Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Top 10 Toxic Love Songs

Yeah, I know we already did a top 10 break up songs, but this is my fucking blog so I do whatever the hell I want. Toxic Love are chemicals still in motion, making the difference being these songs the end result is not as clear cut and in the dysfunction there is the hope for a light at the end of the tunnel which may or may not be the train. I think this rings true because even when things go wrong there are always layers of feelings, so that what I am going for here, so this is almost more of a playlist for exploring the range of feelings. The songs are selected as what has hit my current mood this morning rather than me going through ever song I own to make sure this is the definitive list, after all love is more of in the right now than the forever. I'll let the lyrics of these songs do the talking rather than throw my to cents in as we count these down , which are not in the strictest order so if you are ocd, then get over they have just been arranged the way they are.

 10- the Magnetic Fields- "All My Little Words"

 Now that you've made me want to die , you tell me your're unboyfriendable"


 9- the Used - "Buried Myself Alive"

 "I guess it's ok I puked the day away, I guess it's better you trapped yourself in your own way"


8-Chris Isaak - "Things go Wrong" 

 "Trying to remember , what I know I should forget"


 7-Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - "It Gonna Rain Anymore" 

 "Once there came a storm in the form of a girl It blew to pieces my snug little world "


 6-Morrissey- "the More You Ignore Me" 

 "I now an essential part of your mind's landscape , whether you care or Not"


 4- Emma Ruth Rundle - "Furious Angel"

 If I send you my army only you can disarm me If you won’t have me or bring me your love Furious angels reign death from above onto me


5- The Postal Service - "the District Sleeps Alone Tonight"

 "I am finally seeing, I was the one worth leaving"

  3- the Drums - "Blood Under my Belt" I am scared of the child that lives in me I don't know if he learns You left your t-shirt under the bed we shared together I put it over my face

2- Sunnyday Real Estate - "Song About an Angel" 

 And all the time I tried to let you know Discomfort comes clearly

 1- Chelsea Wolfe- "The Waves Have Come" 

 I made you queen and you forgave me we'll be given the world in the right time but we made our own and left it empty


the Drums : " Abysmal Thoughts"

I have liked this band for sometime. Right from the beginning it sounds like they have taken the direction they went in on the last album and have combined it with the more 50's beach music tinged pop that works best for them. The electronic pulse gets stronger on "I'll Fight For Your Life" . Jonny Pierce does what he does best and doesn't stray from it despite the shifting landscape underneath him. I like how is voice drops down a little on the chorus. "Blood Under My Belt" has a playful melody that reminds me of the Cure's earlier punk days. The vocals are obviously more sugary than what Robert Smith did back in the day. Lyrically this is an album of break up songs so that part really works well for me. Speaking of sugar, diabetics need to be careful when listening to "Heat Basel". It has more skip in it's step than what we have previously heard on this album. I do like the fact Pierce goes into his head register a little more on this album.

While the chorus about him putting a blanket over his face stuck with me, I had to play "Shoot the Sun Down" to absorb the full impact of the song. "Head of the Horse" seems to be about the aches and pains of coming out of the closet. The hooks are very sleepy. I do like how the guitar rings out on this song. I can hear the hooks hiding in "Under the Ice". The guitar is more intangible and while there is a more organic feel to the instrumentation the vocals are very multi-tracked. 'Are You Fucked"  has a lighter heart to it than the lyrics might suggest. The bass line adds to the drone of the song. The electronics threatened to smother "Your Tenderness" . At the  end of the day despite what experimentation they delve back into it's Jonny's melody that makes this interesting. The sax gives things more of an organic glaze.

"Rich Kids"  bounces around enough to merge post-punk meets early R.E.M. The ballad "If All We share" has some really nice guitar work.  There is something much more soulful about the title track that closes the album. For a few seconds he sounds like Bono. IT takes the more post-punk qualities of indie rock and marries it to some with layered pop. The vocal parts feel like they are arranged like something from Paul Simon's "Graceland" album. I will give this album a 9 as it's emotional output is pretty impresses.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Statiqbloom : "Blue Moon Blood"

The opening track meets in that dark alley created in 90s by the likes of Skinny Puppy and pre-metal riffs Ministry. It has a beat the hammers you as it makes you dance. Things get even darker on "Black Walks Eternal" Fade offers a wider range of vocal flavor some of these more tortured and almost death rock like. The samples are clever and well placed. The vocals are used to set the tone to "Crooked Line" has do so with a smart syncopation that compliments the rough beat under it. "Talons Teeth" comes much closer to being the more typical brand of industrial that blared in most of the clubs during the genre's peak. The vocals are shouted in the cyber-drill Sargent manner, but a few other vocal colors are injected. There is more of a creeping synth slither to "Adrift". The vocals are more of a croaked narrative. It does find it's groove like the others and works of a more droning pulse.

"Feel the Flesh" finds Skinny Puppy's long lost "Rabies" drum sound. They had a somewhat more angular glitch to the pattern and the vocals take on a lower murmur. I like the more sung vocal moan that the 2:30 mark. It took me a second listen before I paid attention to "Mortuary". It is a little more formless than the rest of the album. The vocals are in a low whispered underneath the formless shift of the beat that never takes on a groove. "Nigredo" not only has a beat, it has one that pretty much slays the rest of the album, and this song might have my favorite lyrics as well.

The synth pulse in "Pale Lust" feels like a theme that is being continued from the previous song. It is almost like the outro for "Nigredo" if it was allowed to drone out more. The albums closes with the chaotic epic "Phantom Eye". The songs starts off with samples colliding into the beat and ambient noise smacking you around a bit. The song never takes form like the others. It flirts with many of the elements that I have like throughout the album, but here they are thrown against the wall for the sake of seeing what sticks. When the beat builds by the end of the song it does gel more for me. Overall the songs he decides are going to be songs are all excellent. I will round this one up to a 9 and see how it sits on me.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Night Sins : "Dancing Chrome"

The first thing that hits me about the Philly act's new album is the depth and maturity. By the second song it's apparent there is more of an electronic thing going on here. It's less Sisters of Mercy then their previous releases though the vocals are still uttered from a coffin. There is more of a new wave synth sound at the beginning of the title track which darkens considerably when the vocals come in. The low baritone croak is mixed back behind the synths.Some of these tones  are brighter than what you might expect from them leaving the vocals to keep things creepy.  All the songs are within range of  the three minute mark.

They do find a more organic sound with reverb ringing guitars on "Enamored and Nailed Shut". The vocals seem to be sinking back further with each song. There are some punchy accents in place that help give this more balls than your average dark wave band.I didn't even notice the guitar solo in this song until the second listen.  There is a harsher noise tone to the beginning of  "Schizoid Ice"  which is more of an interlude than a song. "Daisy Chain" has more of an old Depeche Mode feel, think 'Black Celebration". "Spire and Ecstasy" dips back into a sound that you might find more typical of this band, a cavernous cold wave. There is a upbeat tone to "Heaven's Eyes" the only problem is the vocals are once again buried.

This album has the most experimental edge to it.It really begins to grow on me with repeat listens and will not disappoint any one who is already into them though they stick pretty true to who they are up to this point so I don't see it really wining over a larger audience either. I will round it up to a 9. My only complaint is the production and how I would like more clarity from the vocals.But aside from that the third time is the charm for this Philly based band

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hexheart : "Midnight On A Moonless Night"

Jasyn Banger of God Module is releasing the debut album from his newest project Hexheart, that backs away from the more electronic propelled edm industrial of God Module. This project is more dark wave. The guitar sits low in the mix and I had to listen for it pretty closely as it is almost mixed behind the synths. There is more of an edm/ dance current running through the back bone of "Nothing" almost making this seem like more of a re-branding of God Module. His low raspy voice is not as heavilly altered with distorted filters as it is with the other project. He says in more of a static spoken narrative than singing. While 'Stars In Your Eyes" is a turn in a darker direction, I think "Falling" a better song. The purpose of the vocals is much clearer and hooks me in.

He comes closer to singing on "Second Sight" which is a very well put together song. Banger's range is very limited and he manages to make the most out of where he puts what he does manage to get out in his sing song whisper. There is more of an epic new wave hook to the synth lines adorning " Problems and bigger ones" . There is an almost aggro tech aggression to the synths on "Lunatix' and he slips back into his more comfortable industrial boots. "Hollywood" is darker, but doesn't do as much for me as it sounds like it is not a fully realized as the other songs. Though when I pay more attention to the lyrics and the reverb heavy guitars it grows on me a little,

A similar problem plagues" Never  Understand". It has more atmosphere , but all the moving parts don't feel like they are really screwed into one another soundly. When this is the case the flaws in his voice are exposed. There is a bigger industrial feel to the last song. Its a big finish so you can't fault him for that. I will round this album up to an 8, which means I am considering loading it onto the iPod. If you like God Moduile, then this album is different, but still a must. If you like darkwave with a heavier electronic edge then this is also on your to do list. It comes out June 9th on Metropolis.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

NEPHILIM'S HOWL : "Through The Marrow Of Human Suffering"

This band from Finland might not be black metal in how kids today think of the genre. The vocal somewhat spoken and declared from behind a veil of effects. The pace picks up on " Of Ordeals and Triumph". This brings them into a more black metal territory, the vocals gain some grit. They are not screamed and remind me of a less dramatic version of what Urfaust does. I like the fact that they put such a hypnotic throb into their music. The song builds but hangs in similar dynamic footing. The ten minute "Hate Revelations" finds them taking on more of a Venom like stomp. The vocals are delivered in a more dramatic fashion with a hateful sneer to them. Less punk influenced by Venom they are clearly metal in their intent. Things get more melodic around the six minute marks as the vocals take on more of a croon and the drums slow into a more graceful gallop.

They return to a more hypnotic throb once again for "Against the Worlds that Bind Us" . His vocals here to take on more of a Cronos like harshness. Not a flat out growl, but increased aggression in the way the lyrics are spat out above the pulse of guitar. Four minutes in the most overt form of black metal comes in by way of the blast beats. The albums reaches it's climatic end with the 12 minute "Through the Marrow of Human Suffering". At this point in the album I have already decided these guys are a bit of an enigma when it comes to Finnish black metal as they are rough around the edges but care about the songs rather than throwing a bunch of raw an reckless blast beats at you. They hold off until two minutes into the song to break them out.

If you are looking for black metal that combines the balance of grit and songwriting from the genres early days with a more sonic swell then this band is who you have been looking for. It generally kept me engaged, I am not sure how often I would listen to this , but appreciate it for what it is , which is enough for me to give this album an 8.

No Omega : "Culture"

This hard-core band is no stranger to this blog as we love them here because just like any other form of music I want my hard core dark and tortured. This is the Swedish band's third full length and even in the opener they drop down into the shadows to let things breathe with some atmosphere as the chords rings out midway into things. There is also a more metallic power, that is sonically similar to black metal in some ways. Despite some of the more heady guitar tones "Phobia" embraces the more punk tendencies. While I can't fault them for being who they are or where they come from in this regard, it's not my favorite side of the band. "Misgiving" falls out of the fade from the previous song into something more brooding that carries greater appeal to my personal tastes. Though when the song kicks in it goes into a more straight forward punk thing that has the rather stiff snare beat I'm not a fan of.

 At times though the ride the line between hardcore and screamo when they go into a more indie rock guitar jangle. As the album progress we continue to hear more of these melodic clean intonations. "Autoimmune" finds such lighter notes used as the calm before the explosion. They do get pretty brutal and battering on songs like "Cogs". This almost feels neanderthal in comparison to some of the moments they have already shown us. "Agora"finds them darkening back into the place that I prefer them to be in. Their lead screamer asks the listener if they know what its like to be treated like a stranger. So there is a very emotional current to these songs. They have an interesting trade of of dynamics on " Unsociable". This may or may not been embraced by the hardcore crowd who is trying to keep their scene underground as this song could appeal to a larger punk audience in the same way as early stuff from the Refused.

They get rowdier on "Within, Without". This has more of the punk recklessness and abrasion. There are some punches that get my attention. It's the moments that just don't sound like temper tantrums that get my ears peaked. "Contortion" is a more straight forward punk fueled song. The vocals on "Safe" are more barked despite the guitar at times providing room for more. The builds on this one are pretty powerful. They return to a cleaner strum at the onset of "Feral Houses". This one finds an angular groove in the syncopation they employ here. I like they more screamo juxtaposition of melodic guitar being screamed over, as they guys do it with a little more class,  The album closes with the angry pleas of "Resignation". This one works off more piss and vinegar than thoughtful song writing.  I'll give this album an 8.5 it's pretty solid the more punk side of this band typically just has me waiting for more of the dark brooding stuff, but fans of hardcore might have more of an appreciation for them.