Category: post punk

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Sego Releases a Decidedly Lo-Fi and Trippy Visual for “Give Me”

I’ve written quite a bit about the Los Angeles, CA-based JOVM mainstays Sego over a significant portion of the site’s almost nine-year history — and as you may call, the act which was founded by and initially comprised of Mapleton, UT-born founding duo Spencer Peterson and Thomas Carroll expanded to a quartet with the addition of Alyssa Davey (bass) and Brandon McBride (guitar, keys) last year.

Released last month, the newly-constituted quartet’s sophomore album Sego Sucks derives its name from a hashtag created by a disgruntled concertgoer — and while marking the first album as a quartet, the material was partially inspired by the band’s extensive touring across North America, Europe and the UK, as well as the addition of the band’s newest members. All of these events have led to a much more focused sound and approach — but with a raucous, rowdy, beer soaked spirit. Album single “Shame” was centered around a shout worthy series of hooks, buzzing and distorted guitars, thumping beats and pulsating electronics paired with ironically delivered lyrics — all while finding the band moving towards a pop-leaning take on post-punk. “Neon Me Out” sort of continues in a similar vein as it was centered round an anthemic, shout along worthy hook and a propulsive hook — and in some way, the track sounds like a seamless and mischievous synthesis of Odelay-era Beck and Gang of Four-like post punk.

Sego Sucks’ latest single “Give Me” continues a run of anthemic and pointedly ironic post-punk centered around slashing guitars and a propulsive and percussive rhythm section — but unlike its predecessors, “Give Me” the track touches upon self-loathing, good ol’ American empty phoniness and bullshit. Interestingly, the recently released video also continues a run of incredibly lo-fi videos: in this case, the video is centered around shitty, taped footage from a local public access TV station featuring old timers country line dancing in what appears to either be a VFW or Elks Hall, interspersed with VHS-taped footage of the band members while on tour, which creates a weird and frenzied feel.

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New Video: Cold Showers Release an Intimate Visual for “Faith”

Formed back in 2010, the Los Angeles-based post-punk act Cold Showers released a handful of singles through Mexican Summer Records and Art Fag Recordings that quickly established the band’s reputation for crafting a sound and aesthetic that would have fit in well among the classic Factory Records and Rough Trade catalogs.

In 2012, the Los Angeles-based quartet signed to Dais Records, who released their critically applauded full-length debut Love and Regret. Building upon a growing profile, the members of the band went on successful tours with The Soft Moon and Veronica Falls, which they promptly followed with decidedly pop-orientated material that was initially released as a handful of singles and live cassette releases. This new pop-leaning direction filtered through the writing and recording sessions for their sophomore album Matter of Choice, an effort that found the band crafting much more polished material while retaining the piston-precision rhythm section and post-punk-like hooks that won them acclaim. 

Slated for a May 24, 2019 release through their longtime label home, Dais Records, Cold Showers’ third album, the Tony Bevilacqua-co-written Motionless reportedly finds the band taking greater control of their creative process, with the band further refining their sound through the incorporation of ambient sounds, acoustic arrays and female vocals. The album’s lead single “Faith,” a dance floor friendly track centered around arpeggiated synths, thumping beats, a motorik groove, slashing bass lines, crooned vocals and layers of distortion pedal effects-led guitars, and a soaring hook. And while retaining the post punk meets shoegaze sound that has won them attention, the song focuses on the transitory nature of our reality and of shame with a swooning urgency.

Directed by Chris Slater, the recently released video for “Faith” is inspired by the intimacy and voyeurism of Warhol’s screen tests, capturing the awkwardness, the simmering hate and uncertainty, the pride and boundless joy of its subjects. 

New Video: Introducing the Moody Joy Division-like Synth Pop of Turkey’s Jakuzi

Istanbul, Turkey-based synth-wave duo Jakuzi, which is comprised of Kutay Soyocak and Taner Yücel can trace its origins to when Soyocak and Yücel started the act in 2015 as a way for them to move away from their previous punk rock-leaning projects. When they released their debut cassette in 2016 Fantezi Muzik  no one seriously expected it to leave their immediate circle of friends and associates; however, the tape caught the attention of City Slang Records, who re-released the debut with new tracks the following year — and the album began to receive praise from internationally recognized media outlets, including The Quietus and The Guardian, and the band played sold-out shows with their musical idol John Maus. 

Fantezi Muzik’s material found the band going against the grain of what’s  expected from a male-fronted Turkish act. While most male-fronted acts from the duo’s homeland aren’t typically known for being introspective, Soyocak and Yücel’s work, which has been centered by a gothic sensibility, addressed the personal and psychological issues they were facing. 

Ironically, despite achieving the sort of success that most indie bands would probably kill for, the duo found themselves dealing with a number of challenging issues. Being musicians in their homeland is extremely challenging economically and personally  — and because their songs are written and sung entirely in their native Turkish, the language that Soyocak feels he can best express himself, the opportunities are limited. Currently, there aren’t playlists for Turkish DYI dream pop/dark wave/synth wave acts, their songs aren’t played on traditional radio shows and there isn’t a mass market for attending punk rock shows.  And although they’ve been frustrated and even demoralized, they have refused to give in; in fact, their long-awaited and forthcoming sophomore album Hata Payi (which literally translates as “part of the mistake”) reportedly finds the band delving deeper and making further explorations into the feelings and thoughts they touched upon in their debut — namely, what it’s like to be a young adult in Istanbul, having success and then having to live up to expectations, being an artist in a country that doesn’t quite get or support your work, managing personal relationships as you get older and mental health; but with a refined, darker sound. “I think my melancholy comes partly from where I live,” the band’s Kutay Soyocak says in press notes. “This can be seen in the lyrics. I sometimes feel dark, lost and lonely as everyone. Here, the economy and politics make me feel hopeless sometimes. The future seems blurry but we try to keep our hopes high and continuing what we do. The audience is getting bigger every day and they support us and it is just pure love in our gigs.’’

Interestingly, “Toz,” the second and latest single off Hata Payi immediately brings Joy Division to mind, as the song is centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, stuttering beats, an angular and propulsive bass line, a big hook and Kutay Soyocak’s sonorous yet achingly sad baritone — and although the lyrics are completely in his native Turkish, the song evokes a loneliness that is deeply universal. 

Directed by Eli Kasavi, the recently released video for “Toz” stars a brooding and lonely Kutay Soyocak dancing alone in a room with flickering spotlight. As Kasavi explains in press notes. “It’s connected to the band’s previous video “Şüphe” where the main character watched a dancing couple with a feeling of doubt. That character has left that place now and is dancing by himself.”

New Audio: BRUTUS’ Forceful and Anthemic “Django”

With the release of their full-length debut, 2017’s Burst, the Leuven, Belgium-based post-rock trio BRUTUS, comprised of Stefanie Mannaerts (drums, vocals), Stijn Vanhoegaerden (guitar) and Peter Mulders (bass) quickly received a national and international presence — and since their full-length debut’s release, they’ve toured with JOVM mainstay Chelsea Wolfe, Thrice, Russian Circles, and played the major heavy EU festivals. Adding to a growing profile, Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich has proudly championed the Belgian trio. And interestingly enough, they’ve achieved this with a sound that was initially shaped by necessity — with Mannaerts adopting vocal duties because no one else would. 

The Leuven-based post-rock trio’s highly anticipated Jesse Gander-produced sophomore album Nest is slated for release later this week through Sargent House Records and the album’s material finds Mannaerts fully embracing her dual roles as vocalist and drummer and while the album’s material reveals the full range of her talents, the band has made a concerted effort to write tight songs with an expanded sound. Thematically speaking, the material focuses on the path the trio have taken together to get to the euphoric highs of achieving a lifelong dream; but there’s underlying moments of deep, introspection, in which they all consider the individual choices they’ve made to get there — and the impact those choices had on their loved ones, and those who they’ve left behind.  And as a result, the material possesses a strangely uncomfortable yet necessary friction between wanting to continue their forward progression and a desire to maintain and cherish those connections to all that they love at home. But is that possible when you’ve taken such enormous risks to achieve something extraordinary. And when the things you’ve seen, done and experienced have become so different than those of your peers, can you keep that connection?

Earlier this year, I wrote about, the expansive “War,” a track that alternated between dreamy and ruminative showcase and aggressive and forceful thrash metal, with enormous, arena rock friendly hooks and even larger power chords. Possessing a painterly quality in which the song’s musical layers are much like brushstrokes adding detail and texture to the canvas, the song evokes the raw ache of isolation and the bleakness of taking stock of oneself — completely alone. “Cemetery,” Nest‘s second and single effortlessly bridged doom metal, thrash metal, shoegaze, hardcore punk and stoner rock with an arrangement featuring thunderous drumming, blistering and enormous power chords, and Mannaerts howled vocals. “Django,” Nest’s third and latest single will further cement the Belgian trio’s reputation for crafting a huge, arena rock-like sound, as the track is centered around Mannaerts thunderous drumming, Vanhoegaerden’s towing power chords and Mulder’s rumbling low end — but the song may arguably be the most concise and forceful song on the album. 

New Video: Detroit’s Ritual Howls Release Creepy and Unsettling Visuals for “Alone Together”

Over the course of three full-length albums and a number of EPs, the Detroit, MI-based trio Ritual Howls, comprised of Paul Bancell (vocals, guitar), Chris Samuels (synths, samples, drum machine) and Ben Saginaw (bass) have developed a reputation for crafting a cinematic twangy and dance floor friendly industrial post-punk — although last year’s The Body EP found the trio employing the use of more expansive arrangements paired with a sculpted sound and production.

Interestingly, the trio’s forth, full-length album Rendered Armor is slated for a March 22, 2019 release through felte records continues in a similar vein as The Body; in fact, the upcoming album’s latest single “Alone Together” is centered around twangy guitar, ominous atmospherics, shimmering synths and a dance floor friendly thump — and while sonically bearing a bit of a resemblance to acclaimed post-punk duo VOWWS, the song is the tale of a classic love song, set in a doomed world, much like our own. But at its core is a longing that verges on an increasingly perverse obsession. Created by Kirill Slavin, the recently released video for “Alone Together” features some incredibly creepy and unsettling footage from the short film Witch Zombies & The Lightbox Rave that helps to emphasize the obsession at the heart of the song. 

New Video: BRUTUS Releases Hallucinogenic and Uneasy Visuals for Blistering Album Track “Cemetery”

With the release of their full-length debut, 2017’s Burst, the Leuven, Belgium-based post-rock trio BRUTUS, comprised of Stefanie Mannaerts (drums, vocals), Stijn Vanhoegaerden (guitar) and Peter Mulders (bass) quickly received a national and international presence — and since their full-length debut’s release, they’ve toured with JOVM mainstay Chelsea Wolfe, Thrice, Russian Circles, and played the major heavy EU festivals. Along with that Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich has championed them. And they’ve managed to do so with a sound that was initially shaped by necessity — in particular, Mannaerts adopted vocal duties because no one else would. 

Now, as you may recall, the Belgian post-rock trio’s highly-anticipated, Jesse Gander-produced sophomore album Nest is slated for a March 29, 2019 release through Sargent House Records. Their sophomore effort reportedly finds Mannaerts fully embracing her dual roles as vocalist and drummer, with the album’s material revealing the full range of her talents — while the band has made a concerted effort to write incredibly tight songs with an expanded approach and sound. Thematically, the album focuses on the path they’ve all taken together, including the euphoric highs of achieving a lifelong dream and attaining success; but there’s underlying moments of reflection in which they all consider the choices they’ve made to pursue their dreams, and the impact those particular choices had on those who they eventually had to leave behind. And as a result, the material possesses a strange yet necessary friction between their forward momentum and their desire to maintain connections to those they love back home. But there are much larger questions to ask: is that possible, when you’ve taken such enormous risks to get where you are right now? And when the things you’ve seen, done and experienced have become so different than those of your peers, can keep that connection? Is it as important and necessary as you may think? 

Earlier this year, I wrote about, the expansive “War,” a track that alternated between dreamy and ruminative showcase and aggressive and forceful thrash metal, with enormous, arena rock friendly hooks and even larger power chords. Possessing a painterly quality in which the song’s musical layers are much like brushstrokes adding detail and texture to the canvas, the song evokes the raw ache of isolation and the bleakness of taking stock of oneself — completely alone. “Cemetery, Nest’s second and latest single is centered around a sound that effortlessly bridges doom metal, thrash metal, shoegaze, hardcore punk and stoner rock with an arrangement featuring thunderous drumming, blistering and enormous power chords, and Mannaerts howled vocals. And while bearing a resemblance to its immediate predecessor, the song possesses a feral and unhinged immediacy. 

.Directed by Mitch Wells, the recently released video stars Jarrett Sleeper, who expressively stomps, struts, dances and howls about to the song — with Sleeper looking as though he were under the influence of hallucinogens

New Video: Los Angeles’ Numb.er Releases a Blistering Punk Rock-Inspired Single

Last year, I wrote a bit about  Numb.er.  Led by its Los Angeles, CA-based creative mastermind Jeff Fribourg, who’s perhaps best known as a founding member of psych rock/kraut rock band Froth, and as you may recall, Fribourg’s latest project can trace its origins to a deep love of synthesizers that began when he started experimenting with them while with Froth; however, with his latest project, Fribourg and company mesh elements of punk rock, post-punk, noise rock and shoegaze. 

Goodbye, Numb.er’s full-length debut was released last year through felte records, and album singles “Numerical Depression” and “A Memory Stained” established the project’s genre-bending sound and approach — with “Numerical Depression” featuring elements of 77 era punk, early 80s post-punk and Nirvana, while  the murky and moody “A Memory Stained” meshed 60s psych pop and synth-led New Wave in a way that brought TOY to mind. “Again,” Goodbye’s latest single was centered around a decidedly minimalist approach featuring angular distortion pedal-fueled power chords, a motorik-like groove, shouted lyrics, blasts of analog synth, and a rousingly anthemic, mosh pit friendly hook. Sonically speaking, the song is a seamless synthesis of 77 era punk and early 80s post-punk that deceptively sounds as though it could have been released around 1981 or so.

Featuring Tête‘s and Black Flamingo‘s Ammo Bankoff (vocals, bass), War Tapes‘ and Rituals’ Neil Popkin (guitar), Popkin’s War Tapes bandmate Matt Bennett (guitar) and Magic Wands‘ Pablo Amador (drums), the Los Angeles-based act Brass Box can trace their origins back to around 2006 when Bankoff booked Popkin’s first Los Angeles area show along with one of her earlier bands. And as the story goes, the duo frequently ran into each other at local galleries and warehouse shows, occasionally exchanging ideas; in fact, in press notes Popkin recalls being drawn to Bankoff’s early projects and artistic vision but the two were also frequently preoccupied by their own individual creative pursuits, making working together difficult for a number of years. 

Interestingly, a chance encounter with Popkin inspired Bankoff to share some early demos and the duo quickly realized they were more creatively like-minded than they thought. They then recruited Bennett and Amador to complete the band’s lineup and to further flesh out the band’s sound.

The band’s first singles received praise from a number of renowned publications including Post-Punk, who described their sound as “. . . a surreal reverie [having] the sonic texture of crushed velvet imbued with the lingering scent of burnt incense and clove cigarettes circa October of 1993,” and LA Record who noted the band as “. . . dedicated to making the kind of music that should soundtrack a sand-dune-to-shoreline road movie by David Lynch.” Building upon a growing profile, the band will be releasing their full-length debut The Cathedral on April 5, 2019 through Dune Alter Records.

“Bats,” the moody new single off the band’s forthcoming debut is centered around a towering, wall of sound-like sound, featuring layers of feedback and distortion pedal-fed power chords, thundering and dramatic drumming and Bankoff’s ethereal and plaintive wailing — and while evoking the sensation of being lost at sea, during a massive storm and being tossed about by the waves, the track reminds me a bit of Heaven Up Here and Ocean Rain-era Echo and the Bunnymen and Siouxsie and the Banshees, but with a cinematic flair.

 

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Preoccupations Release Stark and Gorgeously Cinematic Visuals for Album Closer “Compliance”

Over the past handful of years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Canadian post-punk act and JOVM mainstays Preoccupations. And as you may recall, the band’s third full-length album New Material was released last year through Jagjaguwar Records, and the album further cements the band’s growing reputation or crafting dark and moody post-punk that touches upon themes of anxiety, uncertainty, creation, destruction and futility while being “an ode to depression. To depression and self-sabotage, and looking inward at yourself with extreme hatred,” the band’s Matt Flegel explained in press notes.

Much like their sophomore album, the band met without having much written or demoed beforehand — and according to the members of the band, it was arguably one of the most collaborative writing sessions they ever had as a band, with the sessions being extremely architectural in nature, as some ideas were  (proverbially speaking) being built up while others were torn down to the support beams. Initially they didn’t know what the songs were about or where they were going with them, they had resolved to let the material show and not explicitly not tell; however, the writing and recording sessions reportedly led to a reckoning for the band’s Flegel. “Finishing ‘Espionage’ was when I realized. I looked at the rest of the lyrics and realized the magnitude of what was wrong,” says Flegel. In fact, the murky and angular  Manchester/Joy Division-like first single “Espionage,” while being among the most danceable songs they’ve written and released, focuses on a narrator, who has finally become aware of a disturbing penchant for self-sabotage in every aspect of his life. “Antidote,” New Material‘s second single was centered around propulsive, industrial clang and clatter meant to convey a sweaty anxiety; however, the song is actually about how humans forget that they’re walking, talking, shitting animals — animals that have an infinite amount of knowledge within their fingertips but still manage to repeatedly making terrible choices. “Disarray,” the album’s third single was meditative and slow-burning single featuring shimmering guitar chords, an angular and propulsive bass line, organic drumming and boom bap-like drum machine work during the song’s bridge. And while superficially nodding at Turn On the Bright Lights-era Interpol, the song captures something much darker and uncertain — as it was centered around someone, who from their perspective, views everything they’ve ever known to be a lie. The album’s fourth single “Decompose” was an angular and propulsive track that featured twinkling synths, buzzing power chords and an eerie sense of melodicism that underlies the song’s danceable vibe. 

Album closer “Compliance” is a decided and stark sonic departure for the band as it’s a climatic wall of industrial clang, clatter and other noise — but two chiming tones peak up and rise upward, giving the instrumental track a yearning nature. Directed by Nicholas Brown and Evan Henderson, the recently released video for “Compliance” is set in a post-apocalyptic world, featuring an enigmatic forest spirit named “Mariah.”  As the band explains in press notes, “Mariah has awakened from eons of slumber to a world that has long been abandoned by humans and heavily mutated by their waste and consumption. As Mariah struggles to make sense of this new world, she grieves for the one she has lost forever. The Mariah creature was painstakingly designed and constructed by Brown, portrayed by Henderson, and captured by the haunting and beautiful cinematography of Adam Stewart. Compliance brings a close to this chapter of the band as we look towards the future and marvel at the new heights their [sic] music will take.”

Over the course of three self-released albums 2010’s Romanticism, 2012’s Revisionist and 2015’s Midnight Century and 2014’s A Little Help EP, the Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based post-punk trio The Black Fever, comprised of Shoe (vocals, guitar), Pat Bramm (bass, backing vocals) and Dan Purpura (drums) have specialized in a sleek and propulsive post-punk that focuses on melody and concise songwriting.

Building upon that reputation, the band will be releasing a new Ian Gomes-produced EP during the spring that was recorded during two breakneck, twelve-hour recording sessions, and the EP’s first single, the Editors meets Radio 4-like “Marketing.” Centered around Shoe’s plaintive vocals, swirling guitars, angular bass and thunderous drumming, the song expresses a deep seated frustration over the fact that every single moment of your daily life is inundated with advertisements. As George Carlin once joked, someone is always trying to remove you from your money — and the constant attempts to convince  you to spend, spend, spend, spend on the unnecessary is oppressive. As the band says in a statement “We need to find a better balance between ads and public art — for art’s sake.” Throughout the song, there’s a concern over what the over-saturation of marketing messages does to the human soul and mind. Think about that as you go about your daily business.