Black Palette by Gary Robert and Community

I have to admit, this was a fun change of pace for me. I haven’t messed with punk rock for many a moon.
But Gary Robert and Community‘s new release Black Palette scratched an itch I haven’t felt in a while. This one is a straight ahead rocker with some darker moments. It makes me think of the NYC bands from the late 1970s; especially since the vocals carry a noticeable Lou Reed vibe.

The production quality is adequate for capturing a power trio rocking out. It’s not overdone. I like that. It makes it seem more authentic to the era this Cape Girardeau, Missouri band gives tribute.

My favorite is Somewhere Tonight, the only slow jam and one of those darker moments. Back to that comparison to NYC bands, this track makes me think of the likes of Sonic Youth and SWANS. The vocals take on a chanting-like rhythm along with the droning guitars and slow beat, giving the track a hint of the psychedelic.

The band has some fun with the time signature on the title track. And finally, they ramp up the speed on 19, the final song.

If you’re into punk, you’ll enjoy the ride on this record. But fans of Deathrock and Jangle Pop would do well to check out Black Palette as well.

Spooks, Specters & Ghosts by ΣΕΘ (SET)

Spooks, Specters & Ghosts is the third offering from Arizona’s ΣΕΘ (SET) and the record takes you into a realm they like to call SubGoth: a dark blend of Future Bass, Witch House and Industrial. Handily, SubGoth also happens to be the name of their collective of like-minded artists. Whether it be soothing, melancholy, aggressive or all three at once, this album’s blend of mostly instrumental jams is sure to put the listener is a head space of cerebral reverie.

SubGoth colleagues Persona and H Λ Z Δ Я D lend a hand on ASYLUM and Friends Don’t Lie, respectively. And there ain’t nothing wrong with keeping it in the family when it comes to collaborations.

Movie geek that I am, I can’t help but imagine this album as the soundtrack to a futuristic film noir. You’ll hear what I mean when you encounter songs like TEARS, Dominion or You Once Were My Light. Moments In Isolation even manages to slip in just a bit of Trap in its beat. Altogether, the whole of Spooks, Specters & Ghosts is greater than the sum of its parts. And it can be listened to just about anywhere.

And if ΣΕΘ (SET) ever does score a film, I feel comfortable with recommending it in advance.

Death Rebirth Repeat by Clockwork Echo

My take on Clockwork Echo‘s new release, Death Rebirth Repeat, is a very simple one: non-stop bangers! If ever there was an album that a DJ could pick almost any track at random to spin at a club, this is it! Some tracks may be marginally slower than others, sure. But I dare you to pick one that isn’t dancefloor-ready.

Catchy synth riffs? Check. Growling, distorted vocals? Check. Relentlessly pounding beats? Check. Death Rebirth Repeat covers all the bases.

The only exception you’ll find is the eleventh and final track, Fifty-Seven Opus Magnum; which, at eight seconds long, is more of a closing statement than anything else.

But if I WERE to recommend a specific song, the Alien Vampires Remix of the title track is worth a spin. In fact, I’ll probably spin this one myself at my next DJ gig. Komor Kommando also lend a hand with their remix of Feed Me Drugs.

DJs, take heed! You want this record!

Wicked King by Blood Dance

Hailing from Mexico City, Blood Dance offer us a dark sojourn into the Goth/Deathrock realm with their new single, Wicked King.

The song starts with an eerie blend of synth and guitar and builds until the baritone vocals kick in with a lyrical cut-up taken from quotes of various notorious killers. A mid tempo beat remains consistent throughout the song while the guitar riff wails and a beefy bass tone holds it down.

Credit is due to Mesphisto Waltz’s Bari Bari for producing this track and creating a tight and full sound with all the parts coming through crystal clear.

Deathrockers should sit up and take notice of Wicked King, as well as the preceding Blood Dance releases.

Starter (Single) by newphasemusic

Newphasemusic is the new project from Daniel Henderson and it hits the ground running with its debut single, Starter.

As a drummer myself, I was immediately sucked in by the ball-breaking drums on the Geodome Mix, one of three mixes that will be available. Nice, sharp and tight double-kick metal drums dominate this track in a way that I wish more acts would consider; utilize different aspects of metal aside from the palm muted chugging guitars. The rest of the track is comprised of a looping siren-like wail, creepy keyboards, and vocals delivered with a whispered growl.

The lyrics convey a message to the listener that while everything around them may be going off the rails, it doesn’t reflects their own character or their decisions.

The next remix is made courtesy of The Joy Thieves. This one makes use of guitar riffs and comes off more like a straightforward rocker. The jazzy swing to the beat and overall bombast make me reminisce of Foetus back in the day.

SINE contributes the third and final remix and is definitely the most dancefloor-friendly remix of the three. A thick bassline holds this one together while the vocals are processed almost to the point of unintelligibility.

Personally, I’m very excited about Newphasemusic and the forthcoming full-length release, The Dark Side of the Earth. The Geodome Mix is already on my smartphone playlist.