So here we are into another month (May already, wtf?), and so it’s time for my now semi-monthly rundown of tracks that I love right now.
/Tuesday Ten/004/Tracks of the Month/April 2007
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. 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 first appeared last year on a compilation [Accession Records Vol.3], as the first taste of what was to come from Tom Shear’s now long-running electro-EBM project. It was fantastic then, and it’s reworked state is even better as the opening track on new album Meta. Underpinned – unusually – by a ticking clock and then the more usual A23 staples of a great beat, meticulous production and a soaring chorus, it all meshes wonderfully into the best A23 track in years.
/Water Is Not Enough
/Given To The Rising
The kings of experimental, slow and intense metal are back with their first album in a good few years, and if this track is anything to go by (it is on the Terrorizer cover CD this month) we are in for a treat yet again. Nothing has really changed all that much – it is still gloomy, rumbling doom for the most part, with the almost bluesy vocals, the chugging riffs, the samples and electronics that divebomb out of nowhere all still present and correct. There are many bands that have tried to replicate what these guys do, but none come close to this.
/Front Line Assembly
A real throwback, this. Although it is on the new remix album, as one of the three new tracks, it sounds for all the world that it comes straight from the band’s mid-nineties heyday. Built on a hulking great beat that could be used to rip holes in the wall, it is taken one step further by Bill Leeb’s furious (and treated-to-fuck, of course) vocal delivery. It sits alongside Buried Alive from last year’s Artificial Soldier as the best evidence that Leeb and co. still have what it takes…
One of the teasers from the forthcoming redux/remix of Transhuman [read my review of the original release here], this sounds like a storming rework of probably the heaviest track on the album. Out go the vocal treatments, and instead of a studio construction, the whole thing sounds live and nearly jumps out of the speakers at you.
/Nine Inch Nails
After the messy With Teeth, I really wasn’t expecting an album as good as Year Zero. Amid the many great tracks and ideas – some of the electronic stuff going on over the course of this album is amazing – to me, this track really stands out. Layer after layer is added and then stripped away in a seething attack on religious extremism, and at a push could just become a dancefloor hit.
/Ordo Ad Chao
The Black Metal band with quite probably the murkiest past of all (no, really) are back, and against all expectations, they sound awesome. Vocalist Atilla is back, and his howls from the pits of hell sound as evil as it gets. The production is caked in grime, exactly as it should be, but it sounds huge. Finally, a Black Metal band goes back to basics using decent technology, and the results are amazing. This track is the sprawling, ten-minute centrepiece of the album. Turn it up loud and join them in hell…
The storming live opener from their Infest show last year, it is probably one of my most-listened-to songs. A short and snappy track that shows off their hip-hop leanings to great effect (Ned Kirby’s vocal delivery is what keeps the pace of the track up, not the beats), it’s a bit of gem that isn’t heard in clubs and stuff all that often…
This album has got better and better, incredibly, since I got hold of it last month. And after many repeated listens, this has emerged as the best track here – a nine-minute monster of a thrash track, with some incredible, galloping dual-guitar runs that coil ever-tighter, and we have a track that really will sound awesome live…
/Electronic Battle Weapon
One of the new tracks on the Modulate EP, this is yet another stomping dancefloor track from an EP that seems to be doing really rather well. It sounds fantastic live, too.
/Let’s Go Dark
On the first few listens, this new GodMod album sounds a bit patchy, and the whole “spooky” theme to the album sounds somewhat contrived. Still, it took me a while to get into Viscera, so I’ll give it a chance yet. This track was previewed before release and is one of the most immediate tracks – so why it is hidden away as the last track is beyond me. Basically, it is nothing especially ground-breaking – GodMod as they should be, hissing and snarling electro – but when they click it works really, really well.
This is a bit of a blast from the past – one of the most innovative, and sadly underrated British Metal bands of the past ten years or so – that came up on random last week. I hadn’t heard it in ages, either. This was probably the first track that many people heard of these guys, and their intelligent, complex and original sound never sounded better than on this track.