Tag: Gang of Four Solid Gold

Initially formed in 1978 as a trio featuring founding members Steve Marsh, Doug Murray and his brother Greg Murray with synth player Jack Crow later joining the band, the members of Austin, TX-based punk act Terminal Mind, were influenced by the likes of Pere Ubu, Roxy Music, John Cale, and Wire — and despite a relatively short period of time together, managed to be at the forefront of Austin’s early punk rock scene, managing to quickly build a local profile, sharing bills with The Huns, Standing Waves, The Big Boys and Iggy Pop. As a result, they managed to subtly influence their hometown’s second wave of punk and noise rockers before splitting up to pursue a number of different projects: Marsh relocated to New York with his experimental noise act Miracle Room before returning to Austin to form space/psych rock act Evil Triplet and an experimental solo recording project he dubbed Radarcave; Doug Murray joined The Skunks; Greg Murray joined an iteration of The Big Boys. Unfortunately, Jack Crow died in 1994.

Now, as I’ve mentioned the proliferation of labels across the world of differing sizes has allowed for long lost bands to find their due, and interestingly, Terminal Mind’s retrospective album Recordings, which is slated for a January 19, 2018 release through Sonic Surgery Records  features the band’s very rate 4 song 7 inch album (which currently fetches more than $100 on eBay), a number of Live at Raul’s compilation tracks as well as a number of unreleased studio and live recordings. And the album’s first single “Refugee” find the short-lived band walking a tightrope between angular and nerdy post punk and furious punk with the band’s sound seeming like an amalgamation between Talking Heads: 77-era Talking HeadsPink Flag-era Wire, Entertainment! and Solid Gold-era Gang of Four, and Bad Religion.

Admittedly, while I listened to “Refugee,” there was this this sense that I had heard a band that through the weird machinations of fate and luck could have been much bigger than what they eventually wound up — after all, they were pairing tight hooks and angular power chords with an uncanny sense of melody a few years before Bad Religion even formed! But at the very least, hopefully the Sonic Surgery release will help fill in a necessary gap in the canon.     

 
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New Audio: Mute Records to Re-issue Series of Albums by Influential Cult Favorited Genre Bending British Post-Punk Band

Featuring a core lineup of Jeremy Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson with a rotating cast of members to full out the band, the Manchester-based post-punk band A Certain Ratio formed in 1978 — and naturally, while embracing the ethics and culture of the post-punk era, they had developed a reputation for being uncompromisingly difficult to pigeonhole, as their sound incorporated elements of funk, jazz, punk and rock while employing electronics, tape loops and early technology.

With the release of the critically applauded and commercially successful single “Shack Up,” on both sides of the Atlantic, the Manchester-based band became hailed as pioneers of a sound dubbed “punk funk,” and as a result that single and the rest of the work they’ve released together has managed to influence an incredible and impressive array of acts including Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, Happy Mondays, Franz Ferdinand, ESG, Factory Floor and Andrew Weatherall among others — all of which has led to an increased interest in the British post-punk act and their catalog; in fact, the members of A Certain Ratio and renowned indie label Mute Records announced the launch of a long-awaited series of re-issues, featuring a selection of the influential Manchester band’s albums and will continue into 2018 with a compilation, a rarities box set and further re-issues.

Starting on November 24, 2017 the Mute Records-A Certain Ratio re-issue series will begin with the re-issue of the Manchester band’s debut, The Graveyard and The Ballroom, which was originally released through Factory Records in December 1979. The album will be available on limited edition vinyl with colored PVC sleeve, CD (and echoing its original release 38 years ago), cassette. Mute will also be re-issuing 1981’s To Each and 1986’s Force on colored vinyl and CD. While being superficially reminiscent of Entertainment! and Solid Gold-era Gang of Four, thanks in part to the angular guitar attack, The Graveyard and The Ballroom’s re-issue single “Do the Du,” possesses a disco-like bass line paired with vocalist, who sounds anxious and distracted in an all too post-modern fashion — and with a deeper, more attentive ear, you’l hear echoes of Talking Heads 77 and Fear of Music-era Talking Heads (think of “Psycho Killer,” and “I Zimbra”) with a hint of mod-era rock. 

New Video: Belgian Post-Punk Act Fornet Specialize in the Horrors of the Mundane in Video for “Erase (I’m Alive)”

Fornet is a Limburg, Belgium-based quintet who has received attention in their homeland for an aesthetic that draws equally from post-punk, noise punk, art punk and krautrock — and as a result their sound consists of slashing, angular guitars, propulsive drumming and punchily delivered lyrics within an unusual song structure, as you’ll hear on the tense and uneasy  “Erase (I’m Alive),” the latest single off the Belgium quintet’s forthcoming self-titled EP, slated for a September 8, 2017 release through Belgium indie rock label, Sentimental Records. Although “Erase (I’m Alive)” seems to be indebted to Entertainment and Solid Gold-era Gang of Four, the song possesses a post-modern existential dread that should feel frighteningly familiar.

Directed by Wout Biesmans. the recently released video for Fornet’s “Erase (I’m Alive)” employs a simple but disturbing concept — one extremely long, static take of an extremely hairy man, in tighty whities carefully waxing himself in his bathroom. 

 

If you had been frequenting this site last month, you may have come across a post on the Brooklyn-based post-punk duo NØMADS. Comprised of Nathan Lithow (vocals, bass), who has been a touring and recording bassist for My Brightest DiamondInlets, and Gabriel and the Hounds; and Garth Macaleavey (drums), a former Inlets touring percussionist and head sound engineer at National Sawdust, the duo have quickly received attention for a sound that draws from Nirvana, Fugazi and Girls Against Boys while also nodding at Zack de la Rocha’s post-Rage Against the Machine project, One Day As A Lion , as well as Japandroids.

Now, as you may recall that the duo received some attention with the release of their 2014 full-length debut, Free My Animal, an effort that reportedly drew from Death From Above 1979 and Queens of the Stone Age. And after a year hiatus from touring and recording, the Brooklyn-based post-punk duo spent the better part of last year, writing and recording the material that would comprise their their newest, conceptual album PHØBIAC, an album in which each song focuses on a different phobia — approached in an abstract, almost clinical fashion, capturing the innermost thoughts and anxieties of someone in the grips of their own fears, while possessing a cautionary message: that whenever we succumb to our irrational fears, chaos and self-destruction will be the end result. And with our current (and continuing) sociopolitical climate, the Brooklyn-based duo’s newest material is desperately fitting and necessary, especially in light of the fact that an enormous swath of the American population have let their fear and hatred of “the other” to the point of endangering everyone within their path.

Adding to the conceptual nature of the album, each song off the album will be released every month over the course of 2017 with the full album being slated for a 2018 release.  And as you may remember, the album’s previous single “Achluphobia” focuses on a fear of darkness, and throughout you can feel the narrator’s palpable and overwhelmingly primal dread and fear as darkness begins to envelope everything around him  — and it’s further emphasized by angular and forceful bass chords, thundering and propulsive drumming and Lithgow’s growled vocals; but just under the surface of the song is a bigger message that fear can easily turn something that’s natural and normal into something fearful, horrible and dangerous.

“Acrophobia,” PHØBIAC‘s latest single is based around the fear of heights and it’s a forceful and explosive, instrumental composition that features Los Angeles, CA-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Max Braverman on drums. Featuring a frequently shifting meter paired with a propulsive bass line, the song intends to to evoke the vertiginous sensation of peering over a ledge with the recognition that solid ground and ghastly, mortal peril is just below you, all while sonically nodding at Entertainment and Solid Gold-era Gang of Four — in particular “Not Great Men,” “He’d Send in the Army;” but with an tense, anxious dread at its core.

 

 

 

 

Girls in Synthesis is a rather mysterious London, UK-based punk rock trio, who formed last year with a specific intent and purpose — to aurally represent the noise and violence of the modern world. And within a relatively short period of time, the trio developed a reputation for playing riotous live sets with Cherry Glazerr and Fat White Family side project, Revenue, that include lengthy and intense periods of noise and feedback, band members jumping off the stage and into the audience, garbled Dictaphone-era audio featuring dialogue from the British government’s Protect and Survive nuclear war video, Orson Welles’ speech from The Trial and audio from the Heaven’s Gate’s suicide video.

Building upon their growing profile across London, the British trio released their debut double A side single “The Mound”/”Disappear” today — and from their latest single, “Disappears,” the band captures the frenetic energy of their live sets while pairing almost metronomic-like drumming with sizzling and slashing guitar chords and a propulsive and forceful bass line with punchy, shouted lyrics. Sonically speaking, the song sounds as though it draws from Entertainment and Solid Gold-era Gang of Four and Elastica‘s self- titled debut album, complete with prerequisite cynical sneering and a primal fury.

Comprised of Sally Spitz (vocals), Ali Day (guitar, bass), Max Albeck (drums), and Daniel Trautfield (bass, sax), the Los Angeles, CA-based feminist art-punk quartet French Vanilla can trace the band’s origins to the members being partially driven by a desire to forcefully challenge Southern California’s established music scene, dominated by a few influential, male tastemakers and to do cool shit while hanging with friends, the band played their first shows within their hometown’s queer punk underground. Interestingly, the quartet quickly developed a local and regional reputation for socially conscious lyrics paired with a post-punk and No Wave-leaning sound — and as a result, the band has opened for the likes of Girlpool, Screaming Females, Tacocat, Genesis P-Orridge and Cherry Glazerr and others.

Adding to the growing buzz surrounding the Los Angeles-based band, their self-titled full-length effort is slated for a March 24, 2017 release through Danger Collective Records — and as you’ll hear on the album’s latest single “Anti-Aging Global Warming,” the quartet pairs the propulsive and angular bass lines and slashing guitar lines with incredibly neurotic lyrics that express the narrator’s anxious and neurotic worries about the impending end of the world as we know it, and how easy things can suddenly turn to shit before you know it; but sonically speaking the song strikes me as being reminiscent of Talking Heads: 77 and Fear of Music-era Talking HeadsEntertainment and Solid Gold-era Gang of Four and A-Frames.

 

 

 

 

With the release of “To Be Young” and “Radio Silence,” which received extensive radio airplay on BBC Radio X, Spanish radio station Radio 3 and Stateside on KCRW and KEXP, the Portsmouth, UK-based quintet Kassassin Street — comprised of Rowan Bastable (guitar, vocals), Tom Wells (bass, vocals), Andy Hurst (keys, samples), Ryan Hill (guitar, vocals) and Nathan Hill (drums) — quickly exploded onto the international scene last year. And as a result, the Portsmouth-based quintet had a busy summer playing the UK major festival circuit with appearances at Secret Garden Party, Bestival, Blissfields, Y Not, Great Escape, Beat-Herder and Isle of Wight, as well as a hometown slot at Victorious Festival — and they continued on that success with a successful UK tour, which included several sold out shows.

Building on a rather successful 2016, the members of Kassassin Street recently released their latest single “Hand In My Pocket,” a post-punk track which pairs an anthemic hook with a sinuous bass line, shimmering  and cascading synths, angular guitar chords and an uncanny sense of harmony in a shimmying, dance floor ready track that sounds indebted to Entertainment! and Solid Gold-era Gang of Four (in particular, I think of “Not Great Men” “He’d Send In The Army” and “Why Theory“), Kasabian‘s self-titled effort, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream (in particular “Detroit” and “Autobahn 66“) and New Order — but much like Gang of Four, the song possesses an underlying scathing sociopolitical message as the song focuses on social injustice and inequality in fiscal austerity-era UK.