Over the last few years I’ve really gained an affinity towards electronic music, especially synth driven music. There are quite a few bands that I’ve come across from this realm that I’ve really grown to enjoy. Last night before I was watched Spirit In The Room decimate the audience at The Satellite, I got there just in time to watch a band called Of The Dark I Dare. Their blend of dark wave, goth and haunting synth driven music really peaked my interest. One of the most profound things about Of The Dark I Dare is the vocals of Tracy Lorin. Her voice is soaring and fits the darkness of the beats and synths of drummer Christopher Hendrich and keyboardist Rickey Lumpkin. Lyrically, the words come across as more poetic than just words. Of The Dark I Dare have described their sound as cemetery pop, to which I think is a pretty interesting and provocative way to draw people in. While the music and lyrics are dark, there is definitely a pop sensibility to the band that doesn’t take away from the vibe they are putting out.
Of The Dark I Dare- Sleeping Bodies:
Of The Dark I Dare- Stars:
As a music fan I’ve watched certain genres and influences come and go over the years. Most times when a genre gets popular again, there are so many sound a like bands that you can’t tell the difference between them. Post Punk is one of those genres that has such a distinct sound that it’s hard to make yourself stand out. Luckily there is a band from Australia that is able to do just that and they are called Death Bells. Formed in 2014 in Sydney, Death Bells has managed to channel Joy Division, Depeche Mode and The National into their own blend of post-punk mixed with somber melodies. Their upcoming debut full length album Standing At The Edge Of The World, will be released September 29th and it can’t come soon enough. The ten songs that appear on the album are chock full of melody, glistening guitars, blunt rhythms, and crisp clear vocals that would make most bands in the genre jealous of how good Death Bells are. The latest single “Only You” is a dreamy almost pop song that is drenched in melancholia and a dash of hope. Death Bells are the band the genre has been waiting for, for a long time.
Death Bells- Only You:
Death Bells- Something Above:
Death Bells- Roman Candles:
Death Bells- Death Bells EP:
I’m always intrigued when I hear that members from other bands that I dig get together to create a new band or project. Recently, it was announced that a new band called China Girl was going to release their debut album. This band is made up of John Jarvis (Pig Destroyer/Scour) on vocals, Derek Engemann (Cattle Decapitation/Scour) on bass, and, Dennis Sanders (Spirit In The Room) on guitar/vocals/programming. What makes this band interesting and stand out is that it’s a mix of different genres and each member brings their own influence and inspiration to the songs. Some songs are straight up metal or punk with tinges of black metal, while others show an element of sludge in some as well. There is also a bit of ambience (or space) to some songs which really helps to differentiate the songs a bit. All of these genres really help to deliver an experience when listening. Songs that really stood out to me are “China Boy,” “Cold Forever,” “No More Fun,” “Horrid,” “2 Wrongs,” and “The Hound.”
Granted though, this might not be for everyone but, that’s what makes being a music fan great. Having the opportunity these days to make the music you want and put it out there is great. It’s even better when the end result is something with substance and is inspired like China Girl. I really hope that they announce some live shows with this project/band. I’d love to see the ferociousness and power of this live.
China Girl- China Girl:
Over the years I’ve come to really enjoy different genres more and more. In particularly, the post hardcore genre, has fast become one of my favorites. There is still the “heavy” elements to the music but, there is an added sense of melody that rings through it. Recently, I came across a band called In Urgency that has really impressed me. They have a bit of a Brand New vibe to them (which doesn’t hurt, especially since I really love Brand New), and a bit of Thrice too. Those two bands alone make for a great basis of inspiration and influence. Armed with a dual guitar and vocal attack, singers and guitarists Chris Anderson and Sam Mountain, create melodic riffs to go along with their soaring vocals. Drummer Javier Caudillo, provides the backbeat to give the music it’s pulse. While bassist Michael Capuano, provides the rhythmic accents needed to fill out the sound. In Urgency has recently released their debut full length album, Painting Parallels, which is a stunning debut full of big hooks, choruses and melody. In Urgency is definitely a band to be on the look out for.
In Urgency- Painting Parallels:
In Urgency- The Holy Ghost:
Industrial music is one of my favorite genres. There is something about the darkness, and mechanical feelings that it emits, that really intrigues me. When done right, industrial music a la Nine Inch Nails, Godflesh, (old) Ministry, etc, grabs you and sucks you in to the deepest parts of darkness. I’d like to take a moment and focus on an up and coming band out of Birmingham, England, KHOST. This two piece is explosive dissonance has really made something special. Their sound has a Godflesh type feel to it without copying what they did. They are an inspired duo, making music that hits you like a box of nails all sharp side down but, in a good way. The impact of the heaviness is astounding and their use of dynamics and space, really adds another dimension to their music. Their latest album Governance, is the next step for a band on the verge of taking the industrial scene by storm.
In this day and age, electronic music has really taken over. The one thing with so much electronic music is, most people don’t know how to do it right. Enter 20SIX HUNDRED. Darren Jones has taken his love of electronic/synth music and created a soundscape rather than just beats. His ability to create a “score” rather than the same repetitive sounds is impressive and feels natural and not forced. Do you remember the John Carpenter films and the music that accompanied them? That’s what this reminds me of. Among the John Carpenter influence, there is also a bit of a video game sound too, that makes this a bit more cinematic. 20SIX HUNDRED is the perfect soundtrack for today’s electronic crowd. You can also pre-order the new album, The Cold Rise From Sleep, on vinyl by Darren over at Sofa King Vinyl.
20SIX HUNDRED- The Cold Rise From Sleep:
The Cold Rise From Sleep VINYL ORDER PROMO!!
20SIX HUNDRED Live:
It’s been a few days since I finally saw the great Helms Alee, and I can’t stop listening to them. They are one of the best and underrated bands I’ve heard in a long time. Formed in Seattle in 2007, Ben Verellen (guitar/vocals), Dana James (bass/vocals), and Hozoji Matheson-Margullis (drums/vocals), have created music that borders on doom, post hardcore, a dash a sludge and a pinch of alternative rock. In my live review of them I mentioned that they sound a bit like if Siamese Dream era Pumpkins and Self titled era Alice In Chains had a kid and that kid met up with a kid from Doom and post-hardcore parents, you’d get Helms Alee. Among the remarkable things about Helms Alee is their ability to create such powerful music. Thanks to Ben Verellen’s, Verellen Amplifiers, the sound that permeates from the speakers on your stereo and at the venue, transcends the normal. Since 2007, Helms Alee has released 4 full length albums along with 5 EP’s/Splits. Each album has built upon their previous work to create something remarkable and everlasting. Helms Alee are a band not just for today but, for generations to come.
Helms Alee- Stillicide:
Helms Alee- Sleepwalking Sailors:
Helms Alee- LIVE Audiotree Session:
Helms Alee- LIVE on KEXP: