Dear friends, foes, living and dead, we have arrived at the final Bandcamp Day of the year 2021 and the Holidays are approaching. Ken and I, hope you will consider perhaps purchasing some of the many great releases we will recommend below or perhaps a piece of merchandise, either for yourself, as a gift or simply to support some of your favorite artists.
For this article you will receive recommendation from both myself (Hide) and Ken, I`m sure the result will be a great and varied one that explores several of the many corners within the broader alternative music scene.
Confession from Ken: Hide had his portion ready to go, and I was late on completion. So my part was written after Bandcamp Day, but these are all artists I picked up and loved. I hope you find something that speaks to you.
LONG AFTER MIDNIGHT – FALLING AWAY
The latest single from Long After Midnight is a wonderful piece of melodic industrial rock chock full of interesting and intriguing sections throughout the 4 minutes and 10 second run that at one point even features a saxophone. LAM previously released their “Painkiller” EP in April and this single is the perfect follow-up.
SOFTCULT – PERFECT BLUE
Those who know me may be a bit surprised at this one but if you were under the assumption of that I
m only capable of enjoying some sort of avant garde noise music you are gravely mistaken.
came to life during the 2020 lockdown and has produced an EP as well as several singles that are all worth checking out since then.
is the latest offering and quite honestly , at least for me, their best one yet. This one has been on endless repeat all day long and each time it ends I
m left wishing it went on for just a little longer. The instrumentation is addictive and beautiful and melancholic all at once, the lyrics contain feelings Im sure we can all relate to at various points in life in different ways. Im not sure how to sell you on this or what to say here, just hit the goddamn play button.
-ii- – EXTINCTION
[ Pronounced as “Two Eyes” ]
Extinction is the debut album from -ii- and it is wonderful. Following an EP and handful of single releases this album is a perfect continuation and progression that builds on the strengths of the previous outputs. Each song flowing beautifully while retaining their identities as individual compositions with haunting dark electronics and fantastic post-punk esque guitar moments such as the intro to second track “The Rings Of Saturn”. If you listen to only one of my reccomendations I hope it`s this one.
DHI – THE IDIOT PARADE
DHI came out of hibernation, breaking 22 years of silence to bring out this politically aware, dirty, gritty little EP. Absoloutely the right decision if you ask me. The EP features three songs with an additonal three offering alternate versions and mixes. This one is definetly right up the alley of anyone pining for grinding industrial beats with something to say.
DIVINE SHADE – IN THE DUST
Divine Shade crafts a seamless blend of industrial and post punk, ethereal synth sections clashing with hard and distorted sound design with big booming vocals is the first thing to greet you here, the final track offering a nice contrast n the form of an almost americana sounding duet featuring Scampi. Beyond the EP I`d also want to point out the recent double single release featuring two remixes by Chris Vrenna [NIN, Manson etc].
ODDKO – SIREN SONG
Released on Black Friday, Siren Song offers social commentary regarding our material world where our obsession with purchasing endlessly is likened to being lured to certain death by a siren taking the shape of sale signs and discounts. On top of that it`s also a great piece of industrial rock with a well executed aesthetic identity overall, though I suppose that should come as no surprise given that band leader Giovanni Bucci is an award-winning visual director.
CROWN – THE END OF ALL THINGS
Taking their cues from the likes of Killing Joke, Ministry and Godflesh, the French industrial duo known as Crown brings a bit of a surprise with their second album The End Of All Things, presenting a much more melodic side than the heavier, screamed vocals of 2016
s Natron. Now, misunderstand me correctly, Im not saying this is not a heavy or atmospheric album. It`s more so a different shade of black if you will.
DECENT NEWS – TELEVISUAL
For my final entry I present to you the latest EP from friends of S&S : Decent News – Televisual. Consisting of two new tracks and three covers, the title track being one such cover originally by Танцы На’s ‘Телевизионный Снег the EP brings all the weirdness and humor and heavy guitars we`ve come to love about this ridiculous group of guys, they are indeed my favorite boyband.
Before I let Ken take over I d just like to add one little thing for you to consider: While the concept of Bandcamp Day is great and all intent of the audience as well as Bandcamp itself seems good willed, artists will not be upset with you for purchasing their music and/or merchandise on other days, artists require all the same things that you do everyday be that support or extra cash. A great amount of releases are available as “Pay What You Want” or feature the option to pay more than the initial asking price, if you`re able to throw a few extra dollars in there regardless of the day and date it will always be appreciated and will always help out immensely.
Angelspit – Diesel Priest – Well this new Angelspit album is not pulling any punches sonically or politically. Zoog Von Rock has returned with an army of cyborg technicians of revolutionary destruction. Stomping machines of punk rock anti establishment zealots rolling on tank tread speed. It always leaves me stunned how something so fueled by chaos can fit in such a tight refined space. With every building track you never know where the creature will go next or who will be brought down in the explosion. I think the greatest power here is how the lyrics effect 16 year old me as long as 44 year old me with both the passion and intelligence. This album is an experience that hits on so many levels.
Composition, Production, Lyrics and Vocals: Zoog Von Rock; Additional Vocals: Brian Graupner (Gasoline Invertebrate), Imogen (Miss Ballistic), May May Graves; Melody Lynn (Queen of the Static Opera); Additional Vocals: Roxy Von Rock and Tiger Kitty Hell (Miss Ballistic); Queen of the Static Opera’s vocal engineer: Disraeli Davis; Mastering: David Walker @ Stepford Audio Mastering; Guitars: George Bikos and Graeme Charles Kent; Computer Construction: Brett Welsh, Sean Moriarty and Michael Stults; E-MU TRAINERS: Trevor Brown, Thomas Horst, Geoff Raye, Larry Kleinke; Additional Samples and Loops: Adam Newman (lab4), Paul Segovich, L. McDonald of Worgor, Cassie Owens.
Favorite Track: Stand In Line – So smooth and sharp the cutting drums and furious cadence. Spinning Zamboni blades of death sliding across the ice. Throwing barbs at the interest elite system holding down any chance of equality. There are songs that musically hit harder, but something about the lyrical delivery and clean angles absolutely captured me.
Slighter – The Void – I continue to be impressed by LA song crafter Colin Cameron. He takes an approach to music akin to graphic design. Every weighted aspect seems to bring contrast and focus to both the positive and negative space within a sound wave. This track is the perfect journey track to travel the stars on an extended tour of the universe. A hit of peace, a hint of madness, drifting into the beyond behind the hum of subspace engines.
SØLVE – the negative – Reissue of Brant Showers amazing 1st album on Re:Mission Entertainment. An introspective internal electronic prayer of slow creeping thought puzzle twisting through the miasma of the ether. A sensory impression of journey and calibration with textured vocals and emotional discourse.
Favorite Track: For Worse – A crackling transmission floating through times with ringing bell chimes, dissonant dark tones. Great use of rise and fall to pave your way through an artists mind.
HAEX – Aethyr Abyss Void – Pre Order release due out 12/18/2021 this is one of the meanest chaos cannon grimy warehouse fireballs I have heard in a long time. A forceful ritual of madness and terror pop sensuality. This is the soundtrack to your next Hellrazer Barker themed dance party. Inspired wall smashing guitar work and apocalypse chant vocals. I want more and want it now.
Immune System – I Predict – Our friend in South Dakota Todd Ruzicka brings this blazing cover of the Sparks classic. It has that same electropunk disco feel but with sharper edges, harder hits, and dance floor ready morningstar swing. I love when a cover is a great homage while making it their own.