Music Reviews



Life Without Buildings: Live At The Annandale Hotel

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 22 2007
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Artist: Life Without Buildings
Title: Live At The Annandale Hotel
Format: CD
Label: Gargleblast Records (@)
Rated: *****
"Live @ Annadale" is a posthumous live album by the Glaswegian cult band Life Without Buildings. Named after a Japan b-side, LWB released just a handful of singles and just one amazing album 'Any Other City' in a three-year lifespan.
After a brief introduction the gig kicks off with an unreleased track called "Liberty Feelup", which serves as a warm-up for the upcoming performance. Often compared with UK postpunk acts with female vocals as Delta 5 and Au Pairs, I think that there's a lot more to them - i.e. you can hear the energy burst of fellow Scottish postpunk divinities Josef K on the striking version of "14 Days" and the amazing "The Leanover". Sue's voice sometimes is shaky when she speaks to the crowd revealing an unexpected shyness but when she sings she's much more agressive than on the studio recordings. It's been five years since they broke up and after hearing this live document you'll probably find yourself asking 'what if...'. For sure they were more than just cute postpunk revivalists.

ROSE ROVINE E AMANTI: Early And Unreleased Songs

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 20 2007
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Artist: ROSE ROVINE E AMANTI (@)
Title: Early And Unreleased Songs
Format: CD
Label: The Eastern Front (@)
Rated: *****
As reported by the title, EARLY AND UNRELEASED DEMOS isn't a new album by Rose Rovine E Amanti, but it's a collection of outtakes and demos (he also talks about it as a little joke). Damiano into the presentation you'll find inside the luxurious three panel folded cover talks about it like a collection of old postcards (the same visual effect has been chosen for the graphics picking up various photos coming from the early 20th century with the exception of band members' pictures and the Theo Van Gogh's one). The ten tracks included into the CD are mainly ballads with some particular arrangement (see "Punk Woyzeck which is a sort or musical comment to the samples picked from the Herzog movie titled "Woyzeck"), spoken into Italian language or in a fake English like the opening "Volgari e cafoni" (which is dedicated to the guys who "play into the neo folk kindergarten" as Damiano wrote), "Kristal Estonian light", (dedicated to his girflriend who saved him from solitude into in a difficult time), "Hai mai preso tu un cafè?" (which was an early demo) or "Candidato" (which has been influenced by early Bowie of Diamond Dogs and which is dedicated to false friends or dishonest politicians). At first reading Damiano's lines I was thinking I was about to listen to a mishmash of ideas or unfinished songs but at a second listening EARLY AND UNRELEASED DEMOS, reveals itself like a nice collection of decadent ballads which could be enjoyed by people who didn't already know Rose Rovine E Amanti work.

AIT!: Romanticismo Oltranzista

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 20 2007
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Artist: AIT!
Title: Romanticismo Oltranzista
Format: CD
Label: Punch Records (@)
Rated: *****
Personal project of Tairy, founder of Punch Records, Ait! presents with ROMANTICISMO OLTRANZISTA a particular album conceived as a sort of post apocalyptic/nihilistic cabaret. The ten tracks, sung in Italian (but you can find all the translations into the booklet), underline thanks to the overall atmosphere and to the lyrics, the difficulty of living these modern times where boredom and a sense of despair takes a hold each day a little more. Musically Tairy doesn't care about genres, so he mixes experimental intuitions, surf melodies (on "Una dedica") and everything which could help into the creation of a tense atmosphere for his semi spoken word (sometimes it made me think about a sort of industrial version of an Italian band called C.S.I.). The lyrics have an important place into Tairy's musical concept so, if the opening "Uno spettacolo adulto" ("An adult show") is a two minute introduction which sounds like weird French cabaret song, "Dio" is a track based on a bass line and a growling sample and it helps into the creation of a personal pray to God and "Una dedica" is his personal way to rise his middle finger. Listening to the tracks all in a row you'll be overwhelmed by a sour taste into your mouth, just like you are unable to do anything. Tracks like "Il mondo è morto (trent'anni fa)" ("The world is dead – thirty years ago") or "Tempo morto" ("Dead time") don't leave open any possibilities to future, it is like decadent times are over, because we are already became zombies.

RISE AND FALL OF A DECADE: Noisy But Empty / You Or Sidney

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 11 2007
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Artist: RISE AND FALL OF A DECADE
Title: Noisy But Empty / You Or Sidney
Format: CD
Label: Ars Musica Diffundere (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Originally released on 1992 and 1995 by Hyperium the second and the third album of Rise And Fall Of A Decade now hit the shelves of the music stores again thanks to Ars Musica Diffundere, Black Rain's sub label. Unfortunately NOISY BUT EMPTY and YOU OR SIDNEY see the light just after the death of Pierre Francois Maurin-Malet, the singer and the writer of the trio. The releases reprint the old albums without adding extra tracks but they have new cover/booklet graphics which enrich the reading of all the lyrics included. Rise And Fall Of A Decade formed on late 80's in France and they have been a good example of how a new wave band could play a wide range of styles. On NOISY BUT EMPTY, for example, you can find acoustic ballads ("Children die in in silence"), romantic tracks with heavenly voices which duet with male vocals (see the opening "Suicided youth"), guitar driven new wave tunes ("Grandest illusion"), romantic piano little suites (the opening part of "Lost cause") or semi classical/folk extravaganza ("Cube like people" and the following "Girls of the ninetie's"). Also the following record YOU OR SIDNEY has similar sounds but there's an overall dark feeling (like the beautiful opening "One of these days" which recalled me the Cocteau Twins of "Head over heels" mixed with the pop sensibility of A Flock Of Seagulls) which make it sounds a little different respect the previous one. These two albums made me discover a band I missed during those years and who had quite a following in France and listening to their tunes I realize why. The only weak point of these reissues is that the sound sometimes is a little distorted (you can hear it mainly on crappy speakers and headphones because on my stereo it wasn't too bad), probably because of a wrong gain setting during the mastering.

BRILLIG: Mirror On The Wall

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 10 2007
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Artist: BRILLIG (@)
Title: Mirror On The Wall
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****

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After their MCD "The Plagiarist" which was anticipating this full length containing two songs ("Truth or dare" and "The plagiarist"), the Australian combo with MIRROR ON THE WALL reach their third album. Mixing acoustic ballads (we already checked "The plagiarist") with guitar driven songs, the band packed a good album which gathers a lot of elements of alternative 80's rock. If you are aware of bands like The Triffids or Go-Betweens you can have an idea of the atmosphere created by Brillig's ballads. Just mix these with new wave and 90's alternative rock a la Suede, Muse and so on and shake. The trio formed by Matt Swayne, Elizabeth Reid and Denni Meredith succeeded into blending these sounds into a flush of new wave/goth rock with electronic elements (they use a drum machine with 80's sounds, like the Roland Tr-707) where the alternating of female and male vocals help characterizing the sound. They also covered Phil Collins' "In the air tonight" but the band removed its typical ambience filtering it through an early 4AD sound (see Clan Of Xymox). Nice song but I prefer the original's atmosphere. P.s. The CD has also a really nice booklet with all the lyrics and various pics of the band as puppets.


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