Tag: Nine Inch Nails

Growing up in Atlanta, Blake Fusilier didn’t quite fit in with his contemporaries — while many of his peers aspired to sign to LaFace Records and SoSoDef Records, as a teenager Fusilier picked up the violin, dreamt of being the black Itzhak Perlman and was obsessed with the work of Edgar Allen Poe. And much like odd teenagers — especially odd black teenagers —  a young Fusilier learned that sometimes when you’re extremely different, you can be hated and ridiculed, and around that time he began writing his own music. By the time, he relocated to Boston for college, Fusilier had learned to play the bass and was a member of moody rock band RIBS, which eventually rose to national prominence; in fact, they’ve opened for The Joy Formidable and Queens of the Stone Age, and have been written about across the blogosphere. 

As the story goes, as the band was achieving quite a bit of success, someone asked Fusilier about being black and gay, and the singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer began to realize that running away from those questions and the world’s perceptions of him was spiritually and emotionally exhausting. From that point forward, he wanted to make music that would not only drain those questions of their power but to make them permanently irrelevant. As Fusilier says in press notes, “I have this theory that if people knew who we really were in their minds, we probably would all have a lot more respect for one another. This applies to everyone: friends and acquaintances and bandmates. I think it’s our duty to ourselves to make sure that those around us have a chance to allow others to see our glorious, true selves. I finally feel like I’m beginning to live by those words. The songs I’m wrapping up have been floating around for years. I had been anticipating the moment when people could actually hear even 20 seconds of my potential.” 

So far the response from the blogosphere and music critics has been wildly positive with one critic in particular describing Fusilier’s sound as being a synthesis of James Brown and Nine Inch Nails — although as soon as I heard his latest single “Make You,” I immediately heard Prince, Jef Barbara, Boulevards, Gordon Voidwell and quite a bit of contemporary electro pop as the former RIBS bassist’s sultry and sensual cooing is paired with a slick, hyper modern production consisting of a sinuous bass line, propulsive drum programming led by finger snaps, layers of buzzing synths and electronics, and an incredibly infectious hook in a club banging song that possess an unresolved sexual tension and a sly and ironic commentary on racial and sexual identity. And it all should be a reminder that you can pair some deeply personal and political messages in dance music — and the most important that music can be one of the most powerful weapons imaginable.  



Last year, I wrote about Swedish-born and based, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sofia Härdig, who with the release of “Streets,” the first single off her two part EP The Street Light Leads to the Sea added herself to a growing list of Swedish artists that have seen international attention across Europe and North America. And as a result of a growing international profile, Härdig, who is considered Sweden’s “rocktronica queen of experimental music,” has collaborated with  Grammy Award-winning acts The Hellacopters and Bob Hund, Boredoms and Free Kitten‘s Yoshimi P-We and has opened for Lydia Lunch and Belle and Sebastian‘s Stevie Jackson.

Interestingly, The Street Light Leads to the Sea was recorded with handpicked musicians, who were known for their improvisational skills, and each musician was encouraged to improvise on the rough sketches that Härdig brought in whenever and however they felt fit. As the Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist explains in press notes “I find beauty in flaws and that which is not perfect is what excites me, I love the unusual, the unexpected, untrained and unplanned . . . ” And as you’ll hear on the EP’s latest single “Sitting Still,” the material possesses a raw and gritty urgency as slashing and angular guitar chords, wild squalls of feedback and rapid fire drumming are paired with Härdig’s punchy delivered vocals in a tense and anxious song that captures a narrator, who’s at odds with herself and her conflicting emotions, thoughts and desires — and does so in a way that feels and sounds like the interior conversations we all have at some point or another. Sonically, the single much like its predecessor still manages to sound as though it were influenced PJ Harvey but equally influenced by Nine Inch Nails and Earthling-era David Bowie, complete with a swaggering, anthemic hook.



New Audio: Milemarker’s New Video Captures Their Live Song and An Anthemic, Mosh Pit Worthy Song

Over the last few months I’ve written quite a bit about  Chapel Hill, NC-based experimental/post-hardcore punk/new wave-leaning trio Milemarker. Initially comprised of Al Burian, Dave Laney and Ben Davis, the members of Milemarker quickly developed a reputation in indie […]

With the release of his critically applauded full-length debut, Brooklyn-based electronic music producer, DJ and artist Krycek saw a growing national profile; in fact, Buzzfeed, Fresh Beats 365 and others compared the Brooklyn-based artist’s sound to Nine Inch Nails and CHVRCHES. And although to some extent those comparisons are fair, as you’ll hear on his latest single “My Limit,” Krycek’s sound possess a swaggering sensuality that owes a debt to hip-hop and trip hop as the song nods at Sneaker Pimps, Portishead and Tobacco while sonically,  the Brooklyn-based DJ, producer and electronic music artist pairs woofer and tweeter rocking, boom-bap beats, funky and angular burst of guitar, murkily atmospheric synths and wobbling low end with his sultry and breathy vocals.

Comprised of Daniel Knowler, Paul Middleton and Samuel Mclaughlin, London, UK-based trio The Infinite Three have developed a reputation for a sound and aesthetic that possess elements of post-punk, drone and porto-industrial rock, and channels Killing Joke, SWANS, Cop Shoot Cop and Nine Inch Nails — but with nods towards psychedelia and noise rock. Of course, on a certain level that shouldn’t be surprising as the members of the trio have an extensive history of genre defying work. Middleton has had a stint in industrial jazz act GOD and was a member of noise pioneers Cindytalk along with his fellow bandmate Knowler while McLaughlin has collaborated with poet and artist Gerry Mitchell. Knowleer has also worked on MFOTWU with performance artist Franko B. And in The Infinite Three, the members of the band have worked with renowned saxophonist Tom Jackson and London-based producer Den Liberator.

Recorded with engineer Jon Clayton, who has worked with Band of Holy Joy and The Monochrome Set, The Infinite Three’s third officially released full-length effort Lucky Beast will cement the band’s burgeoning reputation for a muscular, post-punk leaning take on prog rock and experimental rock. The album’s latest single “Hydrogen” has the band pairing angular power chords, swirling electronics, propulsive drumming and a punchy and aggressive hook to craft a song that sounds as though it were indebted to Wire, Mission of Burma and SWANS; in other words it the song possess a mosh pit worthy, sneering aggression while nodding at industrial metal.





Originally known as a member of Baltimore, MD-based act Lake Trout, Andy Shankman is a grizzled music industry vet, whose solo recording project Jumpcuts began after an intense flurry of songwriting that had Shankman along with co-arranger Gideon Briedegam initially composing material on guitar and then slowly transposed to synthesizer — and then recorded and produced by Rob Girardi, best known for his work with Beach House and Celebration’s David Bergander at Lord Baltimore Studios. And the result was Shankman’s debut effort, Electrickery, an effort that was praised for its meshing electronic production with live instrumentation including guitars, synths and classically trained-based string arrangements, which generally pushes his material towards synth rock with a pop-leaning sensibility.

“Electric Shadows” is the latest single off Shankman’s forthcoming sophomore effort Fiber Optic Bondage, slated for a March 25, 2016 release and the single has Shankman pairing propulsive tribal-like drumming with layers of churning synths, abrasive, industrial clang and clatter and Shankman’s plaintive crooning to craft a dark and uneasy song that sounds indebted to Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Blanck Mass an others — complete with a claustrophobic sense of introspection that feels as though the listeners were diving into the deeply fractured psyche of the song’s narrator.








Al Tompkins, the creative mastermind behind goth/industrial act Dark Matter Noise (DMN) is a grizzled, Seattle music scene veteran and quietly kept mainstay. As the story goes, Tompkins went to high school with Chris Cornell and college with Matt Cameron — before Cornell and Cameron met and formed Soundgarden. Tompkins’ first band Ebb and Flow received a great deal of airplay for a goth soundtrack tune that the renowned producer and audio engineer Jack Endino recorded as part of a test to get a job at Reciprocal Recording, where Nirvana eventually recorded Bleach. Tompkins next band, Strange Bulge recorded an album which had guest appearances by Ten Minute Warning and Mother Love Bone‘s Greg Gilmore and the aforementioned Jack Endino and Matt Cameron. Tompkins fourth band Yeast recorded split singles with Nirvana, Helios Creed and Coffin Break among others and opened for the likes of Mudhoney, Soundgarden, and The Fluid. Tompkins then pursued an interest in metal with a stint with Resonator, who opened for the likes of The Gits, Napalm Death, The Pleasure Elite and others.

Tompkins latest project Dark Matter Noise (DMN) was created out of his desire to fully experiment with an electronic sound — and to change up his songwriting approach, after spending years within the indie rock scene. The project’s second and forthcoming album Blackwing is slated for a March 18 release, and the the album has Tompkins producing the album, as well as performing most of the instrumentation on the effort, except for contributions from Electric Hellfire Club‘s Eric Peterson, Vladimir Potrosky contributed songwriting on “End of Line,” and Charlie Drown contributed vocals on “Open Wide” and “Hell’s Frozen.” Sonically speaking, the album’s first single and title track “Darkwing” sounds as though it draws from Ministry, Depeche Mode and early Nine Inch Nails as layers of buzzing guitars, industrial clang and clatter, propulsive and forceful drum programming and drumming and swirling electronics are paired with guttural yet crooned vocals. And although the song and the material on the album is reportedly inspired by a number of very dark things –the dissolution of a marriage, the lost of years of recordings and demos and so on — there’s a sense of resilience just underneath the murky surface.




If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past few months, you may recall that I wrote about the British and Brazilian industrial rock band Plastique. Comprised of vocalist Anelise Kunz, multi-instrumentalist Fabio Couto and producer Gabriel Ralis, formed back in 2010 and with the release of their self-titled debut and their sophomore effort, #SocialScar, the trio received both national and international attention for a sound that’s inspired by Nine Inch NailsGarbagePJ HarveyGoldfrappBrody Dalle, The Smashing PumpkinsThe Prodigy and The Beastie Boys. Adding to a growing national and international profile, the band was named one of the Top 5 in Marshall’s Ultimate Band Contest in 2013.

Naturally, wanting to build upon the steadily growing buzz around the band, the members of the trio initially went into the studio with the intention of expanding upon the sound that had won them attention. But once they started writing material they realized that they all feeling an inordinate amount of pressure to come up with something new, and as the story goes they went on a hiatus with the hopes that some time off would help. As the band’s Anelise Kunz mentioned in press notes their first single in some time “Quake,” “came out as a sign of hope . . . there was no pressure, the vocal jam just happened, and soon we were all involved in getting this one ready to go!”

“Lips,” Plastique’s latest single is informed by a series of demos the band had recorded while working on their previous single “Quake,” and in many ways that spirit of experimentation informed the track. Sonically, the song pairs layers of scuzzy, heavy metal-like guitars, industrial clang and clatter, propulsive drum programming and anthemic hooks that you can imagine a crowded club of enthusiastic fans shouting along to paired with Kunz’s sneering, growling punk-leaning vocals. In some way, the song (to my ears, at least) reminds me of the punishing forcefulness of Ministry (in particular, “What About Us?” one of my favorite Ministry songs) with the attitude of Garbage (in particular, “Supervixen“). Throughout the song you can tell that the band does not fuck around; they’re going to take names and kick ass — but with an irresistible sultriness.



Comprised of Bobby Moynahan (vocals), Esli Sugich (bass), and Scott Eton (keyboards and guitar), the trio of Ballerina Black, have received praise across the blogosphere for a sound that my colleagues have described as “a collage of mope rock and grave wave;” in fact, their sound on their earliest releases reminded me quite a bit of Depeche ModeNine Inch Nails and 4AD  Records as it struck me as being a slickly produced, anxious goth-based electro rock.

Adding to a growing national profile, the band has opened for the likes of Interpol and Silversun Pickups, have seen some of their singles receive airplay on radio stations across the globe and have played a number of sold out shows in their hometown of Los Angeles. And to continue the growing buzz around the band, they’re planning to embark on a tour to close out 2015; however, in the meantime, the band has released their latest single “Chiffon,” which is a decided change in sonic direction as it’s arguably one of the sunniest and breeziest songs they’ve released to date. Not only is the song much more upbeat with much of the gloom and doom being lifted from the proceedings, the song sounds as though it subtly leans towards shoegaze as the song consists of lush, shimmering guitar chords, propulsive drumming and Moynahan’s plaintive and ethereal vocals. And although swooning and seemingly channelling 120 Minutes-era alternative rock, there’s something under the surface that’s tense and menacing.