Another month, ten more new songs you should hear. New bands, old bands, returning bands. You can hear eight of the ten songs on the playlists below, but a little frustratingly not all of them appear on one playlist.
Track of the Month
Last One Dies
I’ve been crowing about how great this song is for ages and ages now, so it is great to see this finally get a release. An electronic pulse simmers underneath a bass-heavy rhythm, before Beth’s vocals explode into a seething chorus. What is even better about the recorded version is that as the track charges towards the climax, layer after layer is added, with Kendra’s backing vocals adding a sweet counterpoint, before the track stops dead leaving you wanting more. This is released as a pay-what-you-want, 3-track EP on 18-March, and also a split 7″ with the quite great A*Star “soon”.
Waiting For Light
The most unexpected, out-of-the-blue comeback this year will see, I’m sure. Lesley Rankine’s strong, distinctive voice is present and correct, and musically this is a curiously understated, near a capella track aside from the electronic, bass-heavy sound beneath the vocals. A full album is due, and I can’t wait.
You see, the thing is, things really have changed. After years of trying to shake all those people captivated by Maxinquaye all those years ago, judging on this Adrian Thawes seems to have finally reconciled and returned to the gorgeous, shadowy mellow sound he perfected in the first place. This is sumptuous, with a subtle string backing just adding to the lush feel. I’m pretty certain I can’t be the only one that has my fingers crossed that the rest of the forthcoming album lives up to this.
Children In Uniform (Aymeric Thomas Remix)
Nasty, ugly industrial from Norway that sounds like it has lived it’s entire life in darkness. Which is a good thing, obviously. A martial beat, vocals dripping with hatred, every effect hits your ears sounding like some kind of grave threat. There are a few other tracks on their soundcloud, all have this nasty, oppressive sound that to some degrees sounds like older Laibach, but with none of the humour and fifty times the nihilism. Needless to say, I’m buying a copy of this album. (Note: I’ve added a different track on the Spotify and YouTube playlists, as that was all that was available, but it still gives an idea)
Novus Ordo Sedorum
Month-by-month, the number of industrial bands going back to first principles, if you will, and rejecting the apparent need to write brainless, identikit dancefloor “anthems” to sell records is getting greater and greater. And here’s another – a bleak, cold-wave industrial assault that relies on atmosphere, rather than pulverising beats, to make it’s point. Download the EP as a pay-as-you-want basis here.
For their first release in a while – a two-track 7″ – talanas are taking no prisoners. The lead track opens with a brusing blast, Hal roaring into the abyss, but crucially – and this one of a number of reasons why I am so frequently impressed by the band’s material – it doesn’t simply stick with that admittedly impressive effect. This track heads off in a number of directions over it’s five minutes, with technical death metal riffing, a lengthy guitar solo, and more introspective, almost-proggy moments. But as well as that, the band never lose track of the fact that a melody is actually important, even in relatively extreme metal such as this. New album coming soon, apparently.
A long-delayed album, which transpires to have been worth the wait. Part a collaboration with other like-minded artists, part new material solely from Lucidstatic, this is dark, nasty electronics with megatons of bass and squalls of noise. This track, the opener, gives an idea of exactly what to expect. A drilling, breakcore-esque rhythm stops and starts, there are dark, forbidding vocal samples, and all manner of sample guitars and effects that all come together to deliver a claustrophobic, complex track.
The Bones of What You Believe
Not quite a first, but it is pretty unusual that I have discovered a band I like from the BBC’s “Sound of…” annual stuff. Often it seems less of a quality thing, but more of a result of jockeying by labels and PR to ensure that the artists that they have invested the most in, get the most coverage. Anyway, enough of the cynicism, as this is frankly quite great. Sweet-voiced, electro-pop with a darker edge, and a killer chorus that had me hooked from the first listen. As other reviews have noted, though, this doesn’t half sound like The Knife in their earlier period (Deep Cuts) – and it is kinda ironic that as this band rise to relative promience, that The Knife make their long-awaited return.
The Fallacy (Exhibit A)
Resistanz Festival Soundtrack 2013
I seem to recall raving about this track when the played it live at a show in London last summer, and rather brilliantly it sounds even better “on record”. A mid-paced industrial stomper with a killer chorus and no need to resort to goblin vocals or ravey synths – a sign at last that someone has been listening. Really looking forward to seeing them do their stuff at Resistanz at the end of the month.
Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown
Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor
Yeah, so we’ve had more than a few false starts in the past, but I can’t help but love this – Rob Zombie brings back the groove, the synths, and the sheer oddness of his earlier material to his best song in absolutely ages. It stomps, it writhes, and notably appears to not be based around old B-Movie themes, not to mention sampling the same Jesse Jackson speech that Primal Scream did in Come Together! (Also, I didn’t even know he had a new album coming until this week…)