Music Reviews



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Artist: SIX MINUTES WAR MADNESS
Title: full fathom six
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Wallace (@)
Rated: *****
This' a new redux edition of this long time unavailable??? cd from this Milan based band. I'm glad I've had the chance to review the re-editions like this since it give me the opportunity to speak about cds that have been already part of my personal collection (yes, I bought it when it came out back in the days...). This double cd contains all of the material of this band featuring some future and ex members of bands such as like Afterhours, A Short Apnea, Uncode Duello and many other projects which are quite well known here in Italy. The original record itself, I mean the one that corresponded to the title of this release, was a good mix of guitar-driven rock influenced by the post grunge era, post-rock, Sonic Youth, Touch and Go and U. S. based post-punk, indie-rock. Three of the members of the band went on forming A Short Apnea, equals the kraut-experimental element is there even if hidden between the lines. The lyrics go from ok to well written and are partially sung and partially spoken in italian a la Massimo Volume that by some means remain a strong influence above all for the "intellectual" avant rock approach of Six Minutes War Madness. Differently from many contemporaries they managed to have an identity and according to my personal opinion it has to do with the music solutions. The second cd collects the material previous to the album and it's funny to see how the band has gradually evolved from a generic indie-rock-punky-grunge band into something softer and more mature above all in terms of solutions. Another interesting aspect of the band evolution can be found in the fact while during their early days there were still some sorts of affinities with the sound of Afterhours later it all took a different direction. While during the early days they were still an italian band imitating naively the average U. S. sound, later, while passing from singing in english to italian language, they also found an identity and a maturity the concretization of which has been "Full fathom six". Still much better than many bands trying to imitate this sound nowadays.

MT. SIMS: Happily ever after... again

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 02 2010
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Artist: MT. SIMS
Title: Happily ever after... again
Format: CD
Label: Punch Records (@)
Rated: *****
Mount Sims isn't a newcomer even if under the moniker Mt. Sims he previously recorded only one album for Hungry Eye. In 2002 he released his first album "Ultra sex" on the famous label Gigolo Records and devastated the dance floors with the instant electroclash hit "Hate fuck". Three years after, he came back on Gigolo with his second and last album under his own name. On "Wild light" we have the first signs of the sound changing: on "No yellow lines" we already had bass guitar (with tons of effects) and melodic lines that can recall the tracks that he released on "Happily ever after" in 2008. Mt.Sims is now a band where Mount/Matthew sings and plays with André Lang and Randy Twigg, the sound has changed to pure electronic distorted pop into an hybrid where you can hear echoes of garage punk, electro, post punk ("Fall back" sounds like an outtake from the first Christian Death album) and much more. Guitar, drums (sometimes drum machines) and bass guitar are used to create dark pop tunes where melodies stick into your head. The Knife wanted him to collaborate with them (and with Planning To Rock) for a special album titled "Tomorrow, In A Year" and this isn't a casualty. Mount Sims at first wanted to do a simple European version of the album but Tairy at Punch Records, always willing to keep his releases appetible, succeeded into convincing him to keep only three tracks from the album and one from the MLP released just before that. Mt. Sims prepared new tunes and thanks to Tairy we have HAPPILY EVER AFTER... AGAIN packed with songs that, like the old ones, mix electro (like the dark melancholic "The shattering of crystal" or the bouncing dancey "Candy coated") and post punk creating an explosive mixture. Editors or Knife became famous because of their sound but people should be aware also of Mt. Sims... they deserve it!
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Artist: Autoclav1.1 (@)
Title: Where Once Were Exit Wounds
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
A complete new studio album from the UK-based IDM/Electronica-based project AUTOCLAV 1.1 only a year after his last release "Love No Longer Lives Here", but this shouldn’t wonder anyone, because there can be easily drawn a fine stylistically connection between both albums. Tony Young seems to reach more and more trust into a straight and linear rhythm programming, also his usage of orchestral-like strings, acoustic guitars and dominant piano sounds rather speaks for a developing musician. I found myself to pick out one of his older albums to recognize clear the differences. The days of his notorious and abstract IDM-related rhythm pattern programming are definitely over – if there’s still available a glimpse of this past, just check the percussion work of both new tracks "When We Woke Up" and "These Walls Have Seen All". Nearly all other tracks convince through its straight-forward and mostly 4/4-on-the-floor-like pattern structures, as well as the above mentioned instruments offer a lot of organic "life" and catchy moments to the music of AUTOCLAV 1.1. Some guest contributors can be heard too, Rachel Haywire for short introduction of "When We Woke Up" or his long-year friend Jamie Blacker of ESA, who provides vocals and some guitar inserts on "Do You Feel Disposable?". That tasteful black/white photo-artwork got done by Salt (Ant-Zen/Hymen Records), mastering provided by Metarc – well, you’ll get the finest art tools asides nearly 50 minutes of purest audio entertainment. Because of its highly acoustic content, this album differs enormously compared to nearly all other label horses out of the rich Tympanik Audio stable, with the exception to AD-VER-SARY maybe. Someone out there to argue against diversity of the label roster?

Rome: L'Assassin

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 22 2010
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Artist: Rome (@)
Title: L'Assassin
Format: CD EP
Label: Trisol (@)
Rated: *****
A lot of neo-folk lovers already joined the sputtering pyre lighted by singer and songwriter Jerome Reuter, whose experience in different local bands in Luxembourg has blossomed in Rome, his solo-project later propelled by his friend Patrick Damiani, a skilled sound engineer, and they’ll surely appreciate the new creative breeze blowed by Nikos Mavridis, whose violin and strings are almost like new embers going to become perfumed ashes in their brazier. His hallmark could be easily heard in this nice 4-track EP, entitled L’Assassin (the fastest in buying it will also gain a special t-shirt designed for this issue): the stylistic formula Jerome named Chanson Noir – maybe referring to the hybridization of the classical American folk song scheme with elements taken from the French Chanson and that lovely dark-tinged lyricism, which induced some reviewers to propose the linkage between Reuter’s stainless and distraught vocal interpretations and some legendary crooners such as Nick Cave or his ability in storytelling to the one by Leonard Cohen – appears to have been slightly improved by Nikos’ windy strings.

Therefore Rome’s sound seems to be less skeletal than before and even more organic and so evocative to sound almost like a soundtrack of an imaginary movie (an hook partially expressed in wonderful tracks of their recent Flowers From Exile, such as We who fell in love with the sea or the powerful narrative wit of To Die Among Strangers) and the intent to readapt and renew it to the present time seems to be intentional even from some wordy bodies of evidence (if you already know their past work you’ll easily notice that a lyrical apex of the moving song Der Erscheinungen Flucht says "This is a warning, we fall, as stock markets fall, in stone gardens" instead of the previous "This is a warning, we fall, as servants fall, in stone gardens", maybe just to be coherent with the concept of the song whose title means "The flux of phenomena"... ). We could even say they’ve tried to highlight their sentimental veins and you’ll agree with this brief analysis especially if you carefully listen to and attempt a comparison between the original tracks and the revisited ones (the above-mentioned Der Erscheinungen Flucht and the shimmering Der Brandtaucher are taken from their album Masse Mensch Material). Even the less stagy track of this exquisite Ep, One Flesh, features that strong grip potentially driving your tears in you sweetest and deepest naps for its flowing poetry. A more orchestrated and less martial sound which enrich expectations for Rome’s forthcoming issues.

SEMION: Sex, Death & Repetition

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (5596)
Feb 22 2010
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Artist: SEMION
Title: Sex, Death & Repetition
Format: CD EP
Label: MOMT (@)
Rated: *****
Formed by Semi0n , Limp Sidney, Wilhelm Stroker and the mysterious Captain Shitébeard, Semion deliver their first E.P. on MOMT. Available as download and CD-r, the E.P. has four tracks that mix post punk, dub and electronics. The band isn't afraid of experimenting and if the opening "Die with dignity" is a vibrant post punk anthem sounding a bit like early Killing Joke of "Are you receiving" the closing "I think we're dead" is a cool electronic dark electro tune. Eclectic and energetic, Semion are a band to follow!


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