More *retro* dark wave/alt resurgence, this time from South San Francisco, just a few miles down the road from TEHQ. Perhaps the keys are too heavy handed at times, but THE INVESTMENT offer their wares with honesty, and that goes a long way with me. This is pure 120 Minutes fare, a reminder that everything old can at least be reborn....even if it's impossible to make it new again.
16 October 2019
I got a few of Spencer's castoffs last week (I welcome everyone's castoffs, of course), and the first thing I popped in was this monster from BICSKA, a dark and heavy power excursion masquerading as modern metallic hardcore. Early '00s Eurocore discordance with FALL SILENT bass and an underlying vibe that's hard to put a point on...but rest assured that its dark.
15 October 2019
One man (or...one genius?) bedroom drum machine metal from São Paulo. Sole member Rudolf, The Proud offers up seven doses of full throttle black/power metal as CATACOMB VOICES with incessant leads and a song construction/delivery that almost makes it seem like this year's debut release was created as one long piece - many songs have no end, just a quick fade, and some start the way with no real beginning. High end and anxious, the solos border on comical even though there's nothing whatsoever to suggest that there is a tongue in this cheek.
There's a fine line between innocence and brilliance, and I think in this case the purity of vision helps to blur that line. Repetitive drum machine stomps and relentless hammer-on sweatpants riffing isn't exactly most people's idea of a good time, but it feels real here....it feels honest. Most of the evil conjured by Rudulf's prior entity SOVEREIGN has been supplanted by driving metal power, though the vocals still serve up a demonic edge and CATACOMB VOICES seem to be in a constant struggle for clarity, which is part of what makes it sound so real. Basically...I'm in.
14 October 2019
Even more than their rehearsal demo that I shared back in January, the studio manifestation of THE WOUND is fury unleashed. The guitars are Ginn/Egeness level damage, as if they are punishing you for even listening...and it's a sound that suits the rest of the recording as it tries desperately to hold itself together. On of the angriest things I have heard in a long long time. "Can't See" "Strange Feeling" "In The Dark" "Subsist" "Control" ....."We Know"
13 October 2019
Another one of those back-in-time releases from FLEABITE. It's sweet and endearing, just like it's honest and soul baring. But also the guitars are super damaged and cut in contrast to the soft vocals, brilliantly blurring lines that arbitrarily separate raw punk and twee (ok - that's a stretch). I liked this when Puzzle Pieces sent it to me years ago, and I like the more polished sounds they've dropped since.
12 October 2019
I super love this tape (and the round wax iteration on Deranged). Vancouver punks dropping instantly familiar synth drenched punk that lands somewhere between NEON PISS and proto-goth - but honestly, closer to straight '80s commercial new wave than retro goth, I hear DRAMARAMA and THE ALARM as much as stark punk influences. Strangely mature Biafra-esque vocals at the helm, this is music that feels like it's coming out of my very own past, so much so that it's hard to accept that this is a modern release. The folks involved (AFTER THE BOMBS, PURA MANIA, SPECTRES, many many more) know exactly what they are doing, and even though this is two years old I'm still anxiously awaiting another chapter.
11 October 2019
Was walking down Valencia with Karoline last week and saw the choicest '70s Malibu - lowered, LEDs in the fukkn rims, velvet everywhere, paint on point....and these were the tunes coming from the open windows. Just parked in front of a fire hydrant. Empty. Idling. It was as if the car itself was on a solo cruise, and it was awesome. It made me think of these volumes, and I ripped vol.10 the next day. I think THE ESCORTS' track is my favorite - even though TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLES classic "Crystal Persuasion" is probably the best song included, I hadn't heard "Look Of Your Shoulder" before this is it's pure fukkn bliss. The whole damn comp is bliss, until these masters of under the radar slammers drop The Godfather into the game near the end and things quickly escalate to ecstasy. "You Were Mine" from FIREFLIES and a blown out solid from THE M7Ms & THE PEANUTS close out the game and I really just want to live that different past present tense life for just one night.
10 October 2019
File this one in the "in case you missed it" column, because I think most visitors are well aware of this NYC freak fest powerhouse. Shiva (KALEIDOSCOPE, DEFORMITY) dominates the recording with a damaged KBD-meets-Delta Blues guitar, and I think this 2015 demo is my favorite of their recordings, perhaps because the guitar is just shit fukkn hot and raw as hell (there aren't very many recordings....but you get my point). STERILE MIND played with them in Seattle a few years ago, and watching the 20something mutants lose their sweaty minds and become one with the writhing mass that was on the make shift stage was practically worth the whole trip. Now crank the guitar "solo" in "She's Onto You" and go wreck some shit today.
09 October 2019
Four awesome people in a timeless punk band from Portland. Literally the only non awesome thing here is the garbage can cassette this was replicated onto. Fortunately you can hear the jams the way they were (digitally) meant to be heard here.
08 October 2019
The electronic arm of To Live A Lie blast dealer Will Butler's sonic empire, DON GARNELLI has quietly amassed a noteworthy discography filled with dark and foreboding ambiance. 2013's War Of Currents starts as a collection of short, mostly subtle, missives building to the proto industrial "Powerful Induction" into the epic 10+ minute journey "Monolith." He repeats the formula on the flip, a little more ominous this time and with some erratic beats thrown in, culminating in "Turbine," a thirteen minute exercise that would be worth your time on its own. This listens like a soundtrack, lurking in the background until makes itself known by drawing you into the shadows to mingle...and ultimately this shit is just really good. There are more releases to take in after this one has taken its course, but I warn you that this one might take you a while.