After a great show, last Saturday, in Athens, New Zero God will travel to NorthWest Greece for one more electric show on a double bill with local band Marios Katsanos & the Mystic Libraries.
Lycia’s A Line That Connects returns on CD (and for the first time on 2LP) on Projekt Records.
Haunting, bleak, moody and atmospheric, their 10th album is a heavy record with shifting sonics and a full-band sound thanks to a return to the classic mid-90s Lycia lineup of Mike VanPortfleet, David Galas, and Tara Vanflower.
Building on the momentum of 2013’s Quiet Moments, it’s a contemporary sounding release that harkens back to their 90s darkwave roots.
Lycia’s mix of post-punk bleakness and doomy darkness is an engaging, fascinating listen.
There’s a heavier feel here, a slow burn that threatens to explode from sheer intensity and passion; if you’re wondering just how it’s able to be menacing but also meditative, you’re not alone.
The album flows through drone, dark-pop, and post-punk, with liquid guitar dripping, gloomy fog casting its spell, and hypnotic vocals spinning inside your head.
Mike reflects, “Time, space, and nature have been constant themes for Lycia over the years. With A Line That Connects, for my lyrical contributions I focused on lines and connections as the title suggests. There are connections between parents and children which I explore over several songs—between my mom and I, and between my son and I. There are lines that connect then and now. For example, the song, ‘A Ghost Ascends,’ was originally written back in 1983, and for this album it’s being revisited. The song’s original vocalist and lyricist, Michael Irwin, appears on this reworking providing backing vocals. Then there is a series of abstract connections that I explore, mostly to times and places from my childhood.”
You can place your order HERE
Blindness’ Beth Rettig announces debut EP as Where We Sleep, previews ‘The Desert’
London-based dark and dynamic pop project Where We Sleep has announced their debut EP ‘Experiments In The Dark’. Ahead of that, they present the lead single ‘The Desert’, a jaded and winding psych-infused track traversing similar addictive territory as PJ Harvey, Curve and Garbage.
At Where We Sleep’s core is Beth Rettig, perhaps best known as the vocalist of alt-pop darlings Blindness. But this project also involves collaborations with various other artists. ‘The Desert’ sees Rettig collaborate with Axel Ray of United Ghosts (and also The Black Windmill and Cadet A) on lead guitar.
Dark and rough around the edges, this EP combines synth and live elements. This release also features contributions from Ben Pritchard, formerly of The Fall and currently in Manc Floyd, and former Blindness bandmate Debbie Smith of Curve, Echobelly and SPC ECO fame (and also Snowpony with My Bloody Valentine’s Debbie Googe and Moonshake’s Katharine Gifford).
‘Experiments In The Dark’ is a five-track offering, recorded in studios between London and Manchester. This follows up Where We Sleep’s single ‘The First One’, released in August 2018, preceded by Where We Sleep’s debut single ‘Veins’ in June 2018, also featuring Debbie Smith, and b-side ‘Crawl’, mixed in Addis Ababa by Guy Fixsen.
Raised in Africa (Nigeria, Botswana and South Africa) and saying goodbye to the days of her Johannesburg band High, Beth Rettig returned to the UK in 2000 and eventually hooked up with Debbie Smith to form Blindness. They had a good run until playing their final gig in 2016, followed by ‘The Monsoon EP’ in 2007, their final release.
“When Blindness ended – solely down to a change in my personal life – I didn’t know if I was going to write again. Where We Sleep is the result of discovering that you don’t know how not to make music,” says Beth Rettig.
Rettig’s music is rooted in an array of influences, including Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Curve, EMA, Nine Inch Nails, Jesus and Mary Chain, Garbage, Kate Bush, Massive Attack, Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, Pete International Airport, White Rose Movement and The Fall.
About ‘The Desert’ video, Rettig explains, “The road footage in The Desert video was taken when Axel and myself took a road trip to the Mojave Desert in California, with trips to Pioneertown and Joshua Tree National Park. It seemed a shame not to use those visuals, albeit affected, for the song. As the song came first, it was a cool realisation that two people who did a song about driving through the desert together, were taking a road trip through the desert together.”
‘Experiments In The Dark’ is slated for release on May 31 and will be available across digital stores and streaming platforms. It can also be pre-ordered via Where We Sleep’s own Bandcamp site.
Music and performance by Where We Sleep
Lyrics by Beth Rettig
Beth Rettig – vocals and instruments
Debbie Smith – guitars on ‘Into The Light’
Ben Pritchard – lead guitars on ‘Control’
Axel Ray – lead guitars on ‘The Desert’
Mixing and Mastering by John Cranmer
Video by Beth Rettig and Axel Ray
1. What I Deserve
2. The Desert
4. Into The Light
5. Experiments In The Dark
On Saturday 13 April New Zero God will enter the stage of Lost N Found to present tracks from their new album “Circus of Tortured Melodies” as well as tracks from their previous releases.
The band returns to the electric sound after a period of eight months that was touring playing a special acoustic set.
This time, Yiannis Drenoyiannis, guitar player of legendary Greek post-punk bands Anti Troppau Council and Yeah!, will join them on stage as special guest for a number of songs.
Singer/songwriter Mike Pougounas started as the front man of the Greek band The Flowers of Romance, from 1981 to 1998.
From 1999 to 2005 he was the leader of the band Nexus and the owner of indie record label Cyberdelia Records from 2000 to 2005.
In 2006 he formed New Zero God along with former bandmates from Flowers of Romance, and Nexus.
The band, went through several line-up changes with Pougounas being the sole consistent member, touring Greece and Italy.
To the list of the band names Sisters of Mercy, The Mission and New Model Army that Pougounas supported with his previous bands, now Christian Death, The Legendary Pink Dots and Andi Sex Gang were added.
The first New Zero God album titled “Fun Is A Four Letter Word” came out in 2010 and a year later, the track “Kiss the Witch” taken from the album reached the top 10 of the British magazine Terrorizer for two months
By the same year, Mike Pougounas joined a number of English, American and South African musicians to record a cover version of David Bowie’s “Everyone Says Hi” aiming to raise awareness for the Sophie Lancaster Foundation (SOPHIE).
He also started hosting “The Blackout Radio Show with Mike Pougounas” that would go on air through American FM radio stations and Canadian and English UK web radios presenting new releases of underground artists and holding interviews with international musicians.
By December 2011, New Zero God released the digital single “Second Chance” in collaboration with international musicians, under the moniker New Zero God & Friends, donating all proceeds of the song to a Massachusetts based organization called HAWC (Healing Abuse, Working for Change).
The single spent all January and half of February 2012 at first place on CD Baby.
Other tracks of the band are featured on compilations such the one of British magazine Devolution, the British compilation “The Blackout Cryptology“, the German compilation “Gothic Vision III“, the compilation of the American music magazine “Lollipop” and many others.
On the 4th of July 2012, the British indie label Secret Sin Records released on CD New Zero God’s mini album “Club Bizarre” and on September 28, the band did some shooting for “Athens Drift” a movie by British film director Paul Druce, with Mike Pougounas holding a small role as a street philosopher.
On the dawn of the new year, Secret Sin Records released in the UK, the New Zero God album “MMXIII” and on March 25 New Zero God released digitally the single “The Night Calls Your Name” donating again all proceeds of the song, this time to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation (S.O.P.H.I.E.).
At the peak of a period of economic decline for Greece, Mike Pougounas founded in August 2013, the “Greek Underground Scene” in order to bring the Greek underground bands together and promote solidarity festivals for Greek foundations that help people in need.
“Greek Underground Scene” released two digital compilations for free download through Bandcamp and put together a festival gathering money for medicines the cover the needs of the Metropolitan Social Clinic.
The 7” single “Destination Unknown / Forever Today” came out in December 2013 through Surgut Resort Records and by February 2014 the Greek edition of “MMXIII” comes out.
More tracks by the band appear on international compilations: “Voices from Mislealia Vol. 1” in Italy, “Dark Secrets” in the UK and the compilation “For The Bats Vol. 2” intended to support financially the Australian foundation Tolga Bat Hospital.
April 2015 finds New Zero God playing live in Italy, supported by an Italian band that took their name from a New Zero God track: Dead Inside.
On June 8 the five track mini album “Zona Pericolosa” recorded live in Italy, is available on Bandcamp for free download.
One more track of the band will find its way to an English compilation in October and on the 15th of March 2016 New Zero God will release the album “Short Tales & Tall Shadows” both on CD and on vinyl format (with some differences on the track list).
A 7” split single with Scottish band Savage Cut will be available in October, in Scotland and at the gigs of both bands. (Pougounas will write the lyrics and do the vocals for the track “Edo” on Savage Cut’s 2018 album “A Ricochet Off The Moon”)
The next New Zero God release is digital again. It’s the four track EP “Under the Influence of Captain Pan Ikatac” that came out on March 17.
The first signs of the forthcoming album “Circus of Tortured Melodies” can be traced here, as Pougounas starts writing a concept album about the source of modern neurosis that will be released in 2019.
In January 2018, the EP “Under the Influence of Captain Pan Ikatac” was released in the States as a cassette through the American label Custom Made Music.
New Zero God spent the whole year recording the new album and touring Greece with a special show with material from the albums that Pougounas released in the past, with The Flowers of Romance.
The band was invited by the Greek National tv Channel ERT 3 to record an exclusive live show featuring interviews that went on air five times through the whole year.
NEW ZERO GOD LINE-UP
“Circus of Tortured Melodies” came out on March 15 and is available on limited colored vinyl edition and as a digital download via the band’s page on Bandcamp.
The entrance that night will be free.
Find Lost N Found at 53 Keramikou str. Metaxourgeio, Athens, Greece
Thiseio Athens Metro Line 1 station
It is a self-released 13 track album that came out in transparent vinyl but also as a digital download, for those that don’t have a turntable.
With Andi Sex Gang (of legendary Sex Gang Children) to welcome us to the Circus of Tortured Melodies, the tour begins in the 13th Tent of the Circus. Each one of these tents hides a different story which, most of the time, opens the way to the next one. Other times, however, it is completely independent.
These are songs about our unfulfilled dreams, the emotional insecurities of modern man, political developments, the manipulation of the family environment, role models of our society, over-consumption, the compromises that we make, and the destruction of our planet.
In a nutshell, Circus of Tortured Melodies presents the complexity of modern life by tracing the sources of modern neurosis.
The vinyl edition of the album became available through Greek record stores on 14 February.
As Yiannis Alexiou wrote on his review for Ogdoo.gr:
“…New Zero God is at their best, more mature and more competitive in the myth of Flowers Of Romance that did not swallow Michael Pougounas, who was and remains an unease musician and singer. He is one of the few singers who have evolved through time by working his voice. I think now he does whatever he pleases with his voice.”
“…He also works the lyrics, making good use of his brain, imagination and realism. He is the dark shadow that you can see in the light, not having his hands in his pockets but working on a paper, with his ears open to the society.”
“…From the first funk piece of Circus Of Tortured Melodies titled “What’Cha Gonna Do?“, to the punk tune “Hell Bet On Me The Lose” and the Zappa influenced “Rock’n’Roll Puppet” and the “Busking” that closes the first side of the vinyl album, you rush to the second side that ends with the melodic “Carry On” and you feel the need to play again the first funk track. Things are finally happening in Greece, apartment condos, that look over avenues of madness and communicating with another universe…”
Click HERE to read the review by our Thanos Athanasopoulos.
Keep up with New Zero God
Parisian Cold-Wave Trio FTR, have just released a video for “Collision,” a song on their highly anticipated upcoming album entitled Manners. That album will be simultaneously released in February by Metropolis Records in North America and Third Coming Records in Europe.
Emerging in fits and starts throughout the year 2013, Sydney band Sounds Like Winter have since blazed a blackened trail of increasing confidence and originality as they lace contemporary dressings upon the classic postpunk formula.
From loping bass to scything guitars, they are ferried atop a dervish of tribal drums as they address the inherent absurdity of modern life with a wry smile and callto-arms.
Debut album ‘Initiate’, released in early 2016 showcased a myriad of styles fighting for dominance as they found their feet in the studio and sought to make a mark in an increasingly atrophied Sydney scene.
Momentum was gathered with the follow-up ‘Ossuary’ EP, before 2017 saw them emerge fully formed with sophomore LP ‘Sticks and Stones’.
Drawing upon influences such as Joy Division, Bauhaus, Christian Death, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Sex Gang Children and tight black jeans, they have nonetheless forged their own identity and continue to evolve into one of the most exciting acts in the contemporary post-punk milieu.
Throughout this time the band have toured constantly throughout Australia and New Zealand, gathering a fervent following via electric performances that highlight the spiker end of their repertories and garnering a reputation that landed them support slots with heavy hitters such as Peter Murphy (Bauhaus), Pop Will Eat Itself, Mi-Sex, Ikon, Voltaire and The Chameleons.
A constant fixture on international playlists, compilations and gracing numerous end of year ‘Best Of’ lists in 2017, Sounds Like Winter are set to continue their ascent with new recordings, new shows, and a continued commitment to evolving whilst staying true to the spirit of 82.
With the arrival of ‘Sticks and Stones’ on limited edition 180 gram coloured vinyl, a forthcoming deluxe CD edition with bonus tracks and wealth of new material in the works for a third LP, this is one winter that is set to linger.
Their newest release is a four track digital single titled “No Interest” which works as an appetiser for their forthcoming third album.
Apart from the two studio tracks “No Interest” and “Who We Aren’t” there is a bonus of two live versions of tracks from ‘Sticks and Stones’ recorded at After Darq.
To order this release, click HERE.