Music Reviews



THE PAPER CHASE/RED WORM'S FARM: Split

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 14 2004
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Artist: THE PAPER CHASE/RED WORM'S FARM
Title: Split
Format: CD EP
Label: Robotradio Records (@)
Rated: *****
A nice split cdep marking the debut for Robotradio Records, run by Stefano Paternoster, who used to publish one of the best indie 'zines in Italy, Equilibrio Precario. The ambitious goal of the newborn label is associating music (with an Italian band and a foreign one), comic books/graphics and videos in the same release. This promising first release comes in a top-notch six-panel digipack, lavishly illustrated by the tender surrealistic drawings of Alessandro Baronciani, an excellent comic books author and illustrator (besides singing and playing guitar in the awesome post-punk band Altro). His art alone makes the cd worth buying. As for the music... Red Worm's Farm are a trio playing an exciting mix of guitar-driven indie-noise (Unwound, Sonic Youth, Fugazi) and hints of oblique post-punk/wave (The Wire, Fall). "Jelly Bean" could be an instant classic, with its singalong refrain, and the electronic/techno remix by Giulio Favero (former guitarist of One Dimensional Man, and sound technician for Zu) underlines its extreme danceability. "Pop song" is equally good, while "Fav" is a decent instrumental with demented trumpet galore. Thrilling stuff indeed. The Paper Chase, well known for their discography and links with 90 Day Men, are a more tormented beast. "I'm your doctor now" and "Isn't she something?" properly represent their blend of new/no wave, heavy math-noise, free-form electronics and crazed rock'n'roll vigour. Twisted and disturbing. The cheesy re-edition of "Out come the knives", with acoustic guitars, kitsch synths and campfire singalongs, only adds to the general weirdness. Good, but I prefer Red Worm's Farm. The video part, curated by Nicola Fontana (Founthead) is decent, but nothing spectacular: "Pop song" (RWF) is pretty standard, based on live shots and stills of the band, while "I'm your doctor now" (PC) features a more interesting mix-up of buildings, trees and a strange comic-book looking villain.

ESCAPE POD: Winter

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 14 2004
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Artist: ESCAPE POD
Title: Winter
Format: 7"
Label: Dead Digital (@)
Rated: *****
It's impossible not to be seduced by the mix of twisted atmospheres, pop melodies and electronic semplicity the band is able to produce. The new Escape Pod single contains three gems. Three songs that would made Blur die of jealousy because the Manchester trio succeeded into creating weird atmospheres but keeping the semplicity and the tension always at the top. "Winter", "Living in books" and "Seeing" last only nine minutes and are like a lightning in the pop world. It's really hard to explain but even if at a first listening the band's sound could seem really minimal and low fi, the songs are rich thanks to the atmosphere created. Slowly but resolute the songs will convince you immediately. I'm listeining to it the fourth time in a row, now... help me! Stop the CD player!

Hungry Lucy: Glō

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 11 2004
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Artist: Hungry Lucy
Title: Glō
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Alfa-Matrix (@)
Rated: *****

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On their second full length release, "Glo", Hungry Lucy take their dark trip-hop sound and lighten it up a little. The duo beat the sophomore curse by producing an album that not only rivals 1998's "Apparitions" but surpasses it in songwriting, performance & production. The mellow grooves & beautiful melodies remain and are augmented by more diversity both in songwriting and performance. Not content to only present their own ideas, Hungry Lucy also includes a second CD with Glo that contains remixes from bands such as Chandeen, Claire Voyant, bloodWIRE (ex Battery) & Trigger10d (+others). From dance floor to chillout room these remixes put an alternate spin on the original productions and serve as nice companion to the main disc. Eclectic spiritualists will take special note of "In The Circle", a song about transformation and the pathway to enlightenment and growth as well as the discrimination that many of us face in our 'different' path. A song that is very heart touching to any modern pagan. Also, note such titles as "Rebirth" and "Her Song". I was so impressed with this release and the song "In The Circle" that thanks to communication with Alfa-Matrix, the band, plus additional work by Louisa John-Krol (www.louisajohnkrol.com) fans can expect an exclusive remix of this song to appear on the Latex Records release "Primal River Valley".

Revolver Modèle: Revolver Modèle

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 11 2004
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Artist: Revolver Modèle (@)
Title: Revolver Modèle
Format: CD EP
Label: Estate Sale Records (@)
Revolver Modele is a band from Minneapolis, MN which seems to gear toward the post-punk rock-n-roll sounds leaning on heavy influence from the Rockabilly genre as well as early goth act Joy Division. They seem to have refined the sound so as not to even come close to gothabilly but instead recreate the Joy Division sound with a modern edge and a bit more variance. "Serenade" actually sounds like it could be a cover song and is reminiscient of New Order, the later incarnation of the band after Ian Curtis' death. While I like Revolver Modele they sound too much like thier sound is taken too much from the band which saw it's demise before the 1980's really got started. However, they do not rely on drum machine and do use all live instruments. I like what they are doing and it's nice to hear this sound come back but I think the band should spend a bit more time on restructuring so as not to sound like a copycat project, they obviously have the potential as they have even continued the 'artistic' bent that Joy Division started with. From the few reviews I've seen of their live performances and from the last track on this EP which is also live they obviously have a good vibe going with their audiences and create a nice ambience. Definitely something to build upon. They also capture the early punk feel of just raw expression with their music, especially vocally and I think there is much potential here. They will obviously appeal to fans of the late Joy Division but will hopefully introduce some fans to a 'new' sound as well. I think in order to get an accurate impression of this band we'll just have to watch them over time and see what their full-length CD brings and how they grow as time passes.

Nebelhexë: Laguz - Within the Lake

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 11 2004
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Artist: Nebelhexë (@)
Title: Laguz - Within the Lake
Format: CD
Label: Candlelight Records (@)
Rated: *****

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If you are a fan of Hagalaz Runedance you'll love the solo debut of Andrea Haugen (aka Nebelhexe). Nebelhexe (meaning fog–witch), is dark Nordic rock with elements of folk, darkwave, rock, gothic, industrial, classical, and other forms of music creating an eclectic blend. Hagalaz Runedance and Nebelhexe have much in common with their peers at NorthSide records ( www.noside.com ), especially Hedningarna, for their expansion outside of traditional Nordic folk into other areas of musical exploration. Like Loreena McKennit, Nebelhexe moves traditional, classical, and folk elements into a more acceptable listening format suitable for a modern audience. However, Nebelhexe goes a bit further and goes into Darkwave and Industrial sounding sectors with tracks like "My Visual World" and "Celtic Crows" for instance. The first adds a bit of electronics giving it a suitable darkwave feel while the latter adds a throbbing mechanical, industrial rhythm. All of the works of this artist have very strong pagan spiritual significance with a focus on Scandinavian mysticism. Andrea Haugen has been active in variuos occult orders and pagan groups since 1990 and is the author of her 2000 book The Ancient Fires of Midgard. She is reportedly at work on a musical project and theatre play with Sabbat/Skyclad creator Martin Walkyier. She is also handling Norwegian translation of Anton LeVey's Satanic Bible. Her label, Candlelight Records, is also planning a reissue of Hagalaz Runedance's highly revered Friggas Web and Volven albums.


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