Tag: post punk

With the release of 2014’s full-length debut, Dogging, the Sydney-based punk act Low Life featuring core trio Mitch Tolman, Cristian O’Sullivan and Greg Alfaro quickly received national and international attention.

Recorded over a two year period, the acclaimed Aussie punk band’s sophomore effort Downer Edn (read as Downer Edition) finds the band expanding from a trio to a quintet with the addition of Oily Boys and Orion’s Dizzy Daldal (guitar) and Yuta Matsumura (guitar) — with Matsumura rejoining the band to allow Tolman to be a full-time vocalist. And with the addition of Daldal and Matsumura, the band has gone through a decided change in sonic direction; in fact, as you may recall, the album’s first single, the icy Joy Division-like “Lust Forevermore” featured a lush, post-punk/New Wave inspired sound, complete with an anxious and urgency tension. Interestingly, the album’s second single “The Pitts” is a seamless synthesis of grimy, feedback-filled punk and lush post-punk, as the track is centered by a mosh pit friendly hook, shouted and howled lyrics — and while bearing an uncanny resemblance to 120 Minutes-era alt rock, the song possesses a post-modern anxiousness.

 

 

Advertisements

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.

 

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, complete with an aching longing that’s set in a doomed, near apocalyptic world, much like our own. As a result, the song balances an uneasy intimacy with a wide screen cinematic quality.

 

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.

 

 

With the release of 2014’s full-length debut, Dogging, the Sydney-based punk act Low Life featuring core trio Mitch Tolman, Cristian O’Sullivan and Greg Alfaro quickly received national and international attention — while leaving a nasty mark on the punk landscape. Interestingly, the band’s much-anticipated sophomore effort Downer Edn (read as Downer Edition) is slated for a March 15, 2019 release through Goner Records.

Recorded over a two year period, the acclaimed Aussie punk band’s forthcoming sophomore effort finds the band expanding from a trio to a quintet with the addition of Oily Boys and Orion’s Dizzy Daldal (guitar) and Yuta Matsumura (guitar), with Matsumura rejoining the band to allow Tolman to be a full-time vocalist. Additionally, the material is a decided change in sonic direction for the band — with the material finding the band going for a lush, New Wave-like sound; in fact the album’s first single is the icy and angular “Lust Forevermore.” And while sonically bearing an uncanny resemblance to Joy Division, the song manages an uneasy balance of melancholy, anxious tension, pensiveness and urgency.

 

New Video: Mexican-Panamanian Singer Songwriter and Multi-instrumentalist Michelle Blades Releases a Topical Post Punk Anthem

Michelle Blades is a Mexican-Panamanian singer/songwriter and self-taught multi-instrumentalist, who grew up in a family of salsa musicians — and as a result, a young Blades soaked up notions of her heritage, studio life and production. When Blades was seven, her family fled Panama as a result of the vestiges of violence and unrest left by Manuel Noriega, eventually relocating to Miami, where they all learned English and lived in different recording studios and apartments. 

Ironically, music was all but forbidden at home and many of Blades’ artistic aspirations were halted by the family patriarch until she moved out when she turned 16. She then spent time juggling a number of different jobs including — being a journalist for the local CBS affiliate, producing a biweekly show, Focus on South Florida, selling smoothes, working for MIA Skatepark, and pursuing a passion for film and video by producing skate videos for her website 2TEN AM Productions. Interestingly, this love of film would wind up being important for her aspirations and her career, as it paved the way for her to direct and produce music videos for several artists. 

After buying a ukulele with her first paycheck, Blades relocated to Arizona, where she immersed herself in Phoenix’s and Tempe’s DIY scenes, learning guitar, drums, synths and bass, eventually recording and releases EPs under her own name and with the noise punk trio North Dakota. Along the way, Camaraderie Limited Records, a small Paris-based label invited Blades to go on a month-long tour of house shows and while discovering Europe for the first time, she also made friends, who would change her life. As the story goes, during her third tour of France, Blades befriended the team at Midnight Special Records — and it prompted a move to Paris, where she created the bulk of her work to date, collaborating with the label and artists in a familial sort of collective of like-minded souls. 

Since relocating to Paris, Blades has been rather prolific as she has released 2015’s Ataraxia, 2016’s Polylust EP, and 2017’s Premature Love Songs EP, written music and arrangements for Laure Briard, played bass in Fishbach, put together a Transatlantic band Michelle Blades y Los Machetes, and directed videos for Clea Vincent’s “Retiens mon desir” and “Chateau Perdu” among a list of others. 

Slated for a March 29, 2019 release, Blades’ forthcoming album Visitor continues the Mexican-Panamanian multi-disciplinary artist, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s ongoing collaboration with Midnight Special Records. The forthcoming album’s third and latest single “Politic” is a remarkably topical song that to my ears sounds like a seamless synthesis of campy B52s-like garage rock/garage pop, angular and neurotic More Songs About Food and Buildings era Talking Heads-like post punk and Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs as the song is centered around arpeggiated synths, looping garage rock guitar lines, a propulsive groove, an infectious hook and lyrics delivered in wild yelps, squeals and howls. At its core, the song expresses an anxious, existential frustration — with everything. The recently released video is centered around live footage of Blades and her backing band performing the song shot with trippy filters and colors and strobe lights galore. 

Live Footage: Up-and-Coming Belgian Post -Punk Act Whispering Sons Perform “Alone” on “Muziek bij een”

Initially formed in 2013, the Brussels, Belgium-based post punk act Whispering Sons, comprised of Fenne Kuppens (vocals), Kobe Linjen (guitar), Sander Hermans (synths), Tuur Vanderborne (bass) and Sander Pelsmaekers (drums) received attention nationally with the release of their debut EP, 2015’S Endless Party through Wool-E-Tapes with a vinyl reissue in March 2016 through Minimal Maximal. The following year, the band won one of their homeland’s most prestigious music competitions Humo’s Rock Rally, which they followed up with two 7 inches, 2016’s “Performance”/”Strange Identities” and  2017’s “White Noise.” 

Building upon a growing profile across Belgium, the Brussels-based post-punk quintet released their full-length debut, the Micha Volders and Bert Vliegen-produced Image through Cleopatra Records here in the States and Smile Records throughout the rest of the world last year. Recorded over a ten day period at Waimes, Belgium’s GAM Studios, the album finds the band attempting to capture their live sound — and more importantly, the sense of anxiety and alienation that each individual bandmember felt when they relocated to Brussels.  Now, as you may recall Image’s second single “Alone” was centered around shimmering and angular guitar lines, a propulsive and sinuous bass line, thunderous and mathematically precise drumming, an arena rock-friendly hook that’s derived from a cryptic bit of dialog spoken during Twin Peaks’ first season and Kuppens’ Ian Curtis-like vocal delivery.  And while naturally drawing some comparisons to the likes of Joy Division, Actors, Deathlist, True Moon, Second Still and others, the song bristles with an icy ominousness. 

Check out this incredible live footage of the up-and-coming Belgian act on Muziek bij een on EEN Belgium’s Dutch language station. 

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.”