Category Archives: nowave

White Suns * Totem (cd 2014)

Well well, so there are still bands making noiserock that is actually noisy? It looks like this band is shoved a little under the “nowave” banner and for convenience sake, I will do so too (for now). The difference (for me at least) is that “nowave” is faster and more chaotic, while “noise rock” is more like the live sound of Swans. White Suns is “noise rock” ‘by default’ and “nowave” ‘by acception’.
In any case, according to Discogs this band has been releasing music since 2009 and however this is their fifth full-length it is probably the first album that I hear of them. You can expect some noisy guitar music with screamed vocals. The music is not the kind of impossible-to-listen-to noise that sometimes comes from the industrial scene, but certainly guitar mayhem and no music for the average music listener. There is no structure, melody or rhythm. Like what the ‘nowavers’ of the 1970’ies wanted music to sound like actually. However it is quite chaotic, I kind of like the sound of White Suns. Not to listen to every day, but this certainly is a nice addition to my musical library.
Links: White Suns, Flenser Records
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Wolf Eyes * No Answer: Lower Floors (cd 2013)

According to Last.fm I know Wolf Eyes and they recommended me the latest album of this weird US band. They are listed as (among other genres) noise rock, so I suppose they sometimes come by when I am playing nowave, since Last.fm, but more especially Deezer easily connect bands that have only the smallest thing incommon. However I use the tag “nowave” myself, this term does not really describe the sound of Wolf Eyes (but I cannot make a new tag for every band). Nowave is usually chaotic, noisy punk without much structure, rhythm or melody. “No Answer” is rather tranquil and very experimental music. Guitars, electronics and sometimes vocals making a weird style of… noise rock? Perhaps yes, but the guitars are not ‘rocky’ at all and the noise is nothing much when you compare it to what I call noise, nor even when you compare it to some nowave. Wolf Eyes is an extremely active band. Their first release on Discogs is from 1998 and Discogs has 67 (!) albums listed and does not even have this one yet. Add 30 eps and over a hundred splits and I am beginning to understand that somewhere along the line I must definately have come accross this band. So, if you are looking for something different, something experimental, perhaps slightly psychedelic and certainly soundscapish, but then made with guitars and some electronics, have a listen to Wolf Eyes. I personally find this a bit too unstructured, but I would not turn it off would it come along in some Last.fm or Deezer “radio”.
Links: Wolf Eyes, De Stijl Recs
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Swans * The Seer (2cd 2012)

Swans is one of those bands I have known about for decades, but never got to listen to them. In my head Swans is an old industrial band that was around before I started to listen to industrial music and since everybody says that they Swans are the hardest live band they ever saw, I took them for probably being a noise band. Actually Swans were there before there was industrial and since Michael Gira is also in the “nowave” documentary “Kill Your Idols!” that would probably mean a guitar-oriented noise outfit. Another reason that I probably never heard them is that they seem to have quit after the 1998 album “Swans Are Dead” and released nothing until 12 years after. I, at least not consciously, did not hear about the 2010 album “My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky”, but Last.fm did recommend me “The Seer”. Since they are also coming to my country to play, I decided to try this new album and I noticed that there are actually two new albums, “The Seer” and “We Rose From Your Bed With The Sun In Our Head”. The latter appears to be somewhat how I expected Swans to sound, but not as loud as I thought, guitar-oriented noisy music. Fortunately I heard “The Seer” before “We Rose…” otherwise I might not have heard it. Not that “We Rose…” is a boring album, but “The Seer” is a lot more interesting. It opens with a brilliant song called “Lunacy”, a soft track with constantly repeating singing of the song title. The next track is more a long, epic rock song with softer and louder parts, completely with organs. After a short soundscape comes the over half hour title track epic which goes from soundscapes to jazzy music to noisy rock, heck, this is almost what you nowadays call “sludge” or “stoner doom” and not bad either. The next track is almost poppy as are some other tracks on the second disc. There is folk, classical nowave/artpunk, popmusic. Not every track is brilliant, but most are good to very good and the variety of styles makes “The Seer” very interesting and very listenable. I might need to find me more music of Swans! Would this be a new sound for the band or did I mistakingly ignore them all these years? You probably know the band for a long time, so perhaps this review will tell you if Swans changed and if you still want to hear the new album, but for people like me, who somehow managed to miss this band, “The Seer” could be a good introduction to start exploring the massive discography.
Swans, Young God Records
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PRE * Third Album (cd 2011)

So there are still nowave/artpunk bands that release cds. PRE is an early incarnation of this weird and noisy side of punk releasing material only since 2006. They have an energetic and chaotic sound with a manic female singer and sometimes noisy guitarwork, sometimes more punky. This “Third Album” is very nice. Contains 13 things and lasts for……….. 23 minutes?!? Damn!
Links: PRE, Skin Graft Recordings