My usual monthly round-up of new stuff I think you should hear.
Track of the Month
My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky
You know, I never, ever thought I’d hear new material from Swans ever again. So I have to admit that I’m beside myself with joy at it actually happening, and even happier that it is everything I could have hoped for. Eden Prison is a grindingly heavy, pitch dark, anguished howl that only Michael Gira could write – and you can hear it on the link above. The only downside is that the album has been delayed a little, into early October, so I have even longer to wait. Gah! Although this writeup and interview with Gira gives us an insight into the album, and it certainly sounds like it could be brilliant. I live in hope, and more than a little trepidation, despite the quality of this – I guess it’s my usual nervousness over my favourite bands reforming…
I’m not totally sure what it was that caused these guys to reconvene and release a new album, but I’m really, really glad they did. I’ll confess I wasn’t that keen on the first track that they previewed from it – Dark Horse, and I’m still not, but the rest of this album is fantastic. Indeed, picking a particular track was pretty hard, but for now I’ve settled on Beg, for it’s staccato rhythm, the jagged guitars that are the KT signature, pretty much, and then the urgent, burning chorus. Welcome back, and don’t make us wait so long again, eh? *grin*
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
I’ll be picking up the new album tomorrow, but in the meantime I have this track to keep me going, the first one I’ve heard from it in it’s entirety. And this track is more than a little unexpected – a synthpop core is a direction I never thought the band would take – but the sweet vocals from Régine Chassagne suit this perfectly. Somehow the band continue to release tracks so life affirming that it beggars belief, but I want them to keep doing it, as there is no (indie) band in the world that can even come remotely close to this.
Isn’t It Strange
State of Decay
One of a couple of artists at this year’s Infest that I’ve heard little or nothing of before, with only a month or so to go I thought it time to start catching up. There is something of Marsheaux’s sleek synthpop in their sound, but this track has rather more of a steel backbone and sounds all the better for it. Propelled by a thumping rhythm, some seriously eighties synths…and oh, that chorus. It’s glorious.
København Robotic Youth
How to Enlist in a Robot Uprising [Deluxe Edition]
So, anyone care to explain how on earth this track was omitted from the original release of this album in the first place? A storming dancefloor attack that has finally been released now that Artoffact have picked up the out-of-print original, put simply it’s worth the price of the re-issue alone (although the remix CD is pretty damned good, too). I’m hoping that their live performance at Infest is as sparkling as this, anyway.
This lot have got themselves quite a name for bruising electro-industrial that is aimed at nowhere other than the dancefloor in recent years, and the new album ups the ante even further. Judicious use of sampling adds “vocals”, if you will, but otherwise this is plainly and simply music to dance to. And they are swiftly becoming one of the best artists in the electro-industrial sphere at providing it.
Reason and Abstract
After the demise of Interlock, I’ve been waiting with interest to see what Hal Sinden did next with his new project talanas. And frankly, it’s rather different to what I may have expected. To be straight, this is nothing like Interlock, this is proggy-blackened-death-metal, or something like it. There are chugging, viciously heavy moments, there are melodic interludes, there is an audible chorus. And at points, it doesn’t half sound like Ihsahn’s solo material (not that this is a bad thing at all). Another interesting UK metal band who are actually striking off in directions that others aren’t. Thank christ for that.
Dog Eat Dog
Dog Eat Dog EP
The more things change…the more Hocico stay broadly the same. Despite a move to Germany, and reputed new influences to their sound, there isn’t a great deal that has changed here. It still has the dark, harsh sound, with distorted vocals, prominent synth hooks and pretty much the same rhythm that they’ve always used. The thing is, I’d probably complain if they did change style…
Sometimes you stumble across artists in the strangest of places, and this one was found for free linked from an LJ community somewhere. Grimy, metallic industrial noise, with off-kilter rhythms and the feel of machinery pounding out the track from metal presses. Needless to say, I need to find more from this artist.
Another found from the internet somewhere, this is a Neurosis-esque band formed by two women from Canada. And it sounds great. It’s sludgy, doomy, and really fucking heavy. In fact, considerably heavier than you might expect from a two (wo)man band. Now, time to go and get the album…