A new month, so back to the usual monthly round-up of the tracks I love right now.
Track of the Month
Take Me To The Hospital
Invaders Must Die
Unexpectedly, I'm spoilt for choice for a top track from this album. The lesson from this album is that Fat of The Land x Experience = one hulking great monster of a dance album. And one of the best examples? This track, where Charly-esque rave synths collide with a monstrously bass-heavy beat, oh, and the Daleks crash through the wall to provide the title refrain. This fucking rules, as does much of the rest of the album. Seeing as this album feels like the natural follow-up to The Fat of the Land in so many ways, the only question to ask is…what the fuck where they playing at in the meantime?
Plague Called HuMANity
I'm eagerly awaiting this album, and even more so now I've heard this. This track is unbelievable – nothing like the first album, and instead more like Skinny Puppy in their prime, just with a scarier vocalist. Well, they did say they were going for a retro-electro feel, and boy, have they nailed it. The album apparently includes a cover of one of Ministry's most visceral tracks, too – You Know What You Are. This could be interesting…This track is currently on their myspace page, so listen to it there for now. The album is released today.
Sounds Of The Universe
They're back, and it sounds like classic DM, too. At least in feel, anyway – vocally, musically, it's brilliant, but it strangely doesn't feel like a complete song. Mainly in that it is pretty short, and doesn't seem to go anywhere. Still, though, it is growing on me, and the video is pretty odd, too…
Late to the party again with this one. Nick and Andy have been playing this lot at tcf for months, I've only really picked up in recent weeks. I'll be honest, though, and admit that I don't always pay that much close attention to other DJs sets when I'm inbetween my sets, so some songs pass me by. So this only hooked me when I caught the video on MTV Two's Myspace Chart a few weeks ago – and it appears that the re-release of this track (it was originally released last summer) has seen the band break through. I love this track, too – a slamming electro-pop track with a gigantic, stadium-sized chorus and a deeply cynical, political lyric. I'm not a huge fan of much of the album, but this track I simply can't get out of my head.
Ok, I admit it. I was seriously harsh on this album, and in the months since – and many, many listens later, I'm revisiting my opinion. Not all of the album is great – Drown is simply fucking boring, and way too long, for starters – the album has a number of kickass tracks. Of which this is one – part of a trio of tracks that are the high point (tracks 4, 5 and 6) of the album. Some interesting synth lines, and a stomping, bouncing rhythm and a cracking chorus. And remarkably, this has been one of the most popular dancefloor tracks in my DJ sets in recent months, getting through the usual barrier in clubs to new or unfamiliar tracks from the first play.
Like previous LoG tracks, this is big, loud, chuggingly heavy, not especially subtle…but why should it be? LoG deliver the metal goods like few other bands, and this vicious attack on US outsourcing in Iraq is one of their most effective tracks in a while.
Endzeit Bunkertracks Act IV
Probably the most infuriating compilation released in a long, long time, I felt more than a little short-changed by this 4CD box having less than ten-songs actually worth my time (out of a total of 68 tracks). This track – yet another spin-off from one of Icon of Coil – is probably the closest to IoC's sleek dancefloor thrills that any of the many side-projects have managed so far. It might even get me interested in getting hold of Das EP that has come out this week.
A band with a classic case of diminishing returns, this lot. This track comes from their brilliant debut album Ungod, which was a pitch-black industrial-rock album that pushed all the right buttons both lyrically and musically – although I don't doubt that Christopher Hall's vocals would be deemed by some as "whiny". Later albums stripped back the electronics to an extent that when their fourth album was released where they sounded like a totally different, and much inferior, band.
The Perfect Symmetry
Building an Empire
I saw this band supporting Anathema late last year, and while much of the set didn't grab me all that much, this track – the opening track on the album, and the closing track live – was utterly, utterly brilliant. A sweeping, slow-burn epic track that has gorgeous melodies (and good use of sampling) – a band, or at least a song, that perhaps could give the term "prog rock" a good name again.
I'll probably start a riot with some for daring to suggest the wrong song, or something, but there is something about this song that I just fucking love. It's a gorgeous, pretty pop song at it's surface, but as you sink deeper into it, and you listen closer, you quickly realise it is nothing of the sort. That and Robert Smith's vocals on this track – clearly recorded right up against the microphone – are really fucking creepy, in particular on headphones. Granted, it's certainly not a track I want to listen to before I go to sleep, but unlike other tracks on Disintegration (which admittedly is still ace) it doesn't overstay it's welcome, and is a track that I can and do go back to again and again. And with the NME's current veneration of them, they are perhaps getting some of the credit they haven't always had previously.