Tuesday Ten: 342: Tracks of the Month (August 2018)

Infest is over (if you missed it, read more at Memory of a Festival: 030), summer is beginning to ebb away as we move into September and autumn, and we’re hit with the usual deluge of new material as the autumn release schedules kick into life.

As we’ve just passed the turn of the month, it’s back to the usual monthly wrap-up of new music that I’ve been enjoying recently, and that hopefully you, the reader, will like too. 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).


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Track of the Month

Cocksure

Yellow Dog
Be Rich

I actually wanted to include Baby You, Me and the Dark Web – the standout, absolute banger of a track from their new album, that takes a sarcastic look at internet bubbles – but Cocksure have only released Yellow Dog to the public in advance of the album release on Friday, so I’ll feature that instead – and this is still an excellent track. Much like the rest of the album, Yellow Dog picks up where Cocksure left off last time around, with Chris Connelly’s sneering, often-amusing vocals, and both him and Jason Novak here having upped the ante here with the music, there being an obvious kick up in the pace and groove of the album as a whole, and it is easily the best release yet under the Cocksure name.


Lead Into Gold

Hard Won Decay
The Sun Behind The Sun

After recently resurrecting his Lead Into Gold project – which I saw at Cold Waves a few years back – Paul Barker has returned this year with new music under the moniker, the first in a great many years. There is definitely a stylistic link back to that older material here, but it very much sounds like there has been a technological overhaul to produce the new music. Opener Hard Won Decay has the feel of heavy elements being involved in the construction of the track – there is feel of heft in the production, with subtle bass tones padding out the stomping beats, and the sampled horns (or are they just synths?) adding yet more feeling of depth to the sound. Lead Into Gold? This is a great case of Old into New to fantastic effect.


Ashbury Heights

Headlights
The Victorian Wallflowers

The last AH album was, to be frank, something of a disappointment. Missing much of the bite and, crucially, the tunes, it was an album I filed away pretty quickly and have barely listened to, if at all, since. So I’ll confess that coming to this new album has been with some trepidation – were we going to get more of the same? Any worries are dispelled by the surging power of the opening track Headlights, which fizzles and crackles with life, as a punchy beat underpins an utterly transformed vocal performance from Tea F. Thimé, who finally sounds like she cares as her vocals are wracked with emotion – and the chorus soars too). Finally, an AH song that lives up to the promise of the still-glorious debut album Three Cheers For The Newlydeads – and remarkably the album follows up on this, with a litany of great songs. I genuinely wasn’t expecting this.


In Strict Confidence

Mercy
Mercy EP

Long one of my favourite bands – and featured the other week on the latest edition of the amodelofcontrol.com podcast, Transmission: 012 – In Strict Confidence return next month with their xth album, the curiously titled Hate2Love + Mercy. This is the lead single from it, and if you are familiar with ISC, and like what they do, this should push all the right buttons. It is a slower paced song, with a thumping groove and an unusually sparse production for the band, who often specialise in lush, deep arrangements. Here there are only a handful of elements, and it does a good job of freshening up this ever-excellent band’s sound. The EP is well worth picking up, too, as there are some cracking remixes on it.


Uniform

Found
The Long Walk

Already one of the most punishing acts around – their last album Wake In Fright was shockingly intense – this New York industrial-metal-punk band’s grimy sound has now been augmented by a drummer. And rather than diminishing the inhumanity of their sound – previously mechanical precision of the drum machine seemed to be blurred at the edges, such was the distortion of it – it has only enhanced it in every way. Take the drumming that seems to get faster and faster and disintegrate every element of the sound around it, as this track less fades out that comes apart at the seams. This is pulverising, rampaging industrial that is seems to be displaying the band’s disgust for everything that they see, and it is an oddly exhilarating listen.


Pig Destroyer

The Torture Fields
Head Cage

After six years of recorded silence (ok, since the last album), one of the best-known Grindcore bands of recent times has stirred once again, with a new album imminent. Of the new songs to be heard so far, this is by far my favourite, and perhaps at nearly three minutes in length, is not far off prog length for PG. It starts slowly, but once it gets going, this is vicious, neck-snapping stuff (as an old friend once said, this is music to “mosh yourself into a neck brace”) – full of glorious riffage, and a classic, closing PG breakdown that fucking destroys.


Dirty K

Death, Destruction, Chaos, Filth & Greed
The Lowest Level of Loyalty

Coincidentally another artist this week returns from a six-year recorded absence, as Dirty K (nowadays just Ryan) release a new EP. I’d long thought he’d given up recording under that moniker for good, and it always felt like there was some unfinished business in the sound. This new EP proves that, with six new tracks of nasty, electronic noise and one remix of an old favourite. This track in particular appeals – heavily distorted, jagged beats and icy synths compete for space, and the end result is excellent. Welcome back.


GoFight

Another Fucking Love Song
Tokyo Sexwale

GoFight’s FB bio is worth bearing in mind: “Possibly the first or second best anti-war, pro-sex, electroscuzz club band to come from Chicago“. Just one listen to their new album – and for me particularly this song – ticks all of the boxes of that statement. It’s a fun, sex-positive song with a mighty groove, and, seemingly, no interest in just pleasing rivetheads. This is electro-dance music that has a far wider appeal, and deserves to do better by crossing over to other curious listeners.


Author & Punisher

Nihil Strength
Beastland

Time really has flashed by. I remember being mesmerised by the mechanical, furious power of Terrorbird just six years ago, and this new album – and his first for Relapse – is his fourth since Ursus Americanus, and his sixth full-length overall. In some respects, it is kinda remarkable how popular Tristan Shone’s work is – this is, after all, hardly easy listening as it bridges the gaps between industrial noise, drone and doom metal. But then, with tracks as good as the lead track Nihil Strength, it is easier to understand. The characteristic mechanical roar is present and correct, but there is also more of a feel of metallic songcraft here too, and an uneasy feeling of unstoppable momentum.


Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs

Cake of Light
King of Cowards

I was rather surprised – and pretty damned happy – to hear this playlisted on 6 Music recently. Labelmates of amodelofcontrol.com favourites Teeth of the Sea, this band are rather different. Less of the expansive, genre-busting prog-industrial-post-rock, more filthy, rollicking stoner rock, and it’s massively enjoyable as it has a hell of a groove, a tune, and the more I think about it, it perhaps makes a lot of sense as to why this has broken through. This album will be on my shopping list, for sure. Fucking epic band name, too.

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