Cold Transmission Makes It Easy

Sometimes being a music reviewer is hard. Mainly because I am lazy. So rather than digging through my stacks tonight in search of new music. I will turn to the very trustworthy source of Cold Transmission Music and their new Zeitgeist 13. CT takes great pride in their ear for fresh worldwide talent. So this compilation is a wonderful place to get 32 handpicked bands masterly mastered by the amazing Pete Burns for under $5. These were my first impression stand outs.

https://coldtransmissionmusic.bandcamp.com/album/zeitgeist-vol-13

HallowTalk to Her – One of my favorite new CT bands. This song had a racing heartbeat and a booming Chameleon’s base wave. The vocals do this beautiful delayed explosion and drip with longing. Every time I started and stopped listening today, I always came back to this track.

IamnooneSolve et Coagula – Giving a little taste of Britpop Stone Roses flavor with a constant high speed Bernard Sumner guitar downward drone. Really keeps the cadence and lifeforce.

RaskolnikovFall Colors – Really cool Swiss band that caught my attention. This unceasing keyboard drone never lets to fall to the skeletons chasing you, or get to close to the one of your future. I love the lilting OMD sound in the vocals. There is a no trend I’m loving of beautiful melodic vocals in post punk. Let’s try and limit the amount of Ian Curtis baritone monotone. It really took me to an Autumn state of mind.

https://raskolnikovmusic.bandcamp.com/

EchoberylListen To Oblivion – This French duo really brings the heat. I feel like this should be the updated cyber sexy theme to Carmen Sandiego. Cecillia has a cold burst of sparkling air quality to her voice and adds depth and texture to the driving beat.

Paradise CoveLost – Sometimes you want to hear a band reinvent the wheel and sometimes you want the razor sharp syncopation of post punk. The the vocals come in with a passionate and pleading chant that hooks me in. It’s a slow burn scorcher worth the wait.

Cut CityReplacement – What a breath of fresh air in doom and gloom. This has the crisp drums and power push of post punk. It couples it with a bright and crackling sound. I think I heard major chords. I feel a lot of early 2000s New York here. Lovely crooning vocals to pair for a gripping and soulful smash. Must dig deeper into this band from Sweden.

https://cutcity.bandcamp.com/

Clone CultureThey Shoot, I Die – Italian Post punk rockers bring a nice dash of glam to this Nextwave ballad. I love when you hear a band just blends well. It really shines through when it is effortless like this. This track has one of those chorus hooks that sticks to your head like honey to the bowl.

CamlannTo Vatican – Absurdly young and talented Indonesian band unleashed this song that is both exotic and passionate. The vocals are haunting and expressive in a way that captures me. I have such high hopes for the future of darkwave with young spirits like these leading the charge into the future.

Empathy TestMonsters – Look I have spent a lot of time talking about Empathy Tests titanic album Monsters. It’s a top contender for our album of the year. Basically if you don’t have Monsters, you need Monsters.

https://empathy-test.bandcamp.com/album/monsters

Bedless BonesCreation – My hands down favorite band from Estonia has given an exclusive track for this compilation. They always have such a surreal swirl to their sound. The drums are built for war and the keyboards contract that primitive echo with an electronic wisp. This is dream fuel music.

https://bedlessbones.bandcamp.com/

Two MoonsSecond Life – Had not heard this band before but it was a pleasant surprise. A totally unique quirk Nick Cave feel to the vocals. The music is cinematic and had perfect ebbs and flows. I will be immediately seeking out there catalog.

Plague GardenLost – Snake slither true traditional goth with darkwave dreams will always make my list. This done with expert precision by some dear friends from Colorado. This flowing narrative is rich and the setting is a desolate wasteland of sorrow. Love this band, love the track.

https://plaguegarden.bandcamp.com/releases

The Neu NeonCrush – This Berlin band is scorching florescent motorcycle synthabilly brain candy. It’s driving, beautiful, and always feels inches from speeding off the cliff. This sound mixes the best parts of 10 things I love.

https://theneuneon.bandcamp.com/

Kalte NachtInmost Desire? – Hot sounds from Athens Greece. The vocalist has that Shannon Light Asylum force and 70’s punk rock aggression. It cooks a long at breakneck darkwave. I had never heard this band before but believe me they are on my radar now. This is the power of a good compilation.

https://kaltenacht.bandcamp.com/releases

Berlin TaxiCount On U – Sleezy dark NOLA streets drip from these elegant and shimmering vocals. The music is wonderfully subtle and blends the power of the voice perfectly. I would like some more please.

https://berlintaxi.bandcamp.com/

Did I listen to every track? Your bet your sweet bippy I did. They were all worth it. However these are the songs that really grabbed hold. You are going to be hard pressed to get a better playlist for this price.

Stumble through the brooding miasma with Swansect on their debut album

https://swansect.bandcamp.com/album/concrete-doves?fbclid=IwAR1TrwEv31tSsZD2tNQUy4rJAtG_8UKPTlsKzwsRl–BB_DLOAZYZmU8mCU

Buy here on bandcamp

Concrete Doves opens with a relentless deathrock bass riff and then militant flash bang drums that trigger my panic response. Feels like getting followed into a dark alleyway and getting the shit kicked out of you by a malevolent spirit. Guitar and undead vocals devoid of any feelings fill out the mix and make for a very disorienting and visceral start to Swansect’s debut.

What follows the musical equivalent of running the gauntlet but the aggressors have razor blades, chunks of concrete, and live power lines. The album utilizes multiple “styles” (industrial, deathrock, sound collage, drone) but is held together by the thematic anxiety of the whole work. There is an overwhelming sense of impending tragedy only buffeted by small bursts of apathy in reference to the destiny of the human race.

The last track to me seems like a meditation on the futility of it all, a sort of peace despite all the destruction and devastation that we’re exposed to everyday, in real life and on the news. Peace stemming from the acknowledgment that some things are just out of our control.

Listen to Concrete Doves here:

Other Social media links:

Facebook.com/swansect

Instagram.com/swansect

Review of The Tacks S/T

Band: The Tacks

Label: Dust Up Records

Home Base: Christchurch, New Zealand

https://thetacksband.bandcamp.com/album/s-t

https://www.facebook.com/thetacksband/

The TacksThe Tacks is more than a Goth band. They’re a loud, dark, Goth, post-punk band from Christchurch, New Zealand. This five-piece is raw. The self-titled album that was released in early April is riddled with angst and passion. The driving drums and the lo-fi tone mixed with an incredible female punk-rock vocals establish something familiar while creating something unique.

I stumbled upon The Tacks on Bandcamp and was elated to find their album in the top six bestsellers under the Goth category. I gave their song “Merivale” a listen and fell in love with it pretty hard. The EP has four songs and is less than 10 minutes long. Each song is a fast-paced rocker that will get those angsty fires lit within you.

I can imagine being at their show, thrashing and sweating with the crowd, shouting the lyrics along with the band. I remember going to shows like that when I was younger and healed from mosh pits faster. I remember the thrill of being in the middle of everyone, being pushed around like the crowd was a giant wave pool. The terror I’d feel falling over only to find unexpected kindnesses all around me as people pulled me back to my feet. Those were the time’s shows were the most fun. When I didn’t know what to expect from the band but knew it would be a night to remember forever. As I listened to this EP, I got to live in that nostalgic thought.

Some favorite tracks

How Many Times– This song starts with a bang as group vocals shout “How many times?” The energy stays high throughout as a story is told about being let down by someone and wondering how many times they’ll get caught up in their own life only to let others down. Group vocals sing every chorus to emphasize each word and make it impactful. It’s a short song, but it’s oozing with familiarity.

Merivale– If you go to The Tacks’ page, this will be the first track that you hear. It’s a banger. This song has the most post-punk feel with tinnier guitar tones and chord changes that tug on your heartstrings. The chorus has group vocals and is very much a punk chorus, but there are other elements involved. For example, between overdrive and distortion as guitar effects, there’s a chorus pedal that gives it more old-school Goth vibes. Once again, this song isn’t a big-time investment, but it’s very fun and filled to the rim with energy.

Overall, I really enjoyed this entire EP. It reminded me of punk bands I loved as a teenager like The Distillers and X. There were just enough post-punk and Goth influences to make me excited and really look forward to this band’s future.

Katy’s “End Of Days” Playlist (Vol. 3)

A week from this last Friday was the second day Bandcamp waived their artist fees. Since then, there’s been a burst of new music posted that ranges from one-off projects bred from quarantine boredom to albums that have been in the works for the last year.  Some artists have re-released old albums that were never released digitally while others have chosen archived songs that aren’t new but haven’t been released before.

I’m pretty much saying Bandcamp is rad right now.

There is so much great music out and more coming out every day. It was hard to pinpoint my top favorites, but I’ve spent the last day narrowing my latest playlist to my top six favorite new releases.

Mogwai

ZEROZEROZERO

Scotland, UK

https://mogwai.bandcamp.com/album/zerozerozero

Mogwai

I’ve always been taken aback by Mogwai’s soundscapes. There’s a vastness in their music that can create such a sad, lonely feeling in my gut. It’s crazy how without words, they can say something so well that it brings tears to my eyes. ZEROZEROZERO is the score to the show on Amazon Prime with the same name exploring the inner workings of the cocaine trade. This album gives the story light as it creates action and tension with massive builds and soundscapes.

Favorite Track: Fears of Metal

X

Alphabetland 

Los Angeles, CA

https://xtheband.bandcamp.com/album/alphabetland

Alphabetland

When X announced last January that they were going to be releasing a new album, the punk scene stirred. What would the first album release in 27 years by an iconic punk band be like? Great news, everyone! It’s awesome. X spent the last 18 months writing and recording 11 new tracks that are relevant and hype to hear. When the band hit the scene in 1977, they quickly become prolific for their unique sound. Duel vocals, an homage to multiple rock genres at once, ripping guitars, and attitude. That’s X. This album was released on April 22, 2020.

Favorite Track: Water & Wine

Vlimmer

Pulmo 

Königs Wusterhausen, Germany

https://blackjackilluministrecords.bandcamp.com/album/pulmo

Vlimmer

Vlimmer is a music-making machine! This album is dark and ambient with a drive behind it. Though it’s utterly haunting instrumentally and vocally, it’s breathtakingly beautiful simultaneously. Instrumentally, you’ll hear sounds that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand, but then there are these huge vocals and harmonies that hypnotize you. There’s chaos built into the structure of the songs that give you that feeling of tension without pushing you to discomfort.  This album was released on May 1, 2020.

Favorite Track: Phantompflug

Secret Shame

Dissolve b/w Pure

Asheville, NC

https://secretshame.bandcamp.com/album/dissolve-b-w-pure

SecretShame1

When I heard the song, “Dissolve” by Secret Shame, I felt refreshed and excited for more. I heard homage to bands I love like New Order. It literally felt like I was listening to a song by The Cure recorded for 33 1/3 rpm but played at 45 rpm.  This is the perfect cross of post-punk and goth rock. You can feel how much fun the band had creating this EP. It’s because of this that the music that creates a deeper connection with the audience. I’m very excited to hear the other half of this EP when it’s released June 5, 2020. 

Favorite Track: Dissolve

Tabloid TV Darlings

Demo EP 

Melbourne, Australia 

https://tabloidtvdarlings.bandcamp.com/

TabloidTVDarlings

In 2019, four 15-year-olds came together in Melbourne, Australia to form the rad indie-grunge band, Tabloid TV Darlings. The group is heavily inspired by ‘90s alternative rock, specifically grunge. The singer sounds almost exactly like Kurt Cobain, but the band has melodic feel with fuzzed-out guitars and cool vocal harmonies. This group of teenagers has me jealous of their songwriting ability and has me super excited for their future releases. This album was released on May 3, 2020.

Favorite Track: No. 1

Dummy

Dummy EP

Los Angeles, CA

https://notdummy.bandcamp.com/album/dummy-ep

Dummy

Dummy from Los Angelas, CA is a dreamy shoegaze band that echos the sounds of legendary groups like Kraftwerk, Stereolab, and Cluster. Their marriage of rock genres ranging from krautrock to post-punk is enough to give it a unique sound. They take a minimalistic approach to their work but build huge soundscapes within the composition. Each song has it’s own range that builds the album into somewhat of a cinematic-feeling piece overall. This album was released on May 1, 2020.

Favorite Track: Slacker Mask

I know I was a little late to the game by writing these days after Bandcamp waived it’s artist fees, but there’s still amazing music being released every day! There is so much to still be excited about on Bandcamp. Whatever support you can offer to your favorite new artists is always appreciated even if it’s only $5.

I’ve been hearing so much great music these last few weeks and look forward to the time when we’ll all be able to go to shows again and experience music together. Until then, I hope that you’ve enjoyed this segment of “Katy’s ‘End of Days’ Playlist”.

Review of Karl Kave’s album “We Are Sun”

KARLKAVE_WeAreSunAlbumCoverBand: Karl Kave

Album: We Are Sun

Label: Unsigned

Home Base: Zürich, Switzerland

Website: https://karlkave.bandcamp.com/

Karl Kave’s latest album is the perfect blend of lo-fi, garage, electronic beats, and post-punk. It’s vibes range from outlaw country to pogo punk, but it rocks the entire time. When I listened through, I was reminded of bands like The Exploited, The Cramps, Gap Dream, and Orville Peck.  I was also reminded of the original soundtrack of the show “Twin Peaks”. These albums are of my favorites.

The instrumentation ranges throughout from clean and almost sappily romantic-sounding to dark and bruiting. Vocally, all the songs have hints of darkness. It’s the way the vocals and instruments are mixed together and the effects added that drive the impact of the album to the next level. There are twists and turns throughout that make the album more fun the more you listen to it. 

KarlKave

Some favorite tracks

Dreaming– This song starts out and sounds like it will be a super sappy love song.  Once the lyrics come in, the story and it’s setting suddenly change. I’m a huge fan of relatable lyrics and this song has some that really resonate with me.

We Are Sun- I really enjoyed this song because it was so different and bluntly sad sounding in comparison to many of the others. The beat is really cool, like its made mostly from patting lets and clapping hands. This song is really minimalistic in comparison to the others with only vocals, a drum machine, light effects, and an acoustic guitar.

You Left My Heart in New York City- This song is a really great mash-up of indie and country. The lyrics are sad, they tell a story about heartbreak and the big let downs. The lyrics tell a vivid story, but the instrumentation pushes it along. The slow pace adds to the longing feeling the lyrics spell out and adds a heaviness to your heart that words can’t achieve.

Listening through this album made me really miss going to shows.  All I could think about while I listened through was how fun this show would be to see live. I could imagine it. Everyone dancing to songs like “Dreaming” and “Yesterday We’ll Be Dead” and then the crowd falls silent during the slower songs as to not miss a single word. I would love to be at that show.

I really enjoyed listening to this album. The ups and downs were paced perfectly. It was lo-fi, moody, romantic-sounding, and generally amazing. If you’re looking for something new and different that pays heavy homage to the post-punk, indie, goth, and outlaw country genres, then this is the album for you.