Category: post punk

New Video: Introducing the Wiry Post-Punk of Up-and-Coming Leeds-based Trio Drahla

Led by Luciel Brown (vocals, guitars), the Leeds, UK-based trio Drahla have received national and international attention for meshing anxious and wiry post-punk with krautrock-inspired experimentation, featuring angular guitar chords and propulsive and hammering bass, the track is centered by Brown’s half-spoken/half-sung vocals as you’ll hear on “Twelve Divisions,” the band’s Pink Flag-era Wire-like Captured Tracks Records debut.

The recently released video is fully of erratic jump cuts, flickering lights and flickering imagery, the video is full of absurd and at times repetitive imagery and action.   As Brown says of the video, “The video is an abstracted representation of process and routine. This is depicted through the recreation of the cover artwork and repetitive nature of the content used.”

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New Video: ACTORS Release Eerie and Murky Visuals for “Slaves”

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based post punk act ACTORS, comprised of Jason Corbett (vocals, guitar), Shannon Hemmett (synth, vocals), Jahmell Russell (bass, vocals) and Adam Fink (drums) have developed a reputation fora  modern take on post-punk that some critics have compared favorably to the likes of The Soft Moon, Cold Cave and others.

Building upon the growing buzz surrounding the Canadian post punk act, they released their full-length debut It Will Come To You earlier this year through Artifact Records, and the album’s second single  “Slaves,” may arguably be the most direct and anthemic tracks  on the album as its centered around a propulsive bass line, slashing guitar lines, shimmering synths and an infectious hook — and much like its predecessor, it’s an urgent and forceful track. 

Directed by Shannon Hemmett, the recently released video for “Slaves” is incredibly stylistic as it features grainy VHS-like footage, edited stock footage, and high definition footage of masked character in a seedy, late night parking lot, further emphasizing the murky vibes of the song. 

New Video: Avantist’s Descend into Hell with Visuals for “this_could_be_it”

Deriving their name from a British English word that means to be an avant-gardist — one who emphasizes, practices and celebrates experimental and unorthodox methods and techniques and incorporates them into a craft, Avantist is a South Side, Chicago-based post-punk act, comprised of the Arias Brothers, Luis (drums), David (guitar), Erick (bass) and Fernando (vocals). And over the past decade, the sibling band has dedicated their live stop making avant-garde music, centered around their shared personal philosophy that art is, should and must be progressive, dynamic and unconventional, and that creativity is something to incorporate in every single aspect of one’s life. 
 
The band’s recently released EP Terasaoma finds the band stepping out of their comfort zone by forcing themselves to write, record, mix and master the EP’s material within a month, rather than the two years it took for their debut effort, and while further cementing the band’s reputation locally and regionally for crafting raucous and infectious post-punk, the EP finds the band pushing their sound and songwriting in wildly different directions; in fact, the EP’s material runs the gamut from angular and furious post-punk to soulful R&B. The EP’s latest single though is the thrashing and angular post-punk ripper “this_could_be_it,” which finds Fernando Arias howling and singing alternating lyrics in Spanish and English. May the song remind the listener that being proudly, boldly and fearlessly of color and representing everything that your heritage means in these dark, dark days is truly punk as fuck — and perhaps more so if you’re Black or of Latin descent. 

Co-directed by the members of the band and Justin Nico Flocco, the recently released video for “this_could_be_it” is on some level a tale of death, rebirth and deliverance within a brutal, unforgiving, hellish world as it follows a Sisyphean-like protagonist, who  is endlessly chased by armed soldiers that capture him, bound him and sacrifice him — repeatedly.  Adding  to the hellishness of the video, there’s a brief and fleeting suggestion that the the protagonist after a while is aware that his horrible fate is inescapable. 

New Video: Russian Baths Release an Uncomfortably Intimate Visual for “Poolhouse”

Over the past few months,  I’ve written a bit about the Brooklyn-based indie rock quartet Russian Baths, and as you may recall, with the release of their  debut single “Ambulance,” the band comprised of  Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner, quickly received attention for a sound that the band has said nods at Big Black, 70s space rock, Big Muff and British post punk among others; however, “Slenderman,” the first single off Penance, which was released earlier this year, nodded at brooding, 120 Minutes-era MTV alternative rock, as the song featured the familiar alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure and rousingly anthemic hooks while “What’s In Your Basement”  was an mosh-pit worthy song that nodded at Bleach and In Utero-era Nirvana and Finelines-era My Vitriol.

Interestingly, “Poolhouse,” Penance‘s latest single is an expansive, shoegazer rock-like song that manages to bring Sonic Youth to mind, as the band employs the use of jangling dissonance to create a an eerily gorgeous song that feels immense and downright oceanic. As the members of the band explain, “‘Poolhouse’ is about an existential crisis. It’s about feeling so overwhelmed that you can’t see the way out. It’s about moments of clam and hope being submerged in waves of pressure. It’s about losing your breath because of fear.” 

 Shot in an uncomfortably intimate close up that features the band’s frontwoman Jess Ress as she’s doused in continuous steams of water, the recently released video for “Poolhouse” evokes of submersion that the song focuses in, with the video’s protagonist struggling to keep calm. 

Several years ago, I wrote about the London-based electro rock/industrial rock trio Blindness, an act that featured Beth Rettig (vocals, programming), Emma Quick (bass) and Debbie Smith (guitar), who also had stints in Curve, Echobelly and Snowpony. After Blindness split up, Rettig started tinkering around with new music and reworking some ideas that she had lying around without much of a plan. As Rettig told me in an email, “Recently, I decided it was probably time to do something with some of the new stuff.” Debbie Smith, her former Blindness bandmate contributed guitars, along with some programming on one of the two singles, Rettig has released with her new project Where We Sleep, a project that Rettig hopes will have her working with other musicians as well. Unsurprisingly, the project draws from some of Rettig’s lifelong influences — Curve, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Nine Inch Nails, PJ Harvey, Kate Bush, Massive Attack, and others.

“Veins,” the first Where We Sleep single finds Rettig collaborating with her former Blindness bandmate Debbie Smith, who contributes some thumping drum programming, arpeggiated synths and buzzing power chords in a sultry and anthemic New Wave-like song that sounds as though it were influenced by Sixousie and the Banshees and Depeche Mode. “Crawl” is a moody and atmospheric track centered around Rettig’s breathy vocals and industrial clang and clatter — and sonically speaking, the song may arguably be the most Depeche Mode-like that she’s released yet.

 

New Video: Moaning Releases Amorphous and Dada-esque Visuals for Slow-burning Album Single “Misheard”

Over the first couple of months of this year, I wrote about the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock trio Moaning, and as you may recall, the band comprised of Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson and Andrew MacKelvie have spent the past few years crafting  and refining a moody and angular post-punk sound that manages to draw influence equally from shoegaze and slacker rock. During that same period of time, the band has received attention both nationally and internationally from a number of major media outlets including The Fader, The Guardian, DIY Magazine,Stereogum, and others.

The trio’s highly-anticipated, self-titled, full-length debut was released earlier this year through  Sub Pop Records, and album singles like the Joy Division/Interpol/Preoccupations-like “Artificial” and the moody and shimmering “Tired,” further cemented their reputation for moody post-punk with enormous, arena rock-like hooks. Unsurprisingly, the mid-tempo ballad “Misheard” continues in a similar vein, as it features angular guitar chords and enormous hooks but finds the band decidedly pushing their sound towards shoegaze and 120 Minutes MTV-era alt rock, centered around lyrics that vacillate between self-loathing, confusion and regret — all familiar emotions that are engendered in the aftermath of an equally confusing and embittering relationship.

Directed by Steve Smith, the recently released video for “Misheard” continues the band’s string of accompanying their songs with surreal visuals — this time with some amorphous, neon-colored imagery that’s like a Dada-esque nightmare.

Numb.er is the brainchild of its Los Angeles, CA-based mastermind and primary songwriter, photographer and visual artist Jeff Fribourg, who’s probably best known as a founding member of psych rock/kraut rock band Froth. Thanks to a background in graphic design and visual art, Fribourg has developed a reputation for his work being imbued with a sense of architectural composition with angular guitar riffs and analog synths being layered over throbbing drums and propulsive bass lines. And although Fribourg can trace the origins of his love of synthesizers to when he was in Froth, Numb.er finds the Los Angeles-based songwriter, photographer and visual artist fully exploring his eclectic influences and inclinations with the project meshing elements of punk rock, shoegaze, post-punk and noise rock — without committing to a singular worldview and without sounding overly ironic or forced.

Goodbye, Numb.er’s latest effort is slated for release at the end of the week through Felte Records, and the album’s latest single “Numerical Depression” will further cement Fribourg’s reputation for  genre-defying sound as you’ll hear elements of classic ’77-era punk, post-punk and noise punk as the song is centered around a propulsive bass line, power chord-based guitar lines played through copious guitar effect pedals and rolling drums — and while sonically the song brings to mind Wire, Nirvana, The Clash, Bauhaus, and others, complete with a similar urgency, and yet the song doesn’t find the band resorting to clueless, self-obsessed mimicry and cliches.

New Audio: Soft Kill Releases a Gorgeous and Deeply Personal Meditation on Life and Death

With the release of 2015’s Heresy and 2016’s acclaimed Choke, the members of Portland, OR-based post punk act Soft Kill, currently comprised of Tobias Grave (vocals/guitar/synths), Conrad Vollmer (guitar), Owen Glendower (bass) and Adam Bulgasem (drums) had spent a an increasing amount of time on the road; in fact, they have been on rather extensive touring cycle through North America and Europe to support Choke. Interestingly enough, the band announced a series Pacific Northwest tour dates with Harms Way, just as they officially dropped their latest album Savior.  

Savior may be the most personal album the band has ever written and recorded, as much of the writing was inspired by a real life experience: as the band was returning from tour, Tobias Grave’s pregnant wife began to bleed out in the van. She was eight months pregnant, and practically in the middle of nowhere, far from a hospital or any other medical facility. The band raced through the night, eventually winding up in the emergency room of Sacramento’s UC Davis Trauma Center, where surgery was performed to try to save the lives of both the mother and the then-unborn child. Although the surgery went well, the baby’s lung collapsed on his second day of life causing him to flatline. Grave was forced to standby and watch as doctors and nurses struggled to keep his newborn son alive with a series of blood transfusions, breathing and feeding tubes. As his vigil turned into weeks, he purchased a guitar, borrowed a bass from a friend and began to write the material that wound up becoming Savior. Thematically speaking, the songs focused on loss and hurt — the tragic loss of his newborn son, his long battle with drug addiction, the tragedies and heartaches of life, the weirdly empty and ambivalent space between mourning and celebration, life and death that we all know far too well. In many ways, the album is written about a man, who has come to grips with the reflection of themselves, as seen in the eyes of their dying son — and as you’ll hear on the shimmering album single “Hard Candy,” the material manages to possess the palpable weight of devastating and senseless loss, and the acceptance of what it means to the song’s narrator and his life, making the song a gorgeous and mournful meditation on life and deat