Tuesday Ten: 232: Tracks of the Month (May 2015)

Been a bit of a quiet month on amodelofcontrol.com, as other parts of life have got in the way. But things are now ramping up again, with a number of posts and reviews to come.

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In the meantime, though, here’s the ten tracks that have rocked my world this month.

Track of the Month

Climate Change Denial
Forms of Hands 15

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Surely the only industrial-noise artist extant making socially-conscious (as opposed to politically conscious like labelmates SKET) music, Udo Wiessmann and Eric de Vries’ brutal “drum’n’noise” attack is undimmed even after over twenty years. This track – their first new one in a little while (and it’s been long enough now since Disturbance, their last album proper) – is an absolute brute, a firestorm of distorted drum rhythms and screeching rhythms that conjure up images of a ravaged earth when environmental collapse finally occurs, which is surely the point. The striking video only adds to the effect.

Myth of Building Bridges
Frozen Niagara Falls

A bit out of nowhere, this blindsided me the other week and left me in awe – this is an exceptional noise-electronics album, of epic scope and length, somewhere around ninety minutes in length and to some people will not be an easy listen at all. But get beyond the scorched-earth, crackling noise that acts as an undercurrent, and instead let the sweet string melodies and synth washes sweep past your ears. An almost perfect yin/yang balance of ugliness and beauty, the whole album, never mind this brilliant opening track, is absolutely extraordinary and is easily the best album of the year thus far.

Author & Punisher
Callous and Hoof
Milk En Honing

Tristan Shone returns with another slab of doom-industrial, and has returned here, in part at least, to the brutality of Terrorbird. Electronics are distorted into sounds that they shouldn’t be making, beats hit like hammers, and there is seven minutes of this to enjoy (or endure, if this isn’t your thing). Taking the odd cue from Godflesh, too, particularly in the slower, more ominous sections, is no bad thing, either. An artist well worth seeing live, too, and I look forward to another chance at least once this year yet.

Sunday Morning
Wrapped In Plastic

The debut album from Blindness has been a long, long time coming, but having heard the whole thing a few times now (a review is nearly complete, I promise!), it delivers on the promise that this band have had for ages now. The pick of the album for me is this track, like a few on the album a long-time part of their live repertoire. Rather than the squalling guitar effects and bitter, furious vocals that are their perhaps more regular sound, this song has a more languid air that befits the title, a near trip-hop-esque beat and the fuzzy, remorseful feel of the morning after that follows a long, long night. The album Wrapped In Plastic is released 24-July.

The Chemical Brothers feat. Q-Tip
Born In The Echoes

This year marks twenty years since The Chem’s first album Exit Planet Dust (an album I still return to time and again). In the time in between they’ve evolved their sound somewhat, losing much of the “rock” influence they had early on, going a whole lot more psychedelic at times, and also going towards a whole lot more straight-up techno. So it’s great to hear a track that screams fun and positivity, a sunny electronic groove that Q-Tip only makes all the more awesome through his exhortations to make better use of the time you have.

High-Functioning Flesh
Mistakes Were Made
Definite Structures

Another band I’ll be seeing at Cold Waves in September, and this is one that I’m really looking forward to. Their mini-album last year was exceptional, and the lead track from this debut full-length album is a belter, too – but the second track to get a video is even better. Relying more on groove than brute fury, it also makes the Cabaret Voltaire influence even more overt than before (that rhythm even bears a vague resemblance to Just Fascination, to my ears). But also, it is also that bit more relaxed in vocal delivery, too, and this oh-so-slight change in sound just brings out their brilliance even more.

Paradise Lost
Beneath Broken Earth
The Plague Within

Stung by all that criticism of where they’ve gone musically across their career, the last few albums by Paradise Lost have seen them regress back again, towards their doomy metal roots – and this first taster of the new album (out this week) seemed to pretty much complete the journey. No electronics whatsoever ever, instead a sludgy, doomy crawl that thanks to the guitars in particular, still is instantly recognisable as this long-lived band, and perhaps bodes well for the new album.

Pop Will Eat Itself
21st Century English Civil War
Anti-Nasty League

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Remember when the Poppies were a political, angry band? Yeah, goes back a bit, doesn’t it. It seems, though, that Graham Crabb and the current incarnation of the band have remembered this too, with this blistering, chugging attack on the EDL and their racist views. There’s a lot of words and vitriol within the song – some of which doesn’t seem to scan particularly well – but the message is sound, and the song itself sounds better than anything that the Poppies have done since their recent return. And, not to mention, this hopefully bodes well for the forthcoming album Anti-Nasty League.

Human Traffic
My Body Is A Mechanism

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Opening the second day of Cold Waves this year, their psychotic-sounding industrial chaos should be very interesting indeed live. They remind me in some respects of ATR when they were the real deal, if you will – multiple vocal sources, a barrage of electronics and samples, and beats that hit very hard indeed. But there are few political statements here, other than one of individualism and body image – this is internalised fury, and on this evidence, there is a lot more where this came from.

Mindless Faith
Hollow Victory
Eden to Abyss

After a bit less of a wait than last time – just three years since Just Defy, rather than the five years before that – Mindless Faith return with an album rather better, in my opinion, than Just Defy. That album suffered from a production that neutered all of the immense force that the band were able to muster on Medication for the Misinformed – and seemed to forget most of the tunes, too – but happily here much of the bands best features are present and correct. There are a lot of a songs to recommend, but I really like the crunching, mid-tempo thunder of Hollow Victory, a song with an apparently relentless momentum and a whole lot going on in the mix, too.

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