Placebo can do very little wrong, and although I’m making a judgment on only a minute and a half clip, I’m already going to proclaim this as another classic hit waiting to happen. Haunting piano, unmistakably vulnerable lyrics, minimal but atmospheric guitar, it’s so well put together, words can’t describe. Shades of Song To Say Goodbye echo throughout, it sounds almost like its spiritual sequel but that is by no means a hinderance. Heartfelt, memorable, addictive, this is the Placebo that fans know and love and if you’re not a fan, this is truly awesome emotional songwriting that you should give a chance. I demand that naysayers eat their words, some of the album previews have strayed from what they do best but there is no way you can deny the astonishing beauty of A Million Little Pieces. I’m infatuated. End of.
France’s Deathspell Omega make black metal, but not quite as you know it. Despite making a lot of music about a certain dark deity, *cough* SATAN *cough*, the frequent pace changes between blastbeats and guttural vocals, mesmerising guitar melodies and some minor ambient touches all keep it enthralling. Black metal isn’t really my thing, but Abscission, and Paracletus, the song’s bearer, have required several listens to capture all of its captivating glory. It’s not brutal nor boring, but an interesting diversion in a genre I previously had no interest in.
This is quite likely to be the shortest song I will ever post on this blog, but then it seems that a lot of great hardcore acts know how to condense their best material, I mean really condense into just a few seconds. Illnois’ Weekend Nachos (which despite having the band name least associated with the kind of music they make) excel at this and within all 27 seconds of Dubviolence, throw intense screaming, blastbeats and frightening lead guitars into a frenzied red mist that would cause laboratory mice to explode upon listening. Vehement and violent, second album Worthless is seriously not for those of a nervous disposition.
I have a theory that Brighton’s Anacondas would greet you with a punch to the face rather than say hello. Which judging by their penchant for sludge peddling grooves, vitriol-soaked vocal deliveries and the bludgeoning riffs found here in Cold Blooded, Warm Hearted, might be the least of your worries. You are given no room to breathe as brutally heavy guitar winds you immediately, before following with screaming uppercuts to your ears. The whole song is like a fight for survival in a boxing match against a pack of concrete wolves. Emotions ride high throughout, whether freaking out to well crafted headbanging moments or the strong burst of clean vocals near the end, their album Sub Contra Blues will take you by the hand and throw you off the nearest cliff, repeatedly kicking you as you tumble.
The formerly from Brighton glitch-hop collective known as Zen Death Squad have been somewhat experimental of late with their production time. In their trilogy of three free songs, Oni Valley is the second, blending both ground-shaking guitar and vibrant keytars into an undoubtedly harder dubstep style beat. While they are taking months at a time to produce these tracks, the quality is fantastic and makes for a great addition to their already diverse repetoire of slow moving party grooves, which are also well worth investigating.
Hopefully these guys won’t need too much more exposure, London’s Vuvuvultures are already well on their way to making a massive impact, having performed on this year’s main stage at Hard Rock Calling. Taken from their debut Push/Pull which has only been out a month or so, Steel Bones is fuelled ever so gorgeously by the soulful vocals of Harmony Boucher, whilst a heavy bass foundation and unsettling synth chimes nestle in the background, drive into the abrasive guitar-powered chorus, which will drill itself firmly into your head all day. One thing is for sure, Vuvuvultures are weaponised and it won’t be long before they become synonymised with true success.
I had to put the awesome talents of Bulgaria’s Joanna Syze on here eventually not just because Rodina is such a perfect song, but because she has been terribly ill for a long period of time and more electronic music enthusiasts need to be aware of her sheer brilliance. Taken from the self-titled album, Rodina is a journey through an Eastern European village which slowly escalates into a much deeper spiritual drumstep track. On an emotional level, this track has few comparisons, phenomenal is really the only word to describe it. The ambience, pacing, synths, vocals, everything is absolutely spot on, it is practically faultless. Please get well soon Joanna, the world should really hear the gift you have.