Music Reviews



ATTRITION: The Truth In Dark Corners

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 19 2012
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Artist: ATTRITION
Title: The Truth In Dark Corners
Format: CD
Label: Other Voices Records
Rated: *****
In the last years Attrition reissued all their old albums and also some rarities (see the Vinyl On Deman "Demostro 1981-1986" double LP release), so it was quite a surprise to see this Other Voices release. "The Truth In Dark Corners" is a recording of live tracks coming from the band's 1985 Holland tour plus a closing track coming from a London gig. Back then Attrition were releasing their second album "Smiling, At The Hypogonder Club" on Third Mind and this release contains many tracks coming from that one plus "Shrinkwrap" (which was a single) and two unreleased tracks "In The Attic" and "The Aftermath". Formed on those days by Martin Bowes, Marianne Teunissen and Alex Novak, the band was creating their distinctive darkwave electronic sound which was capable to mix danceable rhythms and electronic experimental attitude. "The Truth In Dark Corners" contains good recordings of classic Attrition's tracks (or at least they are what I consider their classics) like "Mind Drop" or "Pendulum Turns" and here you can listen them sounding direct and powerful. These recordings represent quite well the essence of the band on those days so I don't consider this album only a release for hard core fans. As artwork you'll find photos taken by Justin Mitchell back then. I'm quite sure that if you a long time reader of our magazine you know this guy, because when he knew Attrition he was an electronic music enthusiast who became their friend but soon after he founded Cold Spring Records.

ELEVEN POND: Bas-Relief

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 19 2012
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Artist: ELEVEN POND
Title: Bas-Relief
Format: CD
Label: Other Voices Records
Rated: *****
Coming from Rochester, NY, Eleven Pond released only an album for their own label Game Hen Records in 1986. After that release they faded away like they never existed. Those eleven tracks were like lost in oblivion before Dark Entries decided to reissue that album in 2009. The last year, the Russian label Other Voices, released on CD a new reissue mastered by Attrition's Martin Bowes. "Bas Relief", shows a band that was able to mix different influences into their sound: new wave, shoegaze, post punk and synthpop were the genres that excited Dan Brumley, Jeff Gallea, James Tabbir and Jack Schaeffer. The album opens with two gems: "Tear And Cinnamon" (musically it reminds me of Bauhaus' "She's In Party") and "Watching The Trees" (this one is a synthpop hit with catchy melodies). On the following "Days Hence" and "Tightrope" they recall the best 4AD bands of the likes of early Modern English. "Portugal" calls in synthpop music again and it sounds fresh and convincing. "Asterisk" and "Moving Nowhere" sound new wave with a bit of pop easyness. Other tracks I enjoyed particularly are "Temporal" and "Ignorant Father". The first has a sensual almost melancholic atmosphere while the latter is a post punk intriguing song with guitar feedbacks and drum machine beats. Mixing dark atmospheres and fresh ideas coming from a personal interpretation of late 70s/early 80s alternative sounds, Eleven Pond created this nice record and now you're able to enjoy it again!

Hunters: Hands on Fire

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 15 2012
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Artist: Hunters (@)
Title: Hands on Fire
Format: CD EP
Label: Aagoo (@)
Distributor: Cargo
Rated: *****
This mini-album by Brooklyn-based Hunters seems to be an instinctive reaction to some coldness freezing music scene through an invitation addressed to the listeners in order to warm them up. That mumbling distortion on guitar, that rolling bass on scratching lead guitar which is able to grab listener's attention together with a sort of marching step, a nice trick massively used by bands such as Sand or M.A.S.S., and the nice shilly-shally between acidulously shrill voice by Isabel Almeida and the sore one by Derek Watson in the initial "Deadbeat" are persuading enough, but you're going to definitively join to Hunters circus while listening a wide stylistical weaponry...I particularly reccomend the furious sonic vortex Derek plays to swallw the listener up after a nice self-echoing vocal steadiness close to Ladytron's way of singing showed by Isabel in Brat Mouth and the engaging guitar "grimaces" leading the melody, pitched up and down in a dramatic way, as well as the sardonic and seducing singing of the final Acid Head...their ruffled little rascal-like have already seduced Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs who mixed this little pearl and James Iha, former member of Smashing Pumpkin, involved in the final production of the release and I'm pretty sure their cheeky shoegazing could seduce many other art-punk, wave and rock chewers.

ARKANE: Mesmerising Masquerade

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 14 2012
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Artist: ARKANE
Title: Mesmerising Masquerade
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Seduction Prod (@)
Rated: *****
After four years from the release of their album "Enraptured Serene Mesmerism", ArkanumX, already member of the Greek band Daemonia Nymphe, is back with his project Arkane. This time he and his female vocalist/muse have produced a two track digital single which ideally follows the path of the album thanks also to the mesmerism theme. "Mesmerising Masquerade" and "Masqued Seduca Enticed" follow also a similar musical structure of the old tracks proposing an enchanting classical orchestral background full of strings and crescendos where the male vocal is taking the role of the "parakataloghè" of Greek tragedy (the recitative voice), while the female voice is enchanting the audience like if it was a siren or one of the Erinyes. They are back and they are always good and worth your time! You can check the tracks and purchase them at this page: http://www.myrecordscd.net/arkane-single.htm

INDIVIDUAL INDUSTRY: Twenty Years in One Hour

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 12 2012
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Artist: INDIVIDUAL INDUSTRY
Title: Twenty Years in One Hour
Format: CD
Label: Other Voices Records
Rated: *****
TWENTY YEARS IN ONE HOUR is a compilation CD which sums up the 1989 - 2009 period of the Brazilian band Individual Industry. At their active they have two albums issued by the label Cri Du Chat in 1993 ("Templum Probus") and 1996 ("Ice-Water"), one MCD ("Amy") and a double compilation titled "The Box", released both by Alex Twin's label Wave Propaganda. Started in 1987 as a solo project of Alex Twin, Individual Industry in 1990 became a real band when Maurizio Bonito and Lilian Vaz joined. Six months later they released their first official demo tape called "Apology" and a new adventure started. The fifteen songs of the album span from ethereal wave to lush pop passing through dark synth songs. Personally the latter are the ones I preferred, because tracks like "Cubic" (coming from their second album "Ice-Water") are able to mix interesting sounds (drum machine and synth pads) with the intriguing Lilian's melodic vocals. There are plenty of these tracks and I appreciate how they mix the different elements and, by surprise, they covered also Kas Product's "Tina Town" on that album. They made it faster but they respected its original spirit. "Eyes" is coming from the double compilation and it's a 1993 remix. I don't know the original version, but this one is really nice thanks to the intriguing dark atmospheres and Lilian's voice. After that we have four tracks coming from their debut album. These ones sound like electronic dark pop and they surprised me because, to tell the truth, their first five tracks were missing that obscure bit I love. On this album they also covered Pink Industry's "What I Wouldn't Give" and they succeeded into giving their sound making it sound still cool.


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