Bandcamp Day is Friday! What are some of the great New Releases that are fueling my Jets in these Cold Days?

Friday 11/5 marks another Bandcamp day and I get to pour through a slew of amazing releases. Remember tomorrow all proceeds from sales on Bandcamp go directly to the artists who are in desperate need. We all need songs to fill our hearts in these days. Here are the ones filling mine.

MAN1K1NDon’t Let Me Try – Brand new single from Boston shadowcrawl duo Man1K1n. Two ones to represent each of them. We have an upcoming webcast post with the act. This is a powerful song about personal loss Johnny E. Veil turned sonic and it really stirs the tendrils of emotion that suicide and mental health conjures for all of our lives. The percussion laid down by Cristian Carver is driving and precise, washing over in hurky jerky horror film atmosphere. Johnny’s vocals growl like a demon voice from within. I love the concept and how much genuine blood was poured into every word. This was an independent release but we have heard promise of an upcoming album ready to throw a match on this pooling shimmering gasoline.

https://man1k1n.bandcamp.com/track/dont-let-me-try

Stabbing WestwardI Am Nothing – Brand new single from rockdustrial legends Stabbing Westward. I just saw them at Cold Waves in Chicago, not only have they not lost a step. This new material seems to add a layer of complexity and depth to everything they have been doing for decades. Chris Halls voice grows more powerful and bristling with clarity and violet laser focus. Add in production from the legendary John Fryer and a remix from Jim Marcus. I love the flurry of katana guitar slashes and cyborg samurai cadence. Stabbing Westward still finds a way to transport me back to my 16 year old bedroom and awash with emotions and glorious vampiric dark tones. COP continues to release the cutting edge of the growing Industrial Rock genre. SW is their flagship.

https://stabbingwestward.bandcamp.com/album/i-am-nothing

Carrion – Revenant – If you didn’t know S & S contributor Hide Tepes was a huge LA hard rock Motley Crue fan in addition to making experimental textural noise you will after this track. The hard and high energy strikes of the drums, the crunching metal intensity of the guitar riffs have a very Psalm 69 recklessness. The lyrics are delivered with a harsh chaos demon venom. There is something so powerful about hearing an artist get lost in the moment. This is not a performance, it is a summoning. Further energized with a remix by Texas band Dread Risks who add a further layer of tribal intensity. I will be deep diving this entire album as it unfolds. Hide lays out a track by track explanation below of this decent into ego destruction.

The whole album is going to be available to pre-order tomorrow for both CD and digital + doing a limited edition bundle where you get the CD of the new album, the cassette of the previous one as well as two patches.

Lyrics: Maggots crawl to kiss the feet of a new God Used and abused, to be disposed in the dark Sucked dry by the hordes of the revenants Another body in the grave of their shallow praise Die the death just to come back hollow Feral angels rise, ripe with decay. Pray to me, what you sow I will reap, Pray to me.

https://officialcarrion.bandcamp.com/album/revenant-2

I Ya ToyahPray ( Stabbing Westward Remix ) – Chicago’s one woman army is back with a new remix from the previously discussed Stabbing Westward and their is nothing I don’t love about this song. The rises and falls of this high speed car chase give space and pacing for Ania to shine through city streets. her energy is a beacon that draws you in and fills you up every time you are near. Walter Flakus is a proven master of taking great vocal talent to it’s height. This remix makes me long for an Ania/Chris Hall duet. Make it happen.

https://iyatoyah.bandcamp.com/album/pray-stabbing-westward-remix

WHITE NOISE TVGENERATOR – Berlin band I have never reviewed before featuring: Oliver Staats, Bernd Abromeit, Lars Goehring. I really like the expansive opening salvo of high energy electronic sound. As the vocals come in they have a daring Peter Hook Revenge flavor. Melodic with a lashing edge. Production is top rate which is essential when blending the post punk vocal style and cascading EDM music. Great breakdown at the 2 minute mark to let the bottom drop out and stand on the hill in defiance. In general an impressive job of taking familiar ideas and stitching them into a fresh concept. I think the most ringing endorsement I can give this is I was three minutes into the first track and they had already won me over as a fan. Get ready to hear more about White Noise TV.

https://alicesitski.bandcamp.com/album/generator?fbclid=IwAR1pq27lCebavvQ8pi9HN1Y5BjL_Vn4wWJtOdSfJLcw5VkHuNQrikn5zukA

Bedless BonesThe Iron Bough – We already have a review posted of this album on Sounds and Shadows. My favorite band from Estonia on Cold Transmission. Set to release 11/25/21. Every time I take a moment to listen to BB I am always surprised I don’t think of them more. They have such a powerful and spiritual infused sound or organic soul with a lost age feeling. Kadri Sammel has one of those truly unique voices that stands out in a sea of similar postpunk/darkwave vocalists for their cadence and range. If you held a live wire up to Dead Can Dance or This Mortal Coil and shocked them with electric intensity, that would be the majesty of Bedless Bones. Cool green leaves dripping with rolling drops of water.

Bending The Iron Bough | Bedless Bones (bandcamp.com)

The Cult Sounds – Now i can say I was officially surprised by this cover. I think of St Louis The Cult Sounds of an edgy dangerous take on the post punk concept. The Moody Blues are a definite guilty pleasure of mine. This holds so true to the psychedelia beauty and romantic nature of the original. It also really shows off the talent and chops of the band in such a different vein than their amazing progressive album “Death Of A Star

https://thecultsounds.bandcamp.com/track/nights-in-white-satin

kid.saint.nothingDisgust – Ok I know this is a friend from Kalamazoo, but I am always astounded by the truth and delivery of Reggie. An exceptional talent in the scene returning once again with a passionate fury of raw veined exposure. It’s music that has that fearless, nothing to lose realness that can’t be faked. Pounding low fi metal edge with poetic soulful lyrics that ring clear beyond the crunching chaotic distortion of the music. I love the drum transition from a backbeat hip hop into throbbing metal. Reggie’s ability to flow seamlessly between styles while exposing their truth of being always reveals a new aspect with every album. More people need to know about this. The Pixies cover sounds more like the original plot of the Pixies than the Pixies do .

https://kidsaintnothing.bandcamp.com/album/disgust-ep-2

The WakeEmily Closer (Kill Shelter Remix) – New remix of legendary Ohio goth band The Wake by our dear friend Pete Burns (Kill Shelter). This song is such a driving dark jam, and Pete drives the car right into a crystal palace of reflections and crashes a dark fairytale ball. Splashes of keyboard color shine light on a dark canvas of surrealism. This track is welcome at my goth prom anytime.

https://thewakeus.bandcamp.com/track/emily-closer-kill-shelter-remix?fbclid=IwAR2pJF824VeY6K9tQZhBShw5ILrpaz6PJbppODJZCVIV9dhVmZ-0pHvWf5g

Aesthetic Perfection Feat: Isaac HowlettSave Myself – Here we have two of the top vocal talents in the modern scene teaming up to create something of staggering beauty. Empathy Test and Aesthetic Perfection share a lot of mutual space, both blending the lovely and pleasing with intense emotion to create a full pallet of human experience in song writing. They also couldn’t be more different stylistically in how they achieve this effect. This song really told a story to me, not just in the music and lyrics present. In the delivery, tone, and cadence that they volleyed then harmonized. Almost as though the perspective of what they were singing was shown through a alternate refraction. Plus it is so earth shattering pretty it made me warm inside. Musically I felt it swung more to the AP perfection side of the spectrum, but the vocal performance highlighted the contrast of two top level artists. I hope this is just the start of possible collaborations. I fully expect this will rocket to the top of the dark scene.

https://aestheticperfection.bandcamp.com/track/save-myself-feat-isaac-howlett?fbclid=IwAR1amkMPNKfSy4V0P6L3j4fOBPDKVNoVgIyBCKopnVm08ST3nFH1gU0fPiI

Video Premier of SYS MACHINE “Poison In My Skin”

The first single from the new project of Illinois Industrial Metal artist David Ssd. Who has completely shifted gears with this slinky sensual atmospheric drift. A new EP forthcoming in December called “Graceful Isolation” featuring 6 original tracks, 3 of which feature vocals from Kimberly of BOW EVER DOWN with remixes from ASSEMBLAGE 23, THE JOY THIEVES, SPANKTHENUN, BLUE EYED CHRIST, MISSSUICIDE, MICROWAVED, Steven Olaf and AUDIO BUDDHA. Artwork is by Greg Rolfes of Eleven12 Design which will be unveiled soon. When you read the names that stepped up to be a part of this, you understand why it has the community buzzing with excitement.

https://sysmachine.bandcamp.com/

The sound and video are a creeping unrelenting strength of movement and woven textures. A motion horror video game of strange lights and symbols tingling on the back of your spine. Kimberly’s emotive vocals sound like a lost record played on a haunted phonograph. Otherworldly and lost in time. They speak a warning to anyone that would dare stumble into her realm. The build and fall of measured electronic background against waving arms and murky waters. With sizzling will o wisp guitar leads lighting the way on this desolate journey. Assemblage 23 has been owning dancefloors for many years, they know just how to stir the pot of this heady brew. I look forward to the whole EP and future of Sys Machine.

Kim (Bow Ever Down)

Cold Waves – The Getaway Camp of the Goth/Industrial Scene

COLD WAVES is a celebration of Chicago’s relationship with industrial music, the memory of a fallen brother, and a fundraiser for suicide prevention charities. In the summer of 2012, Chicago lost one of its most loved and respected sound engineers and musicians, Jamie Duffy. His work ethic and ingenuity in the local music scene was a gift to many musicians. His abrupt passing had a profound effect on the electronic and metal music communities he meant so much to. In need of healing and hope, we brought 14 bands together for one magical night that year to raise money for Jamie’s family and say goodbye. But in the end, it was more of an awakening… a rebirth… a breaking wave. The success of the show pushed us to build it into an annual event, stretching over a weekend and moving it to Chicago’s iconic Metro.

Cold Waves means a lot. It is a true culmination of everything great about this scene. People from all over the world coming together to meet and celebrate music, art, unity, and holding each other up through the darkest times. To remember Jamie and everyone who felt lost and alone. A hope that the scene will be there to lend strength to someone else in trauma tomorrow. It’s first and foremost a celebration of what makes life worth living. Music, art, friendship, and empathy. I attended this year Saturday and Sunday. To see old friends and new. To hear music that will lift my heart at a time I need it most. That is what really makes this special, more than a music festival. Especially in this time of pandemic when our online friendships have become something real to sustain us. This four day festival attended by fans and artists from all over the world turns faces on a screen into reality. A summer camp of outcasts that return each year to bask in the glow of music and lights. I previously covered Thursday and Friday so I will pick up on Saturday night.

Saturday Night!
Photo by Matt Fox

“You’ll hear the term “family” thrown around Cold Waves a lot. It’s true. For a lot of us it’s the place we all have a reunion. I get to see friends in the crowd and on stage from all over the world, and since it’s in Chicago, the U.S. Mecca of industrial, you’ll see people from the Wax Trax hey day just walking around and chatting with everyone. There’s a real sense and respect for the history of industrial– past, present, and future. It’s always a joy being a part of it, whether performing or as a spectator.” Matt Fanale (Caustic/Klack/Daddybear)

Panterah – Information about this Chicago electronic artists is a tad hard to track down. No bandcamp page, instagram, youtube. You can still find releases of their previous incarnation Fee Lion. Large crowd from the beginning drawn in to these razor nails up your back danger pop. Great set to fill you with intrigue for the future of this project and the future of the night.

Provoker – LA based slushy layered dark alternative casting smoky hues through color gels. Lovely range to the vocals but every part of that spectrum is gorgeous. On a night with so much electronic magnificence it was wonderful to hear this driving fuzzy guitar centered sound. I didn’t know much going in, but I was completely won over and eagerly await the new album.

https://provoker.bandcamp.com/album/body-jumper

Photo by Chris Christian

ADULT. – So I have seen Detroit based ADULT 4 times, shockingly never in Detroit where I am from. Adult is one of those artist that is an experience more than a band. A stage show of bouncing bolts of electricity cascading around the room. Humming electronic waves that create a vehicle for high brow lyrical concepts and husky chanting vocals. I love how through decades they continue to find a way to be on the edge of an evolving scene. The performance sent people running to the stage wondering what is happening and how can I get more.

https://adultmusic.bandcamp.com/track/release-me

Photo by Whitney Flaherty

Barker and Connelly – Two living legends putting aside all pretention and just having fun together shredding the ever loving shit out of a set while the audience stared in raptured attention. Two members of Ministry just smiling and unloading sonic obliteration in a shimmering drift between styles and intensity. This performance was just what you would hope for. They are preforming for the LA Cold Waves and if you have the chance, trust me don’t miss this.

https://chrisconnelly.bandcamp.com/album/graveyard-sex

Photo by Whitney Flaherty

 Front 242 – Speaking of living legends. Belgium EBM pioneers brought a performance energy and excitement and 25 year old would be proud of. Including unveiling a new track. It’s madness that in 2021 a band I saw when I was 15 is still unleashing such unbridled energy in a live performance. As Chase Dobson said “Front 242, yes that Front 242”

Photo by Whitney Flaherty

https://front242.bandcamp.com/

Before the performance Sunday I got to have another amazing experience. A chance to go have pancakes with Martin Atkins at the Post Punk Industrial Museum. It was a dream come true for the experiences and stories he shared. Everyone needs to see this for themselves.

https://martinatkins.bigcartel.com/category/museum-of-post-punk-and-industrial

Photo by Whitney Flaherty

WINGTIPS – Chicago breakout Dreamwave band I have seen two other times. Never like this though. This performance was another level. It just tells me that they keep growing and elevating. After witnessing some mainstays with decades of performance under their belts, to hear someone open Sunday night full of exponential growth built my excitement for the whole night. In my opinion it was the standout performance of the night. It can be a razor line riding between nostalgia and modern. Wingtips do that with fearless precision and theatrical flare. After just two albums, I hunger for what their future holds.

Photo by Whitney Flaherty

https://wingtips.bandcamp.com/

This song is an unquestionable JAM
Photo by Whitney Flaherty

Riki – LA based song siren who I had shockingly never heard before the festival. I think the best word to describe this performance is vibrant. The music has a very new wave throwback sound and the vocals are delivered with a series of bright and brilliant hues. The call and answer dueling delivery was a dialog full of soul and passion. I was an instant fan. A crackling sexy energy that flows through your limbs and demands movement.

https://riki.bandcamp.com/album/gold

Photo by Whitney Flaherty
Photo by Whitney Flaherty

Bootblacks – Brookland post punk darlings are on a rocketship of growth and excitement. They have the look, they have the moves, they have a sound that rings unique in a rising tide of the post punk style. Every time I see them I am watching a better band. Larry is an absolute beast on the drums, maybe the best in the scene. When you build on a base of that much fury and power, it makes everything else ring out with a performance that leaves you changed. The communication between each part is a type of family energy from the band that can’t be faked. The way each transition and timing happens without a pinprick of space between. Panther’s confidence and ownership of the audience has reached a real maturity and control. It feels like seeing Nick Cave, in his ability to make a large room feel intimate. Barrett and Alli are playing a complex match of high speed electric tennis sending melodies and leads back and forth in neon chaos. This is one of those bands people will be saying “I was there that night” ten years from now.

Photo by Whitney Flaherty
Barrett Hiatt

“Getting to play Cold Waves the first time around in 2019, was a huge honor. It’s a perfect blend of some of our favorites as well as a new wave of fresh faces, many of whom we’ve had the pleasure of sharing stages with around the world. But in addition to the show itself, Cold Waves in general is a community of like minded lovers of the scene. Some of the friendliest people we’ve ever come across. We were welcomed with open arms the first time around, but to be invited to come back and play this year felt triumphant. The love we received the whole weekend after 2 years of not being able to play shows, was so reaffirming and desperately needed. Everyone involved, staff, crew, security, organizers, bands, and of course, the fans, all came together and gave us memories that we will hold onto for the rest of our lives. We are eternally grateful. Barrett Hiatt (Bootblacks)

Photo by Whitney Flaherty

https://bootblacks.bandcamp.com/album/thin-skies-remixed

Photo by Whitney Flaherty

Korine – The Philly based TranceGaze act which are beauty encapsulated in their sound and aesthetic. I had never seem them live before this night and it took my breath away. You can feel the sound pouring over your skin like cool clean water. Seeing that crowd sway in sync with each song, it was a psychic dream and we were all sharing it in that moment. I will never miss a chance to see this band again.

https://korine.bandcamp.com/album/sunshine

Photo by Whitney Flaherty

Stabbing Westward – Then a special treat happened. LA’s Electro rock masters SW took the stage and I was transported to my bedroom as a 16 year old kid, mad because some girl done me wrong. Chris’s voice isn’t just preserved, it’s sharper and cleaner. They played a cover of The Cure’sBurn” and I don’t say this lightly, it sounded better than Robert Smith. I was even blown away when some tech issues arose and Chris shifted into stand up comedian story teller mode and kept the crowd in the palm of his hand. It was dynamic, it was emotional, it was everything you want from a rock show. My knees were shaking, and then they played “Save Yourself”…I tried hard not to be a mark for the single, but I couldn’t stop. I got misty and belted along.

Photo by Whitney Flaherty

https://stabbingwestward.bandcamp.com/

This isn’t just a festival, it isn’t just four days of heat stopping music. It’s a scene coming together for a wonderful cause and embracing each other. Holding each other up in dark times and saying we share something. Music matters and can still be the bond that ties us. If you feel like this has been missing, plan a trip for 2022. We are all waiting for you. We are all ready to be your people.

A Guide To Cold Waves 2021 Day 1

What is it all about ?

In the summer of 2012, Chicago lost one of its most loved and respected sound engineers and musicians, Jamie Duffy. His work ethic and ingenuity in the local music scene was a gift to many musicians. His abrupt passing had a profound effect on the electronic and metal music communities he meant so much to. In need of healing and hope, we brought 14 bands together for one magical night that year to raise money for Jamie’s family and say goodbye. But in the end, it was more of an awakening… a rebirth… a breaking wave. The success of the show pushed us to build it into an annual event, stretching over a weekend and moving it to Chicago’s iconic Metro.

Cold Waves means a lot. It is a true culmination of everything great about this scene. People from all over the world coming together to meet and celebrate music, art, unity, and holding each other up through the darkest times. To remember Jamie and everyone who felt lost and alone. A hope that the scene will be there to lend strength to someone else in trauma tomorrow. It’s first and foremost a celebration of what makes life worth living. Music, art, friendship, and empathy. I will be returning for Saturday and Sunday. To see old friends and new. To hear music that will lift my heart at a time I need it most. Lets talk a bit about some of the bands and DJs preforming and think on friends both here and gone.

ALL COLD WAVES ATTENDEES MUST SHOW PROOF OF VACCINATION AT THE DOOR TO ATTEND THIS EVENT, NO EXCEPTIONS.
2. MASKS WILL BE MANDATORY TO ENTER, EXCEPTIONS WHILE IN OUTDOOR SIDE-LOT OR WHILE EATING/DRINKING
3. FINAL LINEUP NOW LISTED ABOVE!

9/23/21 Thursday at Smart Bar doors open at 8pm:

https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/2678031

Tickets still available

The Pirate Twins: Chicago goths legendary couple William Faith and Dj Scary Lady Sarah of The Bellwether Syndicate. They have one of the best followed Twitch stream shows of the pandemic. Offering a blend of old school and new goth/post punk/synthwave. I don’t know if there is a finger more firmly planted on the pulse of the dark scene. The Pirate Twins are as much a part of Chicago as nuclear green relish on hot dogs.

https://thebellwethersyndicate.bandcamp.com/

https://www.twitch.tv/scaryladysarah?fbclid=IwAR1_1e7JE1KhBVCQjDmFr5e_e1jVZNKFbTW4OWZuHnP1ZHGpytJFJgVRp7A

When I think of rock star charisma, I think of William and Sarah

Choke Chain : Milwaukee, Wisconsin razor edge EDM band who has been launching to notoriety with their new album ” Invoking Shadows“. Mark Trueman spews body shocking dance beats and venom charged vocals that infuse the audience with energy like a loa possession. This new EP is mastered by Eric Oehler of (Null Device and Klack) which bursts with a chaotic light and menacing intensity. A great way to set the tone for the festival. Choke Chain came on my radar from fellow Wisconsonite Benny Sweat of Sweat Boys, and has continued to be a rising star for this scene.

Mark Trueman of Choke Chain

I ask Mark what playing Cold Waves meant to him: “Its a great opportunity and Its something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. Finally being able to do it is very exciting”

https://chokechain.bandcamp.com/album/invoking-shadows

Morgue VVitch – Kansas based haunting terror synth from artist Tara Saavedra. A wispy tendril of vocals rises from the metallic cauldron of rising synth sounds. Bubbling percussion pops and crackles from this heady brew and brings the energy to life. I continue to be impressed by their sound, as well as the industry greats who see such promise in Tara and offer remixes for this first single. Names like Ghost Youth, Slighter, Caustic, Stoneburner. When great artists see your value it should be a sign to fans of the genre.

https://morguevvitch.bandcamp.com/

The festival has a long journey ahead. Save some energy. Get a Lou Malnati’s pizza to build a carb base for the energy you will need ahead. Check in with us tomorrow for more tips and tricks for Fridays stacked lineup.

Jim Marcus (GoFight/Die Warsaw) Advice For Writing Songs

I’ve been writing songs for 40 years and have written or co-written over 500 songs that have been released in some way. I don’t consider myself, really, a great musician, a great drummer, a great singer, but I do cling to the idea that songwriting is the core of who I am. even if it doesn’t love me, I love it.

I wanted to maybe list 5 super simple tips for songwriters. I know there are a lot of musicians here and I hope there is value here for some of you:

1. Write at least one song every day. Even if you think it is terrible. The only way to get good at this is to get crazy at this and do it a lot. You can start thinking of songs as throwaways, as ideas that sometimes stick and sometimes get thrown away. Once we stop getting so protective of them, we can let them die, change, grow, or be replaced by something better. I like to write new theme songs for tv shows, local colleges, superheroes, anything. Most of the songs I write are just for cannibalizing for pieces. “Cause I’m the Spiderman, I like to swing, impossibly high cause that’s my thing, Got spider bulge and 6 pack abs, realistic webs come out of my ass” had 14 verses and I have actually used some of them.

2. Conversely, Record everything you do. Writing down notes is helpful. Having a voice recording app on your phone you use constantly is better. Every idea, every riff, every bassline, every small chunk of vocal. Keeping a google doc open ton your phone, too, where you write words you like is great. I refer back to mine all the time. It’s now hundreds of pages and full of lines, rhymes, chorus ideas, etc. Entire verses that I liked have come from it. I wrote a song in the 90s called “Pussy Maybelline” for a friend of mine who admitted she put lipstick on her genitals for a date once. I wrote literally hundreds of verses about what other insane things she could do. That song has really delivered, even though it never came out. If you like a meter, write as much as you can in it. Many songs I’ve put out have had 12 verses written for them. I used the best ones.

3. Find different parts of you I have a habit of splitting myself into different people when I write. I have a person inside who writes dirty songs, one who does mean, angry ones, one who is super political, etc. They have names. It helps when you imagine how someone else would say something. Talk in funny voices, mispronounce words. Try to do something at the top and bottom of your range. Sing at different times of day, find every weirdness. I sometimes walk around talking like a different person, looking for a voice. I wrote a song called “Light it up” trying to channel this guy who comments on my feed who made an allusion to blowing up the middle east. I couldn’t sing that as me. (Maybe you can see | how hard it is for me | to be one voice in a system when it used to be all me | I want the same thing everyone | wants and will not say | to be in the majority, but that just slipped away, so I say Light it up.)

4. But Don’t wait for words and melodies are different. I hum simple melodies all the time and then sometimes match them with words. I sing to things. It would be embarrassing to explain which song I released started as “I love you, spaghetti” Remember that some of the greatest songs ever don’t have words that make sense. Phl Collins was going to replace Susudio, but couldn’t find a word he liked, Maurice White left “Bah-de-dah-de-dah” in “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire, because that’s just how he liked it.

5. Write over other people’s songs and rhythms. I worked with a really good songwriter once who used to just sample other grooves from songs she liked, loop it, tape the key down, and sing her own songs over it. When you listen to music you like, sing your own song ideas over the songs. I mean, not at the show or anything. But when you are alone. Once you have a good song, you can replace the music under it with anything. The world is full of rhythm, chord progression, etc. And all of it is there to inspire you.

Jim’s newest single in case you had any doubts of his stellar credentials 🙂