Final Bandcamp Friday of the Year!

So the final Bandcamp day of 2020 is upon us. This whole year feels like an absurd blur. I continue to beat the drum hard for all Bandcamp does to support artists all year round. This day each month has become something I cherish as it usually leads to several new releases. As usual I am up at midnight firing through whiskey and trying to share some of the new music that is filling my heart with fire. As the possibility of Facebook turning away from artists sharing their work I urge you to follow the page and comment below the review music that is inspiring you that I might put it in future reviews.

Codename: Lola – Lets start out with this badass cover of one of my favorite bands Ultravox in one of their more underrated songs. The single features fireball vocals from Gothzilla frontman Tim Jarvis. It’s got a glorious walking gansta style and a wailing guitar solo. Just blistering energy that never lets up and fills me with excitement for the future of this project. Currently it is free on bandcamp and is a must grab.

https://codenamelola.bandcamp.com/

Vlimmer: Alexander has done it again. His ability to crank out albums at the highest quality in record speed leaves me speechless. This latest release “XIIIIIIII” has his textured emotive stark imagery. Opening with an urgency and seamless blend of guitar slush with cascading keyboards. It’s gorgeous, immersive, and never disappoints. I am always shocked by how far from the previous concept each release leaps. This one highlights the vocals and has a brighter indie rock sensibility. I’m in awe, how does he have so many ideas that always sound so fresh.

https://blackjackilluministrecords.bandcamp.com/

The Funeral March of the Marionettes – New single from the Illinois post punk band called “Useless”. It’s brash and melodic with 80s Killing Joke feel. That driving bassline that never lets up and chanting devil may care vocals that add weight by floating on the wave of sound.

https://thefuneralmarch.bandcamp.com/album/useless-a-foolish-arrangement

Dissonance Feat: Kurt Larson: If there are three things I love it is 1) Kate Bush 2) Kurt Larson (Information Society) 3) The soulful smokey croon of Cat Hall. It’s a song that has seen covers before but this one is special for the vocal duet and digital downpour of sound falling on us while we are running up that hill. A special release from one of the most underrated voices in this scene. This single comes off an amazing compilation of cover songs by electronic artists called “Numbers Covered”. A great value here but if you have to check just one track it is this.

https://emergencyhearts.bandcamp.com/album/numbers-covered-a-benefit-album-for-numbers-night-club

Vertical Patrols – Another single from the San Diego synthwave artist. It’s warm and puts me in mind of catchy New Order Technique until the vocals drop with a unique accented feeling of frustration and loss. It grabs hold of your lapels and shakes you furiously searching for it’s own answers. It’s one of those bands where I hear what is coming, as much as what I am hearing. This single paves the way for something exciting in the future.

https://verticalpatrols.bandcamp.com/track/again-tonight?fbclid=IwAR3ah6WZyYPvZg5tTK9e6fh5BTTwaI5nWSuknlxN1F7tdSVoV2J5X8oUfNM

Damien Done : My fellow Michigan native has released 3 new demos songs in November. It’s always a great experience when you have an artists that you have followed the evolution of their sound. Moyal has had an impressive career with a wide range of styles. His voice really has so many tricks in the bag and shifts from album to album and even within single tracks. An impressive talent and lyrical storyteller that drenches each canvas with rich and immersive imagery. My favorite of the three tracks was “Always On Fire” with featured this beautiful harp sound. His voice takes on a rich Brendan Perry (Dead Can Dance) lilt. Then shifts into a powerful growl at just the right moment as a booming trip hop drum beat sinks in. A Master of the song writing craft Damien does not disappoint. The blistering guitar solo in the outro is a scorching flame on oil soaked waters. Powerful.

https://damiendone.bandcamp.com/album/demos-from-the-year-2020

Dead Astronauts: New release out of Seattle from Cold Transmission Music called “Silhouettes“. This one is a pre order not available until January but it already has me bubbling with excitement. First single is “Chauffer and the Flame” ok to start with I love that song title. This is hungry and sensual. It features a beautifully matched duet vocal that creates duality and tension. These drum beats come from within you and burst out of your chest. The sleek electronic style feels like I am in the Tron stadium racing in a light motorcycle with everything on the line. It’s hot, tantalizing, and leaves me hungry for more.

https://deadastronauts.bandcamp.com/album/silhouettes

Modal Citizan : New album Control After Delete from chaos dark grunge out of Virginia Beach. So this was admittedly a little closer to metal edge than I generally venture. My first inclination was to kick it over to Collin or Adrian. However I found it growing on me as I played it more and more. The thick as fuck crunching guitars took me back to Bad Motorfinger from Soundgarden. The vocals while full of screech and growl, also found tones of gentle beauty which rode that razor edge never quite crossing over into something to hard for me to relate to. It was one of those records I kept expecting to want to get off the ride, but found myself clutching the bar and feeling myself pulled deeper. I always know something is impressive when it is obviously out of my wheelhouse but I keep coming back to it. Even now I am not sure how I feel, other than I was never bored or lost. I think this is a record I will find me daring myself into exploring again and again in the future.

https://modalcitizan.bandcamp.com/album/control-alter-deplete

Sapphira Vee: Ok there are a lot of reasons I am excited for this album “The Mask” due out 12/15/20. One of which are the bevy of awesome collaborators including Spankthenun, The Joy Thieves, Melodywhore, and yes Amaranth. I even do a bit of guest vocals on the track “World My Voice“. Sapphira has a voice and energy that fills a room. It’s dangerous and calls you like a siren from the rocks. These tracks are so personal and really tear her open as she holds out her heart in her hand. I love the throwback tone of dropped beat triphop. It really highlights the power of her controlled elegance. It’s music that gives you a shiver. A tension in the air. An inhaled breath with every roll of the dice. In a world of darkpop about escape, this album demands your focus. It’s hard pressed to pick a favorite track, but “Mask of Happy” is such a creeping and subtle jam you don’t realize has ahold of you until it is too late. A powerful release that belongs in your collection.

https://sapphiravee.bandcamp.com/

Grabyourface: French ultraviolet blade runner who has just signed with Negative Gain records will release an eagerly anticipated new album 12/18/20 called “Sea“. This record is gorgeous from the get. The spoken word poetry style is engaging and draws attention to the lyrics. It’s a drowning plea cutting through an ocean of depression, trying to break the water. The music is a slow electronic cascade weathering down the rocks. I really found myself getting lost in this. Sonically it’s like the other side of the same spectrum as Mr.Kitty. My pick for favorite track was “So”. The mixture of piano sound and florescent fog synths give a beautiful setting for the melody rap poetry. Overall this is an impressive offering and one I will definitely be getting preorder for.

grabyourface (bandcamp.com)

Caustic: Matt Fanale also of Klack released a new 5 song pandemic club massacre ep. Rhythmic robot signal beamed into your brain guiding your body as a marionette. My jam was Tu Madre. It was so hard to stop my feet from stomping and waking the house. The AI efficiency of the music is memorizing. There is so much movement with so few different sources carrying it. Around 2:50 the blasting toms start and kick the floor from under you. You also get Matts clever humor in songs like Stale Seman, Shame, and video games. The whispered secret, and old school dancedustrial beat are a delicious combination. Matt is really one of the leaders in the charge of current industrial/edm.

https://caustic.bandcamp.com/album/a-succession-of-repetitive-beats

Remember to drop your favorite new bands you got on bandcamp day for future reviews.

It’s Wed my dudes. Which means I’m red wine drunk talking about new music.

So here we are my friends. Another night of me spewing drunken ramblings into the interweb about what I am listening to. I have to admit I have been stepping outside the box a lot this week Stretching the boundaries of my usual genres. Which is a great feeling. Also if you read this page and feel like you know a type of music which doesn’t get good representation here, why stand for that? Reach out to me. I am always looking for new writers who know about things I am not well versed in. Lets dive in.

MasinaAwake Again With You – So I came across this criminally underrated band from London when they did a remix of our friends Loveblind. They released this EP in January full of soulful triphop with rich beautiful piano tones and slick feather floating vocals. Kayleigh and
Jo have a fencer vocal style of sharp strikes and deceptive flourishes. I really fell into the constant heartbeat of these songs. It has a light airy expansive style but the constant drive of the drums keeps the blood pumping in your finger tips while the vocals float on top like a cloud.

(Side Note) Amaranth is working on a remix for them and they are looking for more remixes. If you are an artists, reach out. These sounds are hot.

https://masina.bandcamp.com/album/awake-again-with-you

Guillotine DreamDamaged and Dammed – July release from the Welsh traditional goth band. I love this heavy handed mudslinging spookfest right from the start. It’s urgent, sensual, and hums like a spectral generator keeping the lights on in a cemetery. Arc growls away with a rough and ready metal vocal feel. I really liked the feel of “Hidden Rooms“. It had this cool glam Scary Monsters flavor. those guitars just keep ringing out like bell chimes. This is one of those bands that is making goth claw it’s hands through the earth and rise from the grave.

https://guillotinedream.bandcamp.com/album/damaged-and-damned

Damien DoneTo Night – Our fellow Michigan band has a new EP release from May. I really love the singer songwriter style of this band that has clear, clever pop hooks which have evolved and expanded into ultra dark ringing shadow soul theatrical goth. The dynamic shift of these songs are a master class in how to yank the emotions of your listener like a stallion on the bit. Thick heavy baselines that rumble and echo to drive each track forward. Damien has a rich and lovely baritone that spews poetry and clever transition. Everytime I hear this band I think to myself why am I not listening to more of this band. It’s like Voltaire with more spit and vinegar.

https://damiendone.bandcamp.com/album/to-night-ep?fbclid=IwAR35sAZUASpKOZgaFbIC0p1h2f8q4JCS3Dy4xfiD7CPaBDcY-TDSXvpJCSU

Big Time KillBurn Out – Boston MA electro grunge has a new EP out. It’s a beautiful energy full of peaks and valleys. It’s electric and full of sizzle and shriek. I love the introspective lyrics and 2000s guitar shredding emo thunder. Adam has a true laser beam belt that helps carry the message with napalm intensity.

https://bigtimekill.bandcamp.com/album/burn-out?fbclid=IwAR1b-QZxSug765C0cLynRatdEjA22dBzgJWOPVF6I3maTwk59C21o0PABS8

Skull Family SPhone – Arkansas dance weavers released a new EP in April. It’s breathy, wicked, and full of dark intent. I love the energy of the opening track Void . The slick even shadow pop is full of dynamics and explosive crescendos. I really enjoy the trilling guitar word and synth builds.

https://skullfamily.bandcamp.com/album/sphone

The Walking Icon III for the Past – New single for the Russian dreampop duo. It is dancy, delicious and full of swirling air, and purple lightning tempo. Sasha has a voice that is striking and warm with a dash of echo effect. I look forward to future releases.

https://thewalkingicon.bandcamp.com/album/iii-for-the-past?fbclid=IwAR3qbzpo1naXJPBFXJrWgGmxswcYYIO9nUSQNVYZcrxrfPA01jHu6SetXUM

Pigs of the Roman EmpireSeasick – Ok this band from Australia first captured me with a brilliant name, but quickly I was drawn into the post punk alt dark slither. I love the harmony vocal separation offsetting the low ket drone guitars. Just a four song EP but a brilliant swirling tornado of 90’s aly rock and 80’s post punk. It spins with reckless abandon until you can’t see the lines between meshing styles.

https://pigsoftheromanempire.bandcamp.com/

Detroit Darkness

I thought I might write a little something close to home. About the glorious music scene in my very own Michigan. I know, I said Detroit. However as anyone from the D will tell you, all white boys from the suburbs claim Detroit even if they currently live in Kalamazoo MI. While doing the podcast with SYZGYX last night I got excited talking about our local scene. Then figured why not share it with all of you 🙂 Lets start with some bands.

East Side

Josie Pace – Nightmare pop that takes top 40 sensibility wraps a rusty chain around it’s neck and chokes the shit out of it. Josie takes singer songwriter hooks then feeds them through a spicy electroclash beat. With an LA aesthetic and a motor city grit.

Schedule IV – Post Punk synth wave with giant sound and piercing powerful vocals from Steph Strange. They do a wonderful live show that is wound tight and full of soul. One of our favorite bands to play with SIV are a must see.

Vazum – Dark Retro dream rock with a flowing minimalist style. I really like their crunchy 90’s grunge style with dark edges. Large thumping drums and Zach’s slippery shifting melodies carry you on a roller coaster of driving fuzz.

Heavy Water Factory – Textural industrial old school that has been a part of the Detroit scene since I was a high school kid in black boots and a trench coat. When it comes to perfect production and beats that take over the floor Jesse McClure is one of the most respected in the business. It’s electric, it makes you dance, it’s the soundtrack of my angry youth. Just out with a new album after a long hiatus, HWF has not lost a beat.

Ritual Howls – The sinister dark rock poets have brought their European style Nick Cave shadow twang to the motor city and continue to spew forth quality content from the void.

The Ruiners – Detroit Gothabilly royalty have been a little quiet as of late. They hold a special place in my heart. I had the honor of playing with their must see stage extravaganza complete with ex Amaranth singer Nina. Her husband Rick Ruiner is Iggy Pop 1977 brought forth and made flesh. There is no party not made better by throwing Ruiners on the stereo.

Siamese – Thicccc bass lines and lovely crooning vocals are the trademark of shadowy retro rockers Siamese. They really blend the synths and rock seamlessly to create that metal gauntlet in a velvet glove.

Detroit also sports one of the United States oldest and best Goth Clubs “City Club

https://www.facebook.com/pg/LelandCityClub/about/?ref=page_internal

Featuring Djs – Jay Itchon, Charles English, with guests like Sandra Katz, and Leo Oakley

As well as Smalls, my favorite Detroit venue for live bands. They also have a badass Industrial night on Fridays and Saturdays.

https://www.facebook.com/smallsbar/?eid=ARAUlR3Gcafk-qUXIzgdn3iotK5_tNdpe9NuJng0HVB1aUMWYzeVNzuRZ-v5fuoab96DgpJwEkr9Zbd3

Featuring : DJ Aaron Hingst, DJ Elektrosonik ,

Suburbs

Audrey Burne – Our dear friends dark fantasy rockers Audrey Burne bring that witchy energy from Bay City. Powerful vocals and intricate construction. They have a wonderful intimate live show.

Damien Done – He toured through Europe doing dark folk. Then returned back to Michigan and reinvented with incredible midnight alternative post punk with a dark humor. Deep, rich voice that just draws you in. Why have I never played with them? 🙂

Ann Arbor also has a great Monday night goth event I have tragically never made it too. I hear great things though. Djd by Jay Itchon and Leo Oakley

https://www.facebook.com/FactoryAtNecto/

West Side

My home town of Kalamazoo MI sports on of the secretly greatest goth scenes in the midwest. Smack dab between Chicago and Detroit this has been a stopover spot and music mecca for many years.

Katy Needs A Life – Synth Princess and S & S contributor these ethereal 80s prom dream waves are always a great show. It’s lovely, pure, and authentic.

Sexy Toxins – Eurotrash disco sex party duo A Toxin and B Toxin take performance art and ass slapping beats that are a guaranteed good time every time you see them. I can think of few live shows in this life I had more fun at.

Nekomata – These doom metal droning sound explosion are so fucking good they make me listen to metal. It’s beautiful sludgy filth. Have you ever had your ass kicked by sound alone, because this is how you do that. Plus Myah is in this video.

Drink Their Blood – Some like their metal with a little more speed and sizzle and Drink Their Blood are furious wizards of the keyboard. Ben Boggs is a vocal experience not to be missed. Plus Saxophone + Metal !!!

Thee Elder Gods – Kalamazoo’s punk rock icons. The play loud, mean, and take no shit off anyone

Deadlight Holiday – High energy goth slush from Grand Rapids Michigan play a wonderful shoegaze darkness and have an electric stage show full of leather, sweat, and fury.

https://kidsaintnothing.bandcamp.com/releases

Kid Saint Nothing – This brilliant new release from my dear friend Reggie left me floored. It’s tender, genuine and full of pop hooks that stick in my mind. It has transported me with a scope that goes from fury to elegance. You must hear this. I can’t wait to see it played live.

Amaranth – we make bullshit goth about Ninjas, Swordfights and Lambos.

Kalamazoo also sports one of the best goth dance nights around Chaos. Anastasia and Asher (Dj Wyrmwood) have created a beautiful and inclusive environment for music and dancing to thrive. Every time I bring someone from a big city to our local goth party they are blown away wondering how is this happening in the tiny hamlet of Kalamazoo.

https://www.facebook.com/ChaosKalamazoo/

I’ll try and keep adding to this. If your city deserves a great write up to celebrate it’s music culture than hit me up and lets tell people why you are excited.