The Rearview Mirror: 009: Cubanate – Brutalism

I can’t remember whatsoever when I first heard Cubanate. It was in my early teens, and was either Body Burn or Oxyacetalene first. And then lots more Oxyacetalene, as it was everywhere for a time. I do remember picking up the single for Joy in the rather awesome Badlands record shop in Huddersfield, though. You know, back when every reasonable-sized town had at least one great record shop, maybe even two. For a while Huddersfield didn’t even have an HMV (it’s re-opened since, in a smaller unit). Read more “The Rearview Mirror: 009: Cubanate – Brutalism”

The Rearview Mirror: 008: Converter – Shock Front

Over the last year or two of the nineties, and then a good few years into the new millenium, the hybrid of industrial and noise took over the club dancefloor in our scene. It was everywhere. Noise clubs sprung up, existing clubs had noise sets or entire noise floors. Even Huddersfield had a noise night (Implant) for a while, that eventually moved onto Manchester and bigger things, as the main industrial festivals frequently put on acts from the scene. Read more “The Rearview Mirror: 008: Converter – Shock Front”

The Rearview Mirror: 006: Machines of Loving Grace

Time to dig back into my musical past once again, this time for a band that released their third – and what was to be their last – album in twenty years ago in 1995. They had, pretty much, already hit their commercial peak by this point, and as things continued later into the nineties, sadly they fell apart thanks to other interests, record label changes and intra-band tension. Read more “The Rearview Mirror: 006: Machines of Loving Grace”

The Rearview Mirror: 005: Garbage – Garbage

The dawn of a new year, and once again a few posts have appeared from both musical and so-called clickbait sources noting the albums that are turning twenty years old during 2015. For many of my friends and I, this is starting to hit hard – many of these are the albums that we were mad about when we were teenagers, and helped to shape our future tastes. I turned seventeen in 1995, so indeed, like 1994, a lot of my favourite albums even now came from around that time. So, I’ll be returning to my occasional Rearviewmirror series a few times this year to assess a few of those albums from 1995, and I’m sure there will be one or two that haven’t stood the test of time. Read more “The Rearview Mirror: 005: Garbage – Garbage”

The Rearview Mirror: 004: Skinny Puppy: The Greater Wrong of the Right

Of all of the top echelon of industrial bands, none perhaps gain such polarised views as Skinny Puppy. Right from their early days in the eighties, they’ve pushed boundaries with their sound, avoiding the obvious routes of dancefloor approval, creating nightmarish musical visions densely packed with samples and a visual image almost as impressive. This restless, partly-drug-and-tragedy-fuelled experimentation has influenced countless bands, although it is probably fair to say that no-one has really dared to pick up the baton fully in following them. Maybe it is all just too much. Read more “The Rearview Mirror: 004: Skinny Puppy: The Greater Wrong of the Right”

The Rearview Mirror: 003: Dark Star: Twenty Twenty Sound

My fellow partners in crime in this music blogging lark over at I Die: You Die have mentioned recently about the origins of their website name, so here is my tilt on the same idea, as my domain nears it’s tenth birthday (early in February). Theirs comes from Gary Numan, mine comes from…Dark Star.

I was, for some time, obsessed with this album, and I still listen to it a lot now, so it’s time to appraise it properly. Read more “The Rearview Mirror: 003: Dark Star: Twenty Twenty Sound”

The Rearview Mirror: 002: Rico – Violent Silences

What happened in the nineties – a feeding frenzy involving major labels the world over, trying to find the next big thing from a seething mass of disparate Alternative bands – from industrial rock, to metal, to thrash, to grunge, to nu-metal, to EBM (etc, etc) is something that we will never witness again. Of course, from the various bands that did very well out of this frenzy, rocketing to unlikely stardom, there were those who did very badly out of it, and if ever there was a better example of an artist fucked over by the music industry to the point of disappearing from it, Rico is it. Read more “The Rearview Mirror: 002: Rico – Violent Silences”

The Rearview Mirror: 001: Pitchshifter –

A new section where I look back at albums in my past. They may be great albums, they may be albums that haven't stood the test of time. But these are albums I bought and loved at one point, and maybe haven't listened to much in the meantime. More importantly, this is a way of giving some airtime to bands or albums that maybe I've not covered much in recent times, and also, there is some element of the personal to this, too – many of these albums have been cherished by me at one point or another, having memories and experiences attached to them, and I'd like to celebrate that link too. So more than anything, perhaps expect more in-depth writeups in this section than I might otherwise do.

Read more “The Rearview Mirror: 001: Pitchshifter –”