Saturday, December 14, 2013


First, a big fat thank you to No Fear of Pop for not only bringing this track to my attention, but to everyone else's as well. "Snacks" is another edition to the galore of tracks Headaches (aka Landon Speers) has been releasing for sometime now, much to my unfortunate lack of knowledge. "Snacks" is such a wonderful track though; it manages to feel both like an ambient track you can lose your mind in, and a dance song you can shake your whole body to. It's constantly fluttering electronic hums give the track a twinkling quality to it, while the beat that runs through it and properly emerges during the 1/3 mark doesn't overtake the track, instead helping it lock into a dreamy groove that envelopes as if causes the head to start bobbing very rapidly. "Snacks" is the audio approximation of staring into a star-filled sky and watching as different stars flickered on and off; it's everything I love in electronic music condensed into a less than five minute long burst of brilliance.


Headaches' Bandcamp

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Croatian Amor-LA Hills Burn at the Peak of Winter

Croatian Amor is the solo work of Loke Rahbek, he of former blackened punk monsters Sexdrome and currently of dark industrial-pop band Vår. And while those two bands along should demonstrate his ability to make massive musical leaps between genres, I don't think it properly prepares for the shift to what he makes as Croatian Amor. Although the has been putting out a steady stream of cassettes under the name since 2011, "LA Hills Burn at the Peak of Winter", from his upcoming debut LP The World, is the first I'm hearing of it. Which I'm slightly ok with because I was truly caught off guard with how unbelievably stunning and enveloping his music is.

"LA Hills Burn at the Peak of Winter" is not nearly as brutal as the name suggests. In fact, it's one of the most gorgeous pieces of electronica I have heard in a while. A slightly muffed but stunning synth line serves as the songs core, like a bright beacon that never falters once, along with a few skeletal guitar lines that give the song subtle shifts. Slow, molasses like bass lines and both tinkering and more atmospheric synths begin to coat the song, with the must subtle of beats popping in like a momentary pulse. The track is seven and half minutes long, and takes all the time it needs expanding and shifting in the smallest ways possible to grand effect. "LA Hills Burns at the Peak of Winter" is what's playing in the background as you watch something stunning slowly disintegrate before your eyes. And Rahbek's ability to find beauty in that event is completely and utterly memorizing.      


Try to obtain The World here, from Posh Isolation

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Death of Lovers-Buried Under a World of Roses

Death of Lovers is a new band/side project created by Nick Bassett of shoegaze saints Whirr, and Domenic Palermo of shoegaze greats Nothings. With them collaborating, it would be understandable if the expected end result was some crushing, glass and ear shattering onslaught of distorted guitars and cascading cymbal crashes. However, Death of Lovers is nothing of the sort. In fact, it's a pure, honest homage to the goth bands of old. From the dry, tension filled bass line that open "Buried Under a World of Roses" to the dark, neon-esque synths that instantly erupt to give the song its initial push, it's clear Bassett and Palermo have done their homework. The drums are so precise that they sound like a machine, and the lyrics are the perfect balance between dark romanticism and bleak depression. The soft delivery of the vocals, probably a holdover from their other bands, complements the song nicely, especially when it becomes ever so undone during its finally. Goth is only just now returning properly as an influence, with bands treating and giving it the respect it deserves in what they make. "Buried Under a World of Roses" serves as a great addition to this ever growing cannon of material.        


Death of Lovers' Facebook
Pre-order the Buried Under a World of Roses EP here, from Deathwish Inc.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Single Review: Survival Knife-"Divine Mob" b/w "Snakebit"

Survival Knife is not Unwound. Yes, two former members of that band are in Survival Knife, and Justin Trosper sings here as he did there. But from the first notes, Survival Knife has an entirely different energy to it, something not necessarily catchier, but less intense; almost as if they were less darkened by the world around them. It feels

I think what Survival Knife is trying to do most of all, though, is be as unpredictable as possible in their songs. Is the song settling into a nice post-punk groove? Let’s throw some metallic power chords into the mix. Is the song dissident and grungey? Bridge the next section with unexpected melody and strangely pleasant guitar riffs from out of nowhere. That at least is how “Divine Mob” works. While always working from a chuggy, low-end heavy sound as the base, the song never loses a sense of drive, whether during the sludgey verses or the frantic, knotty guitar riffs that make up the intro and outro (all of which really show off the band’s use of interweaved guitars).The band shifts between multiple tempos, keeping anyone listening on their toes as to which direction the guitars will shoot into next. All the while, Tropser keeps the contrast steady, lurching between anger yelps during the songs slowest parts before becoming collected and almost melodic during the most manic sections.

“Snakebit” is even more frantic, this mesh of creepy crawly guitars that fall over each other in an attempt to get a sound out with the rhythm section adding to the tension by never losing pace with the rest of the band. Vocal duties are handled by bassist Meg Cunningham here, who’s delivery manages to be both intense and on the precipice of becoming demented. Which happens to suit the song perfectly, as it veers from its interlocking tension to a noisy build up that releases at just the right second, never becoming too chaotic and losing itself. Everything about “Snakebit” (and “Divine Mob” as well) speaks to the fact of how pinpoint accurate these songs are; music that could only be made by pros who knew exactly what they wanted to do and how to do it with those around them. There was a two year hull between Survival Knife forming and them properly releasing material. Hopefully there won’t be as long a wait for more songs as good as these two.


Survival Knife's Facebook
Buy the new Survival Knife 7" here, from Kill Rock Star