Even with Infest taking up much of my time in the past few days, I’ve still been able to get ten more tracks written up.
New stuff, some fairly new stuff, and there is loads more to come still in 2015.
Track of the Month
Losing Touch EP
My one new discovery at SOS #2 last month was the quite brilliant synthpop of these guys. This was one of the handful of tracks I heard – we got there later than anticipated so missed the earlier part of their set – but this track closed it, and is a wonderful, aching ballad that avoids entirely being mawkish and instead actually comes across as wholly heartfelt. Also, although not as evident “on record”, live Isaac Howlett doesn’t half sound like Dan Gatto from Babyland/Continues. A young band with, judging on what I’ve heard so far, a barrelload of potential.
Ex-Coil (among other work) member Drew McDowall has been active in the scene for a great many years, but as I understand it this forthcoming album is his first solo album. This lengthy first track is a shadowy thing, full of chiming synths and subtle vocal samples in the background that appear and then vanish like ghostly images, with the beats drifting through hypnotically. The obvious and cliched thing to say here is that this brings to mind his work in Coil, but it really does. Either way it is something special, and I’ll definitely be picking up the album when it comes.
V: Metal Machine Music
Like a number of the other returns from EBM luminaries in recent years (the other that comes to mind in particular was Nitzer Ebb’s Industrial Complex, I really wasn’t that impressed with the last Die Krupps album – it seems to fall between the two stools of their earlier EBM sound and their later guitar-based material, and frankly did neither very well, with the exception of the stellar Riskiofaktor. This first track from their forthcoming album, though, suggests a band that have much more of a focus to their sound this time around. It takes us back to the bulldozing industrial metal of II – The Final Option, and easily is the match of that. With it’s bruising tempo, and ‘pit-friendly sound, too, it should be an awful lot of fun live as well.
Clutch are one of those bands I really ought to listen to more – and go see live, too, as I’ve never got ’round to doing so – and going on this first track from their forthcoming album, it is a good time to do so. This is Clutch with their tongue in their cheeks, with lyrics suggesting all kinds of crazy, science-fiction warfare concepts, a blasting, anthemic chorus, and a fucking monster of a groove underpinning it – one without an ounce of fat on it, it takes all of two seconds to kick in and doesn’t waste a moment – oh, and that breakdown. Add to this a video that is an absolute hoot (with Neil Fallon hamming it up sixties Sci-Fi style), and I’m sold.
Brought To The Water
The last Deafheaven album Sunbather was an impressive album – although I maybe wasn’t taken with it to the same level of many others, with some treating it like the second coming. But this track really is brilliant – a full-on blast of black metal fury eventually mellows out into a quite gorgeous mid-section that is influenced by shoegaze, certainly, but here is more like travelling through the eye of a furious storm. Part of the brilliance here is the ability of the band to effortlessly move between styles and make the whole thing still sound coherent.
La Di Da Di
Not a band ever in a great hurry to release new material, their third album proper finally arrives this coming month, and after using a litany of guests last time (with admittedly varying results), they’ve ditched them entirely this time and from the evidence of this first track, it has very much allowed them to return to the gloriously playful styles they explored so brilliantly on Mirrored. The Yabba is a complex beast, with multiple sections, rhythms that come and go, guitars that sound like they are being played while falling down stairs, and synths that invoke primary colours and a sense that the band are loving what they do. Quite possibly the world’s most unlikely party band, and easily the most brilliant.
Perc’s last album The Power and the Glory was an impressive take on techno with a distinctly industrial edge, but I have to say that I’m perhaps even more impressed by this new three-track EP, and particularly the title track. This is full on dancefloor rage – a pounding, punishing beat that seems to sprout extra fists to punch through the walls as it goes on, and it’s fucking brilliant. If only more techno was as good as this nowadays…
A new project formed by one half of Savages and Kendra Frost (ex-Blindness), this is a subtle, curious track that has me fascinated as to where on earth they go next. A shuffle of a beat, with the titular sound providing a second rhythm of sorts, and soaring vocals that come together to create a lovely, mellow song that has been part of the soundtrack to many of the warm, sunny days in the past month.
I have no detail on this artist so far – it only dropped into my feed in the past couple of days thanks to a friend linking to it – but this is absolutely brutal, and I’ll certainly be buying the album on the back of it. It is kinda industrial-junk-noise, seemingly using samples of all kinds of items being battered into submission to create the beats, and it starts relatively slowly, before winding up into an apocalyptic firestorm of beats that is best enjoyed very loud indeed.
Just One Takyon
I meant to mention this last month, and I’m making an exception for a usual policy of not featuring mash-ups because this is so damned good. They’ve actually done a whole album, but this one track in particular is a killer – a spectacular crossbreed of Ministry’s Just One Fix and Death Grips’ Takyon (Death Yon). Who knew they’d work so well? The rhythm of …Fix fits perfectly to MC Ride’s barked vocals and does the hitherto impossible job of making one of Ministry’s finest moments hit even harder.