Flat Black Philosophy
(no longer available)
I have this feeling that I’ve overlooked mentioning this band in past months. Which really is something I ought to rectify. Yet another intriguing release from Bit Riot, DEFCON are considerably heavier than a number of their labelmates – basically being industrial blackened metal (although the emphasis here is on the industrial). And of the tracks on the album, this the one that I keep coming back to. Adventurous dancefloors might well lap this up – a growling, punishing rhythm with enough bleeps to keep the rivetheads going and enough riffs to keep the metalheads paying attention too.
Lain With The Wolf
Redemption at the Puritan’s Hand
One problem in my current way of life is that I never quite have the time to enjoy music as I maybe used to – which means that unless I’m really driven to, delving into complete albums time after time can be quite difficult. Particularly with my level of music purchasing. So I must confess that this album is one that I’ve not had the opportunity to listen to as much as it perhaps requires – particularly as it is clearly not as immediate an album as previous album To The Nameless Dead was (Number Four in my albums of 2007 list, and it has only got better in the time since). Anyway, this is the “death” album, apparently, and it’s full of pitch-dark musings on mortality. So, business as usual for Primordial, but they continue to do a great job of making their songs actually say something, even if it sometimes takes a while to pick up exactly what. This track is lengthy, as is the rest of the album (nothing is under six minutes here, most of it well over seven), but that time is used well to unfold an epic track that appears to be dealing with the idea of a warrior dealing with their conscience. The music is suitably regal and battle-worn, and has one of those spine-tingling moments when Nemtheanga’s vocals join the fray at the same time as the riffage. My only complaint thus far about this band? Their apparent distaste for playing live in the UK…