When Mark Lanegan supports as a band as much as Creature With The Atom Brain, you know they should be taken seriously. Wandering along the tightrope between indie and psych almost effortlessly, Hit The Sky is a leisurely drive among deserted plains with stabs of organ and a wailing lead guitar that can only put a smile on your face. Whilst there is an essence of Queens that can’t be washed off, this Belgian group have their own mesmerising song writing ability that sits more on the easy listening front than Josh Homme’s lust for success would ever dream of. As the first track of last year’s The Birds Fly Low, it serves as a wonderful introduction to this incredibly trippy but ultimately great band and one you hopefully won’t regret.
Bracknell’s Ghost In The Static have a obsession with writing soundtracks for the impending apocalypse, but if your soundtrack is a 80’s inspired, industrial heavy dystopia, then you sure as hell have a winning formula on your hands. Downer from Open Eyed Dreamer Part One is one of my absolute favourite songs from last year with its instantly catchy chorus, minimal analogue synths, guitar outbursts that keep the tension high throughout and words spoken with such aching and passion, it’s an inspiring listen.
Formed from the ashes of seminal cult goth band Jack Off Jill, Scarling is the masterwork of vocalist Jessicka Addams and guitarist Christian Henjal. City Noise blasts open with a sense of urgency, guitar noise literally pounding away at nerves before the calming yet incredibly unsettling vocals of Jessicka speak over the ensuing cacophony underneath. It’s less disturbing in content than Jack Off Jill, but not any less haunting or distressing at a push. The quiet and loud dynamic works a little too in places but again that’s what makes the tainted beauty of Scarling an interesting listen if it makes us emote, only for a moment and second album So Long Scarecrow, is absolutely full of those moments.
Try putting a random word in a music streaming platform like Spotify and see what results you get (guess what word I put in here?). Anyway, Hollywood’s All Hail The Yeti are an awe-inspiringly heavy hardcore outfit with a hint of modern sludge-peddling thrown in for good measure a la Mastodon. Suicide Woods, taken from the self-titled album, in the right environment is a chaotic incitement and floor-stomping destroyer that makes me proud to call it my throwdown track. Plus it has one of the most ridiculous but infectious breakdown chants I have ever heard. I think this version is a demo or EP version of this song as it is more raw in areas, but you still feel the intent and ferocity being hurled through your headphones.
Let it be said that there are just some bands you shouldn’t enjoy, and some you shouldn’t enjoy way too much. Leeds’ self-proclaimed Tesco value Prodigy Petrol Bastard fall into the second category as their style of shouting abuse, often with as many curse words as you can throw a witches’ spell book at, over shades of techno, gabba, drum ‘n’ bass and dubstep is as memorable as it is diabolical. But it is deliriously entertaining which is why I keep coming back to it and Warrior Face is one of my favourites off of the Dripping Gash LP, released late last year.
Also in contention for this week’s track of the week, Australia’s Sub Atari Knives are a electronic rock crossover group, still in their infancy but rapidly making waves for their sheer energy and their intriguing hybrid style. Their first single DTX (available for FREE from their Soundcloud) is not quite representative of their works on their EP released last year, but contains that same unbridled energy and awesome musicianship which they are gaining acclaim for. If there’s any kind of justice in the world, they will be huge a few years from now.
(For this week)
This week’s track was a very close run thing but I love the other contender’s works so it was hard to pick just one song. That of course made Kavinsky the only choice. European electronic music is quite possibly the best in the world and while I’m not particularly keen on some of the output, this homage to the 80’s is amazing. I quite simply could listen to this on repeat forever. It is so engrossing to get lost in the synth splashes that fly everywhere, it is true nigh-time driving music by every measure of the imagination. Whether as a soundtrack or dance music, hypnotic does not quite cover the effect this track has and the hype surrounding Kavinsky is more than justified on this track alone. Doing it better than the masters of French electro music, this will be no doubt playing for quite some time on any soundsystem I possess.