Tag: Ministry

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written about the Los Angeles, CA-based quartet Sextile. And interestingly enough, the band which is comprised of Melissa Scaduto, Eddie Wuebben, Sammy Warren and Brady Keen derives their name from the classic, astrological definition of sextile, an astrological aspect that’s made when two planets or other astrological bodies are 60º apart in the night sky.

Now, as you may recall, “One Of These,” off the band’s forthcoming sophomore effort, Albeit Living, managed to sound as though it were influenced by The Jesus and Mary Chain, A Place to Bury Strangers, Wire, Public Image, Ltd., early Ministry and early Nine Inch Nails as it featured the band pairing a propulsive stomp with scorching feedback, chilly synths, a dance floor-worthy hook with a feral intensity.  The album’s subsequent signal “Who Killed Six” featured angular guitar chords, punchily delivered lyrics and industrial clang and clatter to create a song that sounded as though it were influenced by   Pink Flag-era Wire and Joy Division; but with a scuzzier and grittier feel.

Albeit Living‘s latest single “Situation” finds the band pairing a propulsive and throbbing synths with whirring and grinding electronics, persistent beats and laconically delivered vocals in a song that sounds like a dryly ironic cover of Elastica‘s “Connection.” And although the song manages to draw from some of the same influences and time period, the new single reveals a band playfully and restlessly experimenting with their sound to the point of being musical chameleons while retaining elements of the sound and aesthetic that captured the blogosphere’s attention — namely an ability to craft a rousing hook.

 

Last month, I wrote about the Los Angeles, CA-based quartet Sextile. Comprised of Melissa Scaduto, Eddie Wuebben, Sammy Warren and Brady Keen, the band, whose sound draws from 70s punk, 80s New Wave, synthwave and early, industrial electronica, derives their name from the classic, astrological meaning of sextile, an astrological aspect that is made when two planets or other celestial bodies are 60 degrees apart in the sky.

Now, as you may recall, “One Of These,” off the band’s forthcoming sophomore effort, Albeit Living, managed to sound as though it were influenced by The Jesus and Mary Chain, A Place to Bury Strangers, Wire, Public Image, Ltd., early Ministry and early Nine Inch Nails as it featured the band pairing a propulsive stomp with scorching feedback, chilly synths, a dance floor-worthy hook with a feral intensity. However, the album’s latest single “Who Killed Six” features angular guitar chords, punchily delivered lyrics and industrial clang and clatter in what arguably may be the most punk rock and New Wave-inspired song they’ve released to date; in fact, the song reminds me of Pink Flag-era Wire and Joy Division, complete with a scuzzy and gritty feel.

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Symbolic (and Messy) Visuals for INVSN’s “This Constant War”

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Umea, Sweden-based post-punk quintet INVSN, an act comprised of some of Sweden’s most accomplished musicians — including Dennis Lyxzen (vocals), a founding member and frontman of Refused, and a former member of The (International) Noise Conspiracy, The Lost Patrol Band, AC4, and who has collaborated with The Bloody Beetroots and others; Sara Almgrem (bass, vocals), a member of The Doughnuts, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, The Vicious and Masshysteri; Andres Sternberg (guitar, keyboards), a member of Deportees, The Lost Patrol Band and a member of Lykke Li’s backing band; Andre Sandström (drums, percussion), a member of Ds-13, The Vicious, The Lost Patrol Band, Ux Vileheads and others; and Christina Karlsson (keyboards, vocals), a member of Tiger Forest Cat, Honungsvägen and Frida Serlander‘s backing band. And interestingly enough, the members of the band are five, long-term friends, with Lyxzen in particular being known for a lengthy career incorporating sociopolitical themes into his work; in fact, as Lyxzen has publicly explained, “Music always meant more to me then just entertainment. It has had a profound impact on everything that I am as a person and I see music as art and art as life. We live in a world devoid of meaning where we serve the lowest common denominator at all times. Where politics as an idea has failed us and where art is being reduced to consumerism and clickbait.”

The band’s initial recordings were written and recorded with lyrics in their native Swedish under the name Invasionen, but when the members of the band decided that it was time to take the project and their work internationally, they felt that writing and singing lyrics in English, along with a new name would be necessary — and they settled on INVSN.   Regardless of the name or the language, the post-punk band has always had a political message — and during this particular moment, when humanistic, Enlightenment values and thinking are being challenged by extreme right wing and extreme religious movements across the world, the members of INVSN strongly believe that their music, and the work of other like-minded musicians are part of a necessary and urgent outcry from a counterculture that has yet to give up. And while being righteously angry, their overall approach is rooted in the belief that change is gonna come — and it’s going to come real soon. 

The Swedish band’s latest effort The Beautiful Stories is slated for release on Friday, and the album was recorded and produced by by Adam “Atom” Greenspan, best known for his work with Nick Cave and The Veils at Svenska Grammofonstudion in Gothenburg, Sweden.  Reportedly, the album finds the band experimenting and expanding their aesthetic and songwriting approach with material that possesses elements of post-punk, industrial electronica, indie rock and indie pop, which gives their sociopolitical concerns an accessible, almost radio-friendly vibe. 

Now, as you may recall “I Dreamt Music” was a decidedly post-punk leaning song, sounding as though it drew influence from Joy Division and Gang of Four, thanks to the song’s decided politically charged tone. And as Lyxzen explained in press notes,  “I wanted to write about the longing for resistance to the cultural/political/musical landscape that holds us imprisoned. I wanted to write about the naive, romantic and pretentious notion that music and art should be about ideas that can change and transform and maybe even be the beacon of hope in these dismal times.” And as a result, the song manages to possesses a sense of cynicism and distrust and an equal bit of outrage.”

Interestingly enough, Beautiful Stories’ latest single “This Constant War” finds the band pairing jangling, Country-leaning guitar chords, layers of buzzing electronics and a propulsive rhythm section with boy/girl harmonies and a soaring, swooning hook in a song that sounds a bit like Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby-era U2 but filtered through Primal Scream, New Order and Ministry, while nodding at The Lonely Wild, as the material possesses a cinematic yet yearning quality at its core. 

The recently released video for “This Constant War” features the members of the band passionately singing the song or broodingly staring off into space as the hands of an unseen person smears colored paint onto the faces and bodies of the bandmembers. 

New Video: The 80s Post Punk and New Wave-Inspired Sound and Visuals of Berlin’s A.D. Mana

sentimental records is a Brussels, Belgium-based record label hat specializes in cassette tape-only releases from a variety of post-punk and New Wave-leaning acts all over the world, including the Los Angeles-based post-punk outfit Second Still. The Belgium indie label’s will be releasing the debut EP from Berlin, Germany-based A.D. Mana, an artist, who specializes in a sound that meshes elements of coldwave, post-punk, synth pop and industrial electronica; in fact, the EP’s first single “Take Hold” will immediately bring memories of early 80s New Order (i.e., “Blue Monday” and “Bizarre Love Triangle”), Ministry (i.e., “What About Us?”) and Depeche Mode (i.e., “People Are People,” and “Just Can’t Get Enough”) but with a murky and moody vibe that nods at goth as you’ll hear industrial clang and clatter, shimmering synths, angular guitar chords and a dance floor and arena rock-friendly hook paired with Mana’s aching and tender vocals.
Shot, edited and directed by Sally Dige Jørgensen, the recently released video for “Take Hold” is a decidedly 80s influenced affair featuring black and white sequences of a brooding Mana walking through the crowded rush-hour streets of Berlin, what appears to be someone developing photos of Mana and his intense graze in a dark room and more — and in some way, the video captures and evokes the woozy effect of obsession.

Deriving their name from the classic astrological meaning of sextile, an astrological aspect that is made when two planets or other celestial bodies are 60 degrees apart in the sky, the Los Angeles, CA-based quartet Sextile (comprised of Melissa Scaduto, Eddie Wuebben, Sammy Warren and Brady Keehn) specializes in a sound that draws from 70s punk, 80s New Wave, and synthwave and early industrial electronica. In fact, “One of These,” the latest single from the Los Angeles-based quartet’s forthcoming sophomore album Albeit Living manages to sound as though the band were drawing influence from The Jesus and Mary Chain, A Place to Bury Strangers, Wire, Public Image, Ltd., early Ministry and early Nine Inch Nails as the band pairs a propulsive stomp with scorching feedback, chilly synths and an anthemic, fairly dance floor-friendly hook with an explosively feral intensity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Mischievous Yet Dark Goth-Inspired Visuals for Ghost Twin’s “Plastic Heart”

Since the release of their debut EP, Here We Are In The Night, the Winnipeg, MB-based electro pop duo Ghost Twin, comprised of husband and wife duo Karen and Jaimz Asmundson, have received attention for meshing dark, industrial-inspired dance grooves in an immersive audio/visual show that includes edited video being used as percussion; in fact, the duo have played shows across their native Canada, including sets at NXNE, Pop Montreal, BreakOut West and Terminus. Eventually, the EP caught the attention of Austra’s Maya Postepski, a drummer and an electronic music producer known as Princess Century, who approached the band and was recruited to produce and collaborate on the material that would eventually comprise Plastic Heart, the Canadian duo’s full-length debut.

“Plastic Heart,” the album title track and latest single off Ghost Twin’s debut consists of tweeter and woofer-rattling boom bap beats, propulsive, shimmering arpeggio synths, a murky, retro-futuristic, industrial electro pop vibe and a soaring hook paired with ethereal vocals — and while clearly nodding at John Carpenter soundtracks, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Depeche Mode, Moonbabies, Niki and the Dove and others, the song manages to be a slickly produced, club banger with a dark, seductive feel. And interestingly enough, the recently released video, which was directed and produced by the band’s Jaimz Asmundson drops the viewer into a gym club for goths in which a dance instructor teaches some of the attendees a menacing new dance move, a move that mimics kidnapping, murdering and then burying the body of an enemy while conjuring dark spirits — and while menacing there’s a mischievous sense of dark humor and wish-fulfillment within the video.

Since the release of their debut EP, Here We Are In The Night, the Winnipeg, MB-based electro pop duo Ghost Twin, comprised of husband and wife duo Karen and Jaimz Asmundson, have received attention for meshing dark, industrial-inspired dance grooves in an immersive audio/visual show that includes edited video being used as percussion; in fact, the duo have played shows across their native Canada, including sets at NXNE, Pop Montreal, BreakOut West and Terminus. Eventually, the EP caught the attention of Austra’s Maya Postepski, a drummer and an electronic music producer known as Princess Century, who approached the band and was recruited to produce and collaborate on the material that would eventually comprise Plastic Heart, the Canadian duo’s full-length debut.

“Plastic Heart,” the album title track and latest single off Ghost Twin’s debut consists of tweeter and woofer-rattling boom bap beats, propulsive, shimmering arpeggio synths, a murky, retro-futuristic, industrial electro pop vibe and a soaring hook paired with ethereal vocals — and while clearly nodding at John Carpenter soundtracks, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Depeche Mode, Moonbabies, Niki and the Dove and others, the song manages to be a slickly produced, club banger with a dark, seductive feel.

Best known as members of A.R.E. Weapons, Matt McCauley and Brian Peck started their latest recording project TV Baby last year in a makeshift hideaway deep within a remote section of industrial NYC. The duo found the  isolation and decay of their surroundings as helping the overall exploratory vibe of their early writing and recording sessions, which also included the duo shifting their roles within the band — and interestingly all of that wound up influencing the duo’s full-length debut, Dignity Don’t Dance produced by The Rapture‘s Gabriel Andruzzi and mixed by Ewan Pearson.

Dignity Don’t Dance‘s latest single “Swamp Beat” manages to nod at NYC’s dance rock/dance punk scene of the early 00s as the duo pairs squealing and scorching guitars with stuttering and propulsive drum programming, a motorik-like groove, and a rousingly anthemic hook with howled, mantra-like vocals. And in some way the song manages to nod at Echoes-era The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem but with a gritty, scuzzy, industrial feel reminiscent of early Ministry — and as a result, the song manages to be a swaggering, club banger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Initially comprised of founding member Al Jourgensen (vocals and guitar), Stephen George (drums), Robert Roberts (keys) and John Davis (keys), the renowned and influential Chicago, IL-based industrial metal/industrial electronic act Ministry began as a New Wave synth pop act that released several 12 inch singles through Wax Trax! Records between 1981-1984. And after a series of lineup changes that included a deeper focus on the band’s founding duo of Jourgensen and George, and a radical change in sonic direction that lead to the aggressive and abrasive sound that later inspired the likes of Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails ,KMFDM and others.

This Friday will mark the limited release of the long-awaited Trax! Rarities double album featuring rare, early tracks and versions of songs from Wax Trax! Records-era Ministry and unreleased material from Al Jourgensen’s related side projects including Revolting Cocks, PTP, Pailhead and 1000 Homo DJs through Cleopatra Records. And we’ve got three tracks from the Trax! Rarities collection — the A Flock of Seagulls meets Roxy Music-like demo version of “The Game Is Over,” which reveals that even with a completely different sound that Jourgensen, his late bandmate George and company had an uncanny ability to write an incredibly anthemic hook paired with shimmering guitars and a propulsive groove;  the mid 80s New Order and Depeche Mode-nodding “I See Red,” which is not only a dance-floor friendly song but manages to be a more conscious move towards something resembling industrial electronic music; and lastly, “Same Old Madness,” which strangely enough, bears an uncanny resemblance to Freedom of Choice-era DEVO. Of course, while the compilation will be a must have for die-hard fans and completetists, it’s a revealing look into how a band’s sound and aesthetic can morph from making them a mere footnote of a particular time into one of the more influential bands of their generation.

 

 

 

 

 

Comprised of friends and collaborators Ben Greenberg (guitar, production), who has spent time as a member of The Men and  with his solo project Hubble, and is the producer and engineer, who has worked on most of the Sacred Bones Records catalog; and Michael Berdan (vocals), who has spent time as a member of Drunkdriver and York Factory Complaint, the New York-based duo of Uniform can trace their origins back to 2013 when the duo had reconnected and recognized that they were both in the same place musically. Desiring as intimate of a recorded and live experience as possible, the duo decided that they had to keep the project as a duo, eschewing a live rhythm section for drumming programming and low end synths paired with Greenberg’s guitar work and Berdan’s vocals. And the immediate result of Greenberg and Berdan’s collaboration was a 12 inch single, quickly followed by their full-length debut Perfect World.

The “Ghosthouse” 12 inch is the duo’s first proper release through Sacred Bones Records and while retaining the us of drum programming, low end synths paired with Greenberg’s guitar and Berdan’s vocals, the duo have expanded upon their sound to include the sounds of war and violent conflict including shots, explosions, implosions, things collapsing, along with industrial clang and clatter to create a murky and abrasively confrontational sound — the sound of the fearful, vicious and uncertain contemporary age we live in while being paired with lyrics that are influenced by Berdan’s own struggles with depression and insomnia.

The duo’s latest single is a Ministry and black metal-like cover of Black Sabbath‘s “Symptom of the Universe” that’s abrasive, punishing and fatalistically bleak — essentially turning the song into a love letter from the grave.

Look for the duo’s sophomore effort sometime in 2017.