Only just got this collated in time, but it's time for my usual ten tracks of the past month. Lots of new stuff to cover, so let's get on with it.
Track of the Month
Röyksopp feat. Robyn
The Girl and the Robot
I've mentioned this track in passing previously, but now I have the album I can mention again just how fucking fantastic this track is. I'm no fan of Robyn's own material, but her vocal on this is just great. A glittering, sky-scraping pop song about a girl sat at home waiting in vain for her workaholic man to remember she exists, this deserves to be a massive hit when it is released as a single in a month or two. As I recall this track is on Spotify, so go listen to it.
Talking of belting pop songs, here's another – where Karen O and her band take an unexpected turn into electro-disco glitz and come out the other side sounding even better and more vital than they did before. With this song being the opening track on the album, though, the rest of it can't help but sounding like a little bit of an anti-climax…
We're From America
The High End of Low
I wasn't expecting this – MM actually sounding like he gives a shit again. In fact, it's more than that – there is a fire here that hasn't been coursing through an MM track in quite some time. It's another track that baits America quite nicely, sending up the archetypal view of American life, and rocks like a bastard too. You can download the track for free from his website (after signing up).
I thought that the track Last Human was one of the standouts from the crowd on Endzeit Bunkertracks IV, but this track is simply just fucking awesome. I was not keen particularly on the first album, but this track for me takes things to another level. A brutal, pounding industrial track with a lyric critiqueing organised religion, this is going to slay dancefloors. I'm not mad-keen on all of the tracks on the promo I got – in particular I don't like Industrial Bitch at all – but this track will do just fine for now. Other things I like about it – clean vocals, no "spooky" synths. Nice to see a band actually trying to sound a little different from the herd right now.
Also on Crunch Pod are this new band whose debut on the label is coming soon. In the meantime, their self-released album is now available from Crunch Pod, and is well worth obtaining. A strange, unsettling listen that has unexpected rhythms and samples popping up all over the place, this track is my favourite so far, with a little more power to the rhythms than other tracks. I may try this in a club something, although it's broken rhythms may make it a tough track to dance to!
My Body, A Funeral
For Lies I Sire
Although I've bought a few metal albums recently, it was this one that I was really waiting for, and I haven't been disappointed. The return of a violinist to the band has resulted in a subtle shift in sound back to some of their earlier material, and as a result the band have released their best album in some years. This is the gloriously gloomy, slow-burning opener for the album that brings together all the things I love about this band.
Word has been buzzing around for a while now that the new KMFDM album is a real return to form, and for once the internet whispers were dead right. Taking pointers from many different points along the band's 25-year life, but more than anything this album marks a return to centre-stage for Sascha K. himself, as on recent albums it felt as if he had ceded some of the control of the band, particularly in songwriting. No chance here, as some new classics have been added to the KMFDM canon using old-hands and new recruits alike – and in particular this brilliant, mid-paced track that is the kind of track that rivetheads can stomp holes in the dancefloor to. The lyrics are in Russian, mainly, but I'm not convinced the lyrics are important here – it's all about the heavy, heavy beat.
I got a digital promo copy of this EP from the band, unsolicited (I recall they messaged me on Myspace), and I've been pretty impressed with most of it. Industrial with some metal influences (kinda like late-80s Ministry in many respects, but using more, er, modern programming), with vocals that have so much treatment on them they sound alien. This track – clearly a pop at religion, seemingly something of a pattern this month – is one of the more impressive, and the remixes of it that also appear are worth a listen too.
Military Fashion Show
For some reason this track has been buzzing around my head for a few weeks, hence it's appearance in my DJ sets in recent weeks – I think mainly down to the fact someone requested it the other week and I didn't have it with me. I don't like all of And One's material – some of it enters the realm of cheese for me – but this track is just marvellous, with the kind of chorus that quickly becomes an earworm, as it has now.
Kingdom of Rust
Kingdom of Rust
The welcome return of one of the finest – and underappreciated – indie bands in the country has been long overdue, and this title track, and first single, is just great. Not unlike previous masterpiece There Goes The Fear, the maudlin feel of the track builds and builds into a brilliant, euphoric chorus, and is made even better when coupled with the oh-so-retro (and quite sad) video.