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Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand ‎* Sucht & Ordnung (2016)

Continuing on the psychedelic path, Der Blutharsch, etc. comes with an album with only three tracks, one of 8, one of 7 and one of 14 minutes.

The music is largely instrumental, slow and psychedelic, but on a few occasions there are metal-like eruptions and singing by Marthynna and less frequently Herr Julius.

Like with most Infinite Church albums I find “Such & Ordnung” alright, but not great. Good to listen to a couple of times, but not much more than that.

Links: Der Blutharsch / WKN

Duchess Says * Sciences Nouvelles (cd 2016)

It is odd how the music business works nowadays. On Deezer a Duchess Says single became available a while ago. “Negative Thoughts” announced an upcoming album. Then a little later the album is announced on Bandcamp and can be preordered. One track could be listened for free, another (“Negative Thoughts”…) after you preordered the album. Now the album is out and you can listen to it entirely on Bandcamp without buying it.

“Sciences Nouvelles” is (like previous albums) is short only 36 minutes. Two tracks I already knew (see above), two tracks can also be found on the split with Prince Harry.

Just like with the previous album “In A Fung Day T!” (2011) the pre-released tracks seemed to imply that the band is going more in their electropop direction rather than the weird punk style. The opening tracks of “Sciences Nouvelles” seem to confirm this idea. However “Negative Thoughts” is a bit ‘rocky’, only once the album gets the good old weird punk sound of Duchess Says with the “Pink Coffin” track that we already knew. “Poubelle” (track 5) is nicely weird, but (on the Duchess Says scale) ‘low energy’ and we immediately go back to electropop, followed by a strange sounscape type of track. There is some slightly psychedelic experimentation which is amusing. I do prefer the more energetic sound of the band and when compared to all that came before, the latest album is again a step back.

I am not really blown away by the latest Duchess Says. The previous album did grow on my as well, so maybe this will happen again. After a few rounds I can say that “Sciences Nouvelles” is nice to very nice, but not as nice as previous releases.

The label seems to be new to me too. Maybe I should have a listen to what they released before.

Links: Duchess Says, Bonsound

Pop. 1280 ‎* Paradise (cd 2016)

I discovered this noisy band a couple of years ago when I was looking for electropunk. They were formed in 2009 and have released their third full-length in four years time. The band uses guitar-noise that may remind of a band like Swans here and there, but they have also got ‘pulsating electronics’ which are closer to a band like zZz. Sometimes the sound goes in the direction of ‘electropunk’, at other times the band has more of a noise-rock sound. There are also softer, more experimental tracks.

Like on previous albums “Paradise” is not an overall masterpiece, but most tracks are nice to good and a couple of tracks are very good.

I like to listen to the noisy side of popmusic nowadays. Often that is the ‘shoegaze’ side of the spectrum, but I must say that this dirty kind of ‘electropunk’ is a welcome addition.

Funny sidenote, the band shares labels with noise-lady Pharmakon and the famous Zola Jesus.

Links: Pop. 1280, Sacred Bones Records

Geneviève Pasquier * Live One (mc 2016)

Discogs.comYou have to be patient for releases of Pasquier (under her own name at least). “Handle With Care” is already from 2010. This new cassette does not even contain (much) new music either.

Side A mostly contains reworkings of old tracks such as Blitzkrieg Baby and Warm Leatherette, but also new (or at least unreleased) tracks like Douleur and 8 P.M. Daily News. This side has more of the ‘soft side’ of Pasquier with also a bit of new elements here and there.

Then we flip over to side B which contains a live recording from a Wien/Vienna show in April 2011. The tracks here come both from earlier and more recent albums. Live Pasquier can be nicely industrial, raw and energetic (I remember a great show at the 2010 Summer Darkness Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands). The recordings do not sound as raw as I remember the Utrecht show, but I prefer this side over side A. The live recordings have an alright sound, but the oddly faded applauses are a bit strange.

“Live One” makes a nice album, an overview of Pasquier’s discography. I am curious if there will be new material some day though. There are only 100 tapes, so if you are a collector, be quick. You can also buy a Bandcamp release.

Links: Geneviève Pasquier, Raubbau

The KVB * Of Desire (cd 2016)

I have known this band for a while. I ran into them when digging through the ‘minimal wave scene’, but this scene is a bit wider concerning musical styles. The same can be said about The KVB, because they do not really make ‘minimal wave’, but rather some sort of ‘shoegaze’. Over the years I have read all kinds of descriptions for music from that corner. “Ghostwave”, “witch-wave” and whatnot.

Basically the music of The KVB is electronics and a (bass) guitar. What you see more often from this angle of music, it is a boy/girl duo. Music-wise you may think of The Soft Moon and in a far distance A Place To Bury Strangers. More comparable is some of the music released by Aufnahme + Wiedergabe.

“Of Desire” is an alright album. The same I can say about many releases from this ‘scene’. It is currently a type of music that I listen to quite a bit, but there is not a whole lot that I think is completely brilliant. Since it is easy music to listen to, it goes well as background music.

Should all this be new to you, The KVB is not the worst band to start your explorations with. They are big enough for this album to appear on Spotify and Deezer, so it is not difficult to give them a try.

Links: The KVB, Invada

The Dead Weather ‎* Dodge And Burn (cd 2015)

  • pop rock

The Dead Weather is one of my favourite poprock bands. The band members play in a range of other bands, not the least bands either. Of course there is Jack White of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, etc., etc. Then we have Alison Mosshart of The Killers and some other bands. Dean Fertita of Queens Of The Stoneage, The Raconteurs, etc. Last but not least Jack Lawrence who also plays in The Raconteurs and a handfull of other bands. Several of the names bands have nice songs, but nothing like The Dead Weather.
Because all band members are busy, it took five years before The Dead Weather released another full-length. In that time two singles were released and recently tracks from the then upcoming album were already available. Because of this I already knew a large part of “Dodge And Burn”.

The album opens with “I Feel Love” which has been available for a week or two. An alright track with Mosshart on vocals. We continue with “Buzzkiller” that is featured on the single of last year with the same title. The first new track is “Led Me Through”, a nice song. The next two tracks are new too and on “Three Dollar Hat” we hear Jack White for the first time and then Mosshart again as the song speeds up into a very nice Dead Weather song. “Rough Detective” and “Open Up” shared a 2013 7″, the latter is nicely energetic. The last tracks are new again.

“Dodge And Burn” does not blow me away like “Sea Of Cowards” (2010) or “Horehound” (2009). The tempo of most songs is fairly low and they seem less dramatic than earlier material. I do not rule out the possibility that this album will grow on me though, since The Dead Weather has a nice unique style with a lot of detail and some experimentation.

Links: The Dead Weather, Third Man Records

Black Bug * Frozen Energy (7″ 2015)

When my eye fell on this 7″ in the shop of Aufnahme + Wiedergabe, I did not know that it is actually a brand new 7″. Some three years after lp (click on the bandname to read the review) there is new material of Black Bug.

The title track of this 7″ is an uptempo and nicely raw sounding electropunk track. Side B, “Push You”, sounds more like that wave-sound that is so popular nowadays. It is not really “minimal wave” that I used as a tag, but more like the style between shoegaze-rock energy and minimal wave, perhaps reminding a bit of some material of The Soft Moon. So what do they call that these days? “Now-wave”? “Ghost wave”? No matter, as long as it is good and that certainly goes for this 7″.

Videos for both tracks can be found on the Facebook page of the band, so it is easy to listen to the music.

Links: Black Bug, Avant!

The Soft Moon * Deeper (cd 2015)

A couple of years ago I discovered The Soft Moon when I was looking for A Place To Bury Strangers-like shoegaze-rock style bands. The Soft Moon is a descent band in that ‘genre’, but when I saw them at the 2013 Summer Darkness festival, they proved to be much more energetic on stage than on their albums which made their show more interesting than their albums.

While at the gothic Summer Darkness festival the band probably did not have their usual audience, yesterday the band played at the Psych Lab Eindhoven festival with a whole range of different-style psychedelic bands; more their scene I think. Their show was with quite a distance the most interesting of the evening. Whereas many band were slow and… psychedelic, The Soft Moon were noisy, uptempo and very energetic. Judging my review of the “Zeros” album, that also was true for the Utrecht show. The band played quite a few tracks that I did not know, so I figured they might have a new album out and indeed, their merchandise stand had “Deeper”.

The cd opens in a promising way with the uptempo “Inward”. Just as in my previous review, I can say that “Deeper” is not as continuously energetic as the live performance. There are also slower and even soft songs to be found on the album. Like in my previous review I can say that there are great and alright tracks on the cd and again I prefer the faster tracks. There seems to be more focus on electronics this time with some beat-driven tracks, but in basis the sound of The Soft Moon is shoegazish, slightly psychedelic rock, somewhat reminding of the sound of A Place To Bury Strangers; so: noisy with high-pitched guitars.

A nice album, but perhaps a live album would be even nicer.

Links: The Soft Moon, Captured Tracks

Duchess Says & Le Prince Harry * Split LP (12″ 2015)

New material of my favourite electropunkers, the weird and wonderfull Duchess Says from Canada. This split vinyl opens with some typical uptempo rock sounds, but soon goes over in Duchess’ frenzy. Then follows a more electropoppy song, nice and weird. The third track is also great, not too typical for Duchess Says, but what is typical for a band that goes from electropop to grindcore on a single album? Anyways, the Duchess Says side definately excuses buying this lp.

The name Le Prince Harry rings a bell, but apparently I have never (really) listened to them. Their four tracks go perfectly with those of Duchess Says. The music of Le Prince Harry is also weird, uptempo and punky, but with even more electronics than in Duchess Says. Their 2012 lp “It’s Getting Worse” also proves to be a wonderfull album with pulsating synth rhythms and simple but effective guitar-work and vocals. The music reminds a bit of my countrymates zZz, but Le Prince Harry is faster and the tracks on the split lp are even more uptempo.

Certainly a very good pop-album, though a weird one, as it should be. The label also has a couple of interesting names in their roster by the way.

Links: Duchess Says, Le Prince Harry, Teenage Menopause Records

The Prodigy * The Day Is My Enemy (cd 2015)

A while ago a Prodigy show in Amsterdam was announced, sold out in no-time of course, but I am going to see them live again; same place, different album. No longer unexpectedly, the band prereleased two tracks and now the new album.

“The Day Is My Enemy” sounds even more ‘punkish’ than previous material. Some tracks are very energetic, other seem less so. Different guest vocalists have cooperated to this album, one of them is the immediately recognisable Jason Williamson from the weird and nice band Sleaford Mods that I recently ran into. Williamson’s lyrics contain the f-word frequently and the same I can say about other tracks on this new Prodigy album. The band says that the new album sounds rawer, perhaps that also goes for the lyrics then.

The track with Jason William’s vocals is called “Ibiza” and the tough rap-like vocals go very well with the electropunk of Liam Howlett. There are a couple of other great tracks, others are just nice. The music of The Prodigy tends to grow on me and perhaps hearing them live might give these tracks an extra boost. As for the moment I can say that if you enjoy the developing style of The Prodigy, you will probably like their latest effort. I cannot yet say if this album is better than “Invaders Must Die” (2008), but time will tell.

Links: The Prodigy, Take Me To The Hospital