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New Zero God – Under the Influence of Captain Pan Ikatac (22 MAY 2017)

After their third album, “Short Tales & Tall Shadows” and 7” single “Redemption”, both released last year, New Zero God return with a digital single titled “Under the Influence of Captain Pan Ikatac“.

In 2006, Mike Pougounas, the singer of the bands The Flowers of Romance and Nexus, formed his current band, New Zero God in Athens, Greece.  They have releases through Greek and English record labels and, in the past, worked on a charity song with international musicians such as guitarist Will Crewdson (Αdam Ant, Johnette Napolitano, The Selecter, Rachel Stamp and others), singer/bass player Chris Tuke (Berlin Black, Screaming Banshee Aircrew), keyboard player Martin Birke (Genre Peak) to name but a few.

According to English music magazine Terrorizer New Zero God’s biography reads like the name-droppers guide to goth. The band’s pedigree is connected to legendary names such as The Mission and The Sisters Of Mercy, and in their present guise they have already scored support slots with Christian Death and The Legendary Pink Dots…”

The band’s intentions on “Under the Influence of Captain Pan Ikatac” are crystal clear. New Zero God winks to punk rock as happened on the first album of the band, “Fun Is A Four Letter Word” but also flirt with industrial (a genre known to Pougounas from his days with Nexus).

This is what New Zero God like to label as “dark rock’n’roll”.

Last October, Pougounas stated on his interview for English magazine Louder Than War, that “Punk Rock was the main influence in my life. Not just musically but it made me think out of the box. When I was a kid it started with the music. But then, I found my own way of thinking. I believe this is what it was all about.”

“Under the Influence of Captain Pan Ikatac” begins the odyssey by twisting the not-so-obvious ‘Panic Attack’ in its title. Lyrically there is a strong dose of humor with “Hell Bet on Me to Lose”, a song about decisions that we are forced to make. “Under the Radar” is about those who decide to live out of the system while “Shadow of Wealth” wonders if resistance is in vain…

The EP is produced by Babis Efthimiou, mastered by John Psimopoulos. while the remix of “Shadow of Wealth” was taken care of by the Greek electronica band Dark En Ciel.

Music and lyrics by Mike Pougounas.

Mike Pougounas – Vocals, Keyboards, Tambourine

Babis Efthimou – Drums, Programming

Akis Nikolaidis – Guitars

Michalis Semertzoglou – Bass, Guitars

 

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Tombstones In Their Eyes – Fear EP (Send Me Your Head Records – 4 August 2017)

Tombstones In Their Eyes Preview ‘Always There’ Single from ‘Fear’ EP

Los Angeles’ rock outfit Tombstones in Their Eyes have announced their forthcoming ‘Fear’ EP, to be released via Send Me Your Head Records. To wet your appetite, the band presents the first single, with accompanying video, for ‘Always There’.

With this five-track release, the four-piece manage to embrace a wide range of influences, from the stoner rock of Kyuss to the warped neo- psychedelia of the likes of Spacemen 3 to the cavernous and doom-laden sounds of Electric Wizard and beyond.

Tombstones In Their Eyes’ currently line-up is John Treanor (guitar, vocals, keyboards, songwriter), Josh Drew (guitar, backing vocals), Mike Mason (bass, guitar) and Stephen Striegel (drums). Their musical influences include The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Elliott Smith and The Melvins.

Recorded at L.A.’s Kitten Robot Studio with Paul Roessler (Nina Hagen, The Deadbeats, The Screamers, 45 Grave), this EP follows up their huge sounding ‘Bad Clouds’ EP (2016) and debut album ‘Sleep Forever’ (2014). “Paul knows exactly where I’m coming from and intuitively knows how to make what I’m feeling come through the speakers,” says John Treanor.

The band began life as a demo swapping exercise between John Treanor in L.A. and his childhood friend James Cooper, now in New York, but soon coalesced into a full fledged band. But collectives are always more than what you see on the surface. In John’s case, writing and performing songs is also a way of dealing with severe anxiety and depression, a way of talking about the subject without being the centre of the conversation, and a way of being subliminal rather than direct.

While such a starting point could easily see the music devolve into melancholy and self-absorption, here Tombstones in Their Eyes instead manage to move beyond that place and create music laced with celestial grandeur and a fuzzed out psychedelic majesty that looks out into the universe just as much as it looks inward toward the soul.

This music is also designed to connect rather than be insular. As Treanor says, “Everybody goes through hard periods in their life, and I hope that these songs make them feel less alone.”

Tombstones create walls of sound, which are simultaneously sonorous and hazy. These are cavernous, stoner lullabies that descend into post-rock soundscapes and are wrapped in dark shoegazing dreamscapes.

The cover design, created by well known psychedelic artist Darren Grealish, brings just the right image to such a mercurial collection.

TRACK LIST

1. I Want To Fly
2. Separate
3 Always There
4. Another Day
5. Fear

 

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Posted by on June 11, 2017 in Alternative, Psychedelic

 

The Black Watch – The Gospel According to John (The Eskimo Record Label 14 July 2017)

The Black Watch to Release ‘The Gospel According to John’, Previews ‘Way Strange World’

All bands sit at the end of a heritage line – one that joins together the dots that mark their various influences, musical and otherwise. Trace that and you can see the unique DNA of the music they make. L.A.-based The Black Watch are at the end of a very long and complex line of influence back through musical history – one that connects the likes of The Velvet Underground, Robyn Hitchcock’s The Soft Boys and The Church, to later bands such as Guided by Voices, Interpol and The Editors.
In their 30 years of making music, The Black Watch, who USA Today noted “should have become a household name a long time ago”, return with a new collection of meandering riffs and mercurial lyrical content. ‘The Gospel According to John’ is the band’s 15th album, not including EPs ad singles, following up ‘Highs & Lows’ (2015). This is the result of eleven months of recording with none other than Rob Campanella of The Brian Jonestown Massacre handling production, with mixing by Scott Campbell (Stevie Nicks, Shelby Lynne, Carina Round). The arrival of this new album recalls a recurring and unanswered question – Why has the band never made that jump from cult following to commercial concern?
There is a sense of homecoming in anticipation of the album’s UK release, much of the sonic texture, core sounds, attitude and feel of the music seems rooted more in British 80’s post punk as it does in anything found in the rock traditions of the band’s west-coast base. The baroque pop, psychedelia and chiming guitars would have made them a main contender for the support slot with anyone from Echo and The Bunnymen to XTC to Julian Cope back in the day. Perhaps the UK and USA really aren’t “separated by a common language” and maybe The Black Watch are the arch communicators of our era, building a musical shorthand that can serve as a trans-Atlantic common tongue. Perhaps.
The driving force of the band is one John Andrew Fredrick, a ceaseless creative, who divides his time between making music, writing books, working as a university English lecturer, playing tennis and painting. As if to ram the point home that Fredrick is nothing less that a latter day Renaissance Man, this new album is not his only new release – his latest novel ‘Your Caius Aquilla’ was released on April 11 and his first non-fiction title ‘Fucking Innocent: The Early Films of Wes Anderson’ shall be issued soon (July 11), following up four other well-received novels.
“The response to the new LP has been overwhelming, to say the least, especially considering we had quite modest expectations going in to the studio and a very casual approach to recording it,” notes John Andrew Fredrick. “I imagine its significance has to do with the astonishing guitar work of new lead guitarist Andy Creighton, and my incapability of stopping writing indie pop songs, despite the fact that all last year all I did was listen to classical!”
25 years of Los Angeles living has shaped John Andrew Fredrick, whose songs, riffs and lyrics often come to him while traversing the city’s traffic to and from California Lutheran University, forty-five miles north of Los Angeles, where he lectures in the English department. “We’re greatly inspired by the studio experience itself, the fact that we aren’t part of any scene here in Los Angeles and eschew scenes in general, and an addiction to reading mostly English poetry from the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.  And always always always T.S. Eliot,” says John Andrew Fredrick.
Here we have a U.S. band who walk effortlessly between cultural divides, who blur the lines between genres and indeed decades, whose lyrics brim with timeless poetic references just as their music is a melting pot of the coolest sounds of recent times. How could they not become your new favourite band?

CREDITS

John Andrew Fredrick–guitars, vocals
Andy Creighton–lead guitar
Rick Woodard–drums

Chris Rackard–bass

produced by Rob Campanella

mixed by Scott Campbell
additional engineering:  Craig Costigan
art direction and design by Rachel Gutek
all songs written by John Andrew Fredrick
c 2017  closely guarded music BMI/Chrysalis BMG

TRACKLIST  
1. Whence
2. Way Strange World
3. The All-Right Side of Just Okay
4. A Story
5. Jealously
6. Orange Kicks
7. Oscillating Redux
8. Satellite

TOUR DATES

Wednesday June 21 – TBA
Thursday June 22 — The Wayward Social, Brooklyn, NY 9pm
Thursday June 22 — Book Talk with Kory French podcast/interview, NYC 12 noon
Saturday June 24 — Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, early show 6pm
Monday June 26 — Home Sweet Home (Fig 19), NYC, NY   10 pm
Tuesday June 27 — Zero Station Gallery, Portland ME, 7pm early show
Wednesday June 28 — Radio Bean Club, Burlington, VT, 9pm
Thursday June 29 — Fat Baby, NYC, 10pm
Friday June 30–TBA
Saturday July 1–TBA
Sunday July 2–The Jeanie Johnston Pub, Jamaica Plain, MA  9 pm
Monday July 3–TBA

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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Alternative

 

Ritual Reaper – Necessary Evil


(by Fondas SumerSon)

Malaise has always been my favorite Swedish goth act. It was the first Swedish goth band that I listened to and it was them who got me involved in the great Scandinavian goth rock scene.
The only problem is that, although they have a lot of new material, they are not so keen on recording a new album. Hopefully this will change in the future, but it has already been 10 long years since their last official release.

I guess this is what drove Juho”Pallbearer” – their guitarist – to form a new side-project in order to express his creativity and put his song-writing talent to good use. Besides, none can forget the great songs he composed on Malaise’s “A world of Broken Images” album back in 1999….
So in 2013 he recruited Mattias”Reverend” (singer of a Swedish “Cowboy-Goth” band O-Kult) and Per”Demonizer”(ex-Malaise bass player at some time) and gave birth to his “occult” goth rock child called Ritual Reaper!

When I first saw the artwork of their debut 12” vinyl, I was quite surprised since it was typical of the old-school “black metal” album covers… Music-wise however, it had nothing to do with this genre… Their tunes are still GOTH ROCK, but occult-themed!
The 5 anthems included to their “Plague Ridden Kingdom” 12” blew my mind away and proved that Juho made a wise decision to form his own band.

Four years after their first appearance, Ritual Reaper are back with a new release and a new label. They signed with Gothic Music Records and released a full length cd which also includes the songs of their debut 12” in a remastered version!

In this album you will find all those things that you loved in their previous release, plus some new elements which show the band’s progress. The songs are equally characterized by power and melody. Their aggressive & riff oriented goth rock is still present (Sunlight Skull) and proves that the band is in top shape. The production is better with more clear guitars and some electronic parts (Sweet Radium).

Some songs could have been easily included in the new Malaise album (Queen Snow Kill), while the addition of female vocals works just perfect (Interstellar Traveler), adding an eerie touch to their sound.
Another song that you should definitely pay attention to, is “Salto Mortal”, a tune that is different from anything they have tried so far, including some atmospheric goth-metal parts which deliver an absolutely haunting feeling!

The vocals reach much higher standards, proving that Mattias is one of the best vocalists in this genre, while the rhythm section pounds like a hammer! The guitar work is excellent, as one should expect.

Concluding, I would say that I am thankful that Juho released a new goth rock album and I hope to see his new incarnation live on stage, because these songs definitely deserve to be performed live!! Long Live the Reaper!

Buy it from HERE

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2017 in Goth

 

My Favourite Things – Fly I Will, Because I Can (14 July 2017)

Brooklyn’s My Favourite Things Announce New Album, Preview ‘A Little Closer’ Single

Brooklyn-based quartet My Favourite Things have announced the new album ‘Fly I Will, Because I Can’, which is slated for release on July 14, 2017, but are already teasing the first single ‘A Little Closer, loaded with shoegaze and dreampop goodness.
This is the third album from My Favourite Things, founded in Brooklyn by Dorothea Tachler (formerly of Igloo, The Swirlies, Alles Wie Gross). Fans of Beach House, Broadcast, dreampop and shoegaze should enjoy the album’s melancholic swaying, melody-rich offerings. This album should also appeal to lovers of acoustic folk music artists such as James Yorkston and Bonnie “Prince” Billy.
From a young age, her Korean/German/Croatian background has immersed her in a diversity of musical influences, which have shaped her. In 2009, she released “rarara” (Afterhours/Japan), followed by “Tomorrow’s Far Away” in 2013, featuring guest vocals from several friends and former band-mates, including Valerie Trebeljahr of Lali Puna, Damon Tutunjan from The Swirlies, Daru Oda (Norah Jones), Sean Meadows (June of 4, Lungfish), and Doug Scharin (Codeine, HIM, Rex).
Once again, Dorothea wrote and produced all the songs with their many textures, owing to the use of multiple instruments, many of which she also played: violins, flutes and autoharps weave in and out of twinkling glockenspiels, vibraphones and intricate, sometimes shredding guitars, delivered on a solid bed of a grabbing bass and ripping drums, with Dorothea’s balmy voice hovering and twinkling atop.
When performing live, My Favourite Things appear in different formations, ranging from a solo act to a five-piece band, featuring prominent musicians from the buoyant New York scene: Yoshio “Tony” Kobayashi on drums, Yusuke Yamamoto on vibraphone and synthesizers, Michael Figgiani on bass, and various other talents.
The band has played many venues in the unforgiving NYC music circuit, transporting transfixed audiences from their chaotic built-up urban environments to a twilight world of their own favourite things. Last year, My Favourite Things also toured Germany, featuring Notwist frontman Markus Acher on drums, along with other talented and experienced musicians from Germany’s active band scene.
This album marks a new era for Dorothea, who uses songwriting as a medium to deal with difficult situations that life has dealt her. “This album has made me grow as a songwriter, producer and recording engineer. From a different perspective, this record was like my journal in a difficult time, ridden with a lot of changes: a lot of my friends and family had moved away, my relationship ended, I lost my apartment and had to move, and I became sober, which lead to losing specific social contacts I had until then, who I had thought of as friends – it was all hard, but rewarding in the end to go through this process,” explains Dorothea Tachler.
“Music was my anchor and my lighthouse in stormy and dark nights, and putting my inner turmoil into words really helped me process it better. It was kind of my metamorphosis, being disintegrated like a chrysalis, and being shaped into something new.”
LYRICS – A LITTLE CLOSER

Sweet and low and round it goes
Here it comes again
The new year is here
Round and round it goes, lightning speed
Always shows the lines of our goals as in tomorrow
hold it tight, reset it right
nothing is gone
spindle up, spindle down
two Steps up, one back down
ocean waves wash me up
a little bit closer
Keep your eyes on the road
and we’ll take off for flight
Round it goes, lightning speed
Always shows the lines of our goals as in tomorrow
Wash me out
Move me further
On the shore I shall walk
Until tomorrow comes
Two Steps up, one back down
Ocean waves wash me up
A little bit closer
TRACKLIST
01  Sunlight
02  Everything Changes
03  Goodbye Again
04  Still Practicing
05  Some Things Stay the Same
06  Growing Pains
07  Nobody Knows
08  A Little Closer
09  Keep Letting Go
10  Spaceman
11  The Longest Winter
12  I Don’t Know
Keep up with My Favourite Things
 
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Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Shoegaze

 

LUCKYandLOVE – Lucky + Love LP (SRD Music 30 June 2017)

L.A.’s Synth-sexy LUCKYandLOVE Announce Debut LP, Preview Single ‘Digging in the Earth’ 

photo designed by Loren Luck

Los Angeles-based duo LUCKYandLOVE have announced they will release their debut album ‘Lucky + Love’ on June 30. The lead single is ‘Digging in the Earth’, the video for which was directed and edited by cinemaphotographer and animator Steve Barron.
These 8 electrified tracks were written when bandmates Loren Luck (drums, synths) and April Love (vocals, keyboards, guitar) were living next to a noisy construction site in Glendale, California. Here they successfully incorporate synth-heavy bass with polyphonic harmonies and crystalline vocals, propelling the music into trance-inducing territory.

Inspired by artists such as New Order, OMD, Depeche Mode, Washed Out, Tycho, PJ Harvey and Cocteau Twins, their sound falls beautifully into an everyman’s land between electro rock, dream pop, electronica and synth gaze. Justifiably also described as electrowave or indietronica, this music has, in the words of Loren Luck, “lots of LFO, riveting arpeggiations, simultaneous solos via spacey square waves, with April’s smoky vocals”.

This record is an electronic music record, but comes from a more traditional place, where OMD or Kraftwork came from – one of an unsampled, unprogrammed live recording originally at 192kHz/24-bit quality.

“Musically, as much attention was paid sonically to the organic moog instruments as April’s voice, and we offered the analog synths space in the songs to breathe to their true dynamic potential,” says Loren Luck.

This album came to light through recordings at Eagle Rock’s Cave Studio with Josiah Mazzaschi (Light FM), sessions with sound editor Morgen Stary, and Comp-ny Studio with Grammy winner Be Hussey (Guides). The vinyl release was mastered by Kevin Gray, who most recently engineered the reissue of Vangelis’s Blade Runner.

“My hope is that inviting this record into their life gives listeners some strange rose colored glasses to hear through. The lyrics touch many facets of an abstract philosophy of life – from a spark of physical chemistry between two people in a physical room (Sexy) to the intergalactic forces that spark subtle changes in our entire existence (Taureon), to the gratitude of an unobstructed blue sky (Legal Love), and disdain for a future that pulls us further away from each other (Mars),” explains April Love.

Originally from Silver Lake, California, the band formed in 2014, their name inspired by The Good Luck bar where the two had met in 2006. Several mai tai’s later, Loren started a music label and began playing drums for April’s original band. The two later rented out a warehouse in downtown Los Angeles, built a personal skate ramp, screen printed glow-in-the-dark wedding posters, and launched www.luckyandlove.com. Graphic designers by day, they decided to trade in ball-and-chain laptops forever in favor of playing dirty lo-fi electronica.

LUCKYandLOVE currently write and record in their music studio in Echo Park, California. The band is looking forward to recording new tracks with producer John Fryer (This Mortal Coil, Nine Inch Nails, Cocteau Twins, Love and Rockets, His Name is Alive) with plans to drop more singles later in 2017.

Slated for release on June 30, 2017 and with support globally from Southern Record Distributors, this album is being issued digitally and on vinyl, to be available from a record store near you.
TRACKLIST
1  Sexy
2  Venus
3  Mars
4  You’ll Never Know
5  Digging In The Earth
6  Legal Love
7  Taureon
8  Full Moon

Keep up with LUCKYandLOVE
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Posted by on May 28, 2017 in New Wave / Dark Wave

 

System Corporation – Dismal Universal Hiss (28 April 2017)

New Zealand’s System Corporation Announce Debut Single ‘Dismal Universal Hiss’

New Zealand rock outfit System Corporation released their debut single ‘Dismal Universal Hiss’ well ahead of their debut album ‘Fiction Dept.’, slated for release in late 2017.
System Corporation began in 2011, based on a conversation between Phil Somervell (The Datsuns) and their long standing engineer Scott Newth about swapping demos. The two were sharing a flat in Stockholm while The Datsuns were working on their fifth album ‘Death Rattle Boogie’.
Scott began work on producing the demos, cutting them up, rearranging them, and adding vocals. They became a trio when they enlisted fellow Datsuns’ bandmate Ben Cole (also from The Joint Chiefs) on drums, and then evolved into a five-piece when Scott started working on his own demos for the project, finally enlisting his brothers and bandmates Andrew and Kent Newth (Rumpus Room) to help flesh them out. However, the original trio ended up collaborating on a number of new songs, giving System Corporation two distinct songwriting avenues.
While most of the band’s production work happens in Hamilton, they hail from Thames (Phil), Hamilton (Andrew, Scott and Kent) and Wellington (Ben).  The members cite numerous influences, including The Rolling Stones, John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees), Ty Segall, Sonic Youth, The Clash and The Stone Roses, and New Zealand’s The Subliminals. Scott Newth takes particular inspiration from both music that is “beautifully calculated” and, at the opposite end of that, “beautifully uncontrolled”.
The name System Corporation is a vague translation of Systembolaget, a government-owned and operated liquor store chain in Sweden. What is more interesting than the fact that both the project and its name were born in Sweden is that, through Systembolaget, the government is able to effectively control alcohol sales and identify problem areas in order to divert profits back into social services. System Corporation is an ironically corporate name for an organization promoting such a socialist ethos.
The band’s debut single ‘Dismal Universal Hiss’ could easily have been written about the rise of Trump or Brexit. But it wasn’t – it was written at the time of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the rise of the so-called 99%, mass protests, and rallying against a broken system that creates ill-gotten wealth and sucks it into a vacuum unattainable by the mere masses.
“The song is about the futility of the situation we are in. That even when you vote for change, when you vote in a non-politician like Trump or John Key in NZ, you end up getting more of the same, or in these cases, things get a lot worse for the poorer end of society,” explains Scott Newth. “It also has hints of hope that, one day, real change might happen, while touching on the futility of protest movements like Occupy Wall St, that in the end, changed very little.”
Dismal Universal Hiss was released on April 28 and is available via usual online platforms, but can also be ordered through the band’s Bandcamp.
CREDITS
Performed by System Corporation
Phil Somervell: Bass, Guitar, Keys
Scott Newth: Vocals
Andrew Newth: Guitar
Kent Newth: Guitar
Ben Cole: Drums
Written and recorded by Scott Newth and Phil Somervell
Produced by Scott Newth
LYRICS
All the little people
holding up their little signs
in their little countries
All the little ideas
floating in the ether
but no one sees the bigger picture
All the little urchins
digging in the piles we make
of things we took for granted
You can look up high to the ivory towers
but what a waste of time
no ones coming down
To see you
To help you
To wait on you
To feed you
To bring you up
To teach you
To tell you what to do
All the little people
holding up their little hands
for a grasp at power
Making promises
they will never keep
while they pursue their own agenda
Making money go round
while they take their cut
sell back to you what you already own
You can look up high to the ivory towers
but what a waste of time
no ones coming down
If you put your ear to the ground
you can hear all the
sorry little people
The dismal universal hiss
of the discontented
talking in a whisper
All these little voices
making little noises
its simmers now but will come to the boil
You can look up high to the ivory towers
but what a waste of time
no ones coming down
To see you
To help you
To wait on you
To feed you
To bring you up
To teach you
To tell you what to do
Keep up with System Corporation

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Alternative