Another month – so it's time again for my tracks of the month.
Track of the Month
In The Belly of a Shark
Orchestra of Wolves
I think Daisy is going to be wholeheartedly sick of this band soon enough, if she isn't already – I simply can't get enough of this. It is so nice to hear some proper hardcore, wrought with furious emotions – i.e. something other than the whiney navel-gazing of emo. This is the first track I heard, where I realised that the hype for once was actually justified. Being in the belly of a shark in this case certainly seems to be a metaphor for some relationship issues, I think, but either way the song itself is fantastic. Of note especially is the fantastic chugging breakdown that closes it. Anyway: I want to see this lot live.
Only the one cover on the new Apocalyptica album, and this is it. Till and Richard from Rammstein join in for a german-language cover of David Bowie's “Heroes”. It really, really shouldn't work, but it so does.
Slaying The Prophets Ov Isa
It's taken me a while to get 'round to having a proper listen to this album, but it was worth it in the end. Existing in the blackened end of Death Metal, this is ultra-technical, heavily produced stuff that sounds fantastic really fucking loud. In other words, it does what you expect, and goes down well at Stormblast, funnily enough. They do look ridiculous, though.
Walking With Strangers
One of the first tracks on the new album from a band that will break through to the "alternative mainstream" in due course, mark my words. Everything about this album is a step up from before, which is exactly what was needed. It's Goth, but not as we know it. This track is my current favourite, but it will change in time I'm sure!
When Under Ether
I've been listening to PJ Harvey long enough now to never try and second-guess what the next album is going to sound like, but this is still a shock. Out go the more rock-orientated bits – hell, out go the guitars – and in comes a trembling voice and a ghostlike piano, like she's seen some unimaginable horror and this is all she can now write. Or maybe she just felt like stripping her music back down to almost nothing again. Either way, this is really fucking creepy stuff.
I Am A Cracked Machine
Hissing Prigs In Static Couture
I go through phases of listening to this band. This year (well, May) marks ten years since the band ceased to exist when Tim Taylor died in a car crash. Still IMHO the most singularly inventive and forward-looking alternative band of the nineties, this is their very best song that always seemed to sum the band up so well. Well, that and it rocks like a bastard, too.
You know, I must be getting slower. I'm missing a fair bit recently and then catching it on the bounce, and here is another of them. Stomping metal that fuses to all kinds of electronics to fill in the gaps, it's an old trick given new life by this lot. In other words, no it doesn't sound like Fear Factory, more like Nile being remixed by Pitchshifter. Speaking of Pitchshifter, actually…
I've been listening to some of their stuff of late while weighing up whether to go to the gig at Rock City on 13-October (anyone else planning on going?). Back in the 90s, they were fucking amazing – and this track for me marks the point where they stepped out from the shadow of Godflesh into more of a sound of their own. I saw this band 13 times in all, up to before they went on "hiatus" (I've not seen them in about five years, in other words), and on later shows it was nice to see this reappear, with many of the younger fans not recognising it (or, indeed, Triad, incredibly).
Purely here due to the fact that I didn't hear it live on Sunday night. Synths and samples sweep across the speakers like stars from the sky, it has a faintly accusing vocal about something that I can't quite put my finger on…and it has a chorus to die for.
Keep The Sabbath Dream Alive
Sons of the Pioneers
I'm blaming Damian for reminding me of the existence of this rather wondrous slab of anthemic metal from a few years back. The band supported just about everyone for a short period, and then vanished. This remains their finest moment. [If anyone can find the video for us, by the way…?]