SINGLE REVIEW: The Unravelling Give Us a Bird’s Eye View of The End Times on “Master Drone”

Steve Moore 1 - credit Gil Katerynych

With the chemical burns of their latest single “Revolt” still cooling, Canadian industrial metalheads The Unravelling return with their latest digital single, the crunchy and concise “Master Drone.” The title suggests what the music reinforces and the lyrics confirm: Big Brother isn’t content to simply watch. No, he’s learned our systems and structures so that he looks like us, talks like us, walks like us…or maybe it’s the other way around. But as the lyrics dissect such subject matter with scrutiny and intricate precision, the music gives us a sweeping aerial overview of the dystopian metropolis, twitching with the unrealised energy that comes with restraint.

Succinct clear vocals narrate the proceedings with steely directness. We can almost feel eyes locking on us, imploring us that the situation is too dire to look away, no matter how strong the temptation. At times the vocals are effected to emphasise the prophetic nature of the observations yet they never waiver in their singular focus and determination. The guitars are perfect sinister soldiers, marching alongside in a violent crushing rhythm. But it’s a lead guitar and gently twinkling synths that lend a panoramic feel to “Master Drone.” We’re left with the impression that we’re looking over the grey grimness from on high, as oily fires punctuate the cityscape.

Like The Unravelling’s previous single “Revolt”, “Master Drone” would have easily been right at home on the Nothing Records label during its pinnacle. It’s hard not to imagine this kicking off an album that walks us right through the middle of the apocalypse.

LINKS

BANDCAMP – theunravelling.bandcamp.com/
FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/the unravelling

Album Review: Into the Shimmering Void with Broken Guru’s Bent Up Halo

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Bent Up Halo, the debut album from New York’s Broken Guru, infuses ’60s garage pop and proto punk influences with raw modern energy and impact to create a swaying, gaunt phantom of pure onyx rock ‘n’ roll. Garage bands are often comprised of hep ghouls with one bony hand rifling through an enviable record collection and one foot in the grave that doesn’t want them and in this way Broken Guru don’t break tradition. They’re every bit the lithe revenants you’d expect, but between their sonic mastery and penchant for crafting catchy pop tunes, you’re still likely to succumb to the distinct shimmer in their psychedelic black hole.

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   photo courtesy of Breanna Kay
Austin punks Institute are streaming their forthcoming Catharsis LP in its entirety right now. You can listen to the album here.

Politically speaking, not much has changed about the way Institute exists as a band since signing to Sacred Bones. Having members in Glue, Wiccans, and Back to Back, all fellow stalwarts of the Texas punk scene, helps streamline the approach for them, as all of their bands operate from the same basic ethos. In fact, singer Moses Brown has said they’re only comfortable being on Sacred Bones because he considers the label “a punk label on steroids.” (A note from the label—“Drugs, yes. Steroids, usually no.”)

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THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN ANNOUNCES PSYCHOCANDY SHOWS IN NYC & PHILADELPHIA

“the most notorious band since the Sex Pistols…Some of Psychocandy is beautifully wasted pop; some sounds like being trapped in a wind tunnel full of broken glass and bees; the rest sounds like both happening at once.” – Dorian Lynskey, The Observer      

“The Jesus and Mary Chain’s debut is a decadent alt-rock masterpiece of bubblegum pop – with “Just Like Honey,” “My Little Underground” and “Never Understand” – drowned in feedback.” – Rolling Stone, The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

“Psychocandy was meant to be a kick in the teeth to all of those who stood in our way at the time, which was practically the whole music industry. In 1985 there were a great many people who predicted no more than a six month life span for the Mary Chain.” – Jim Reid

30 years on the band return – regularly cited by the media as one of the great rock’n’roll bands and by a raft of new groups as a major influence.

THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN is now pleased to FINALLY announce Psychocandy shows in New York City and Philadelphia, in addition to its Los Angeles date as part of FYF Fest. This will be the continuation of a year of activity not only celebrating the 30th anniversary of Psychocandy but also looking firmly ahead to the future.

TOUR DATES:

  • 08/22 – Los Angeles, CA – FYF
  • 09/22 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
  • 09/24 – New York, NY – Terminal 5
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Album Review: Rise of Realism May Have Made the First Less-is-More Prog Record with Mirage

Rise of Realism spin their own cinematic brand of progressive rock through a less is more approach not often associated with the genre resulting in Mirage, a record that runs the full emotional gamut. Yet despite confounding genre and incorporating influences from across the board, Rise of Realism keep an atmospheric contemplation firmly in place at the core of the record. The pondering depths seep outward and color each of the eight tracks so we’re left with a cohesive record that explores an entire universe without losing specific themes of philosophy and impact through subtlety.

We’re inducted into this universe through the repetitive, nearly percussive synth textures of “Believe” which finds the most capable support in skeletal woodblock subtlety. We feel the coldness that comes with the dimming light of a setting sun along with the ersatz glow of city lights growing in brightness, all captured in evocative guitar strums that perfectly exemplify Rise of Realism’s adept understanding of the power in simplicity. Rugged, weathered vocals that sagely recall Leonard Cohen grimly narrate this encounter and we’re left with the impression that we’re catching glimpses of the post-apocalyptic dystopian metaphysical western that is Mirage as we’re quickly pulled past industrial support beams in their monolithic permanence. Synthscapes recalling the cinematic scope of Vangelis inaugurate the instrumental “Industrial Sunset”, conjuring the plastic beauty of a synthesized biodome recreation of a majestic natural park, lost to time. This gives way to a powerful determination as guitars at once victorious and tragic roll in on waves of drum and burbling synth. The record’s title track finds cascades of synth ushering in synchronized male and female vocals that not only serve as a hallmark of Mirage, but are also responsible for many of the album’s strongest moments. The beat plunges into the effervescing, shimmering soundscapes, hooking in for ultimate impact while tragic glam rock guitars propel melodies that stack losses against gains in the full spectrum of conflict.

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The Pharmacy RADIO with The Sonics

PHARMACY 27 THE SONICS (JERRY ROSLIE) / BURGER RECORDS (LEE AND SEAN) / JONATHAN TOUBIN (SOUL CLAP) by Mr.Pharmacist on Mixcloud


Gregg Foreman’s radio program The Pharmacy is a music / talk show playing heavy soul, raw funk, 60′s psych, girl groups, Krautrock. French yé-yé, Hammond organ rituals, post-punk transmissions and “ghost on the highway” testimonials and interviews with the most interesting artists and music makers of our times…

This week in conversation with Gerry Roslie, keyboardist and vocalist of the highly influential garage band The SonicsLee Rickard and Sean Bohrman, founders of the cassette revival record label Burger Records and Jonathan Toubin, founder of New York Night Train and the “Soul Clap Dance Party.”

Mr. Pharmacy is a musician and DJ who has played for the likes of Pink Mountaintops, The Delta 72, The Black Ryder, The Meek and more. Since 2012 Gregg Foreman has been the musical director of Cat Power’s band. He started dj’ing 60s Soul and Mod 45’s in 1995 and has spun around the world. Gregg currently lives in Los Angeles, CA and divides his time between playing live music, producing records and dj’ing various clubs and parties from LA to Australia.

Set List:

The Fall – Mr.Pharmacist (Intro)
The Sonics – Shot Down
The Ideals – Go Get a Wig
Sonics Gerry Roslie Part One 
Set Chosen By – Bobby “Pantichrist” Butler (The Voodoo Rhythm and Pantichrist Hardware Store / Bern Switzerland)
The Wailers – Out of Our Tree
Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson – A Dancin’ Whippersnapper
Little Richard – Keep a Knockin’
Richard Berry – Louie Louie
Sonics Gerry Roslie Part Two
Set Chosen By – Mr.Pharmacist (The Pharmacy / Los Angeles, Ca)
The Ikettes – Don’t Feel Sorry for Me
Les Jaguars – Jaguar Shake
The Equals – Green Light
King Coleman – The Boo Boo Song
The Avengers – Be a Caveman
Burger Records Sean and Lee Part One
Set Chosen By – Victoria Rawlins (All Girls , All Vinyl / Los Angeles, Ca)
Small Faces – What ‘Cha Gonna Do about it ?
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates – Shakin’ All Over ’65
The Seeds – Can’t Seem To Make You Mine
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – Frenzy
Burger Records Sean and Lee Part Two
Set Chosen By – Mr.Pharmacist (The Pharmacy / Los Angeles, Ca)
Ike and Tina Turner – Strange
The Ideals – Go Go Gorilla
Etta “Miss Peaches” James – Tough Lover
Junior Wells – I got a Stomach Ache
Sonics Gerry Roslie Part Three
Set Chosen By – Rick Barzell (Green Slime / Los Angeles, Ca)
Don “Pretty Boy” Covay – Bip Bop Bip on Atlantic 1957
The Cadillacs – Holy Smoke Baby
The Rumblers – I Don’t Need You No More
The T-Bones – Rail Vette
Sonics Gerry Roslie Part Four
Set Chosen By – Jonathan Toubin (NYNT + Soul Clap / NYC)
Jenny Rock – Le Train Pour Memphis
Erma Franklin – I Don’t Want No Mama’s Boy
Lorenzo Holden – The Wig
What’s Happening – Hot Buttered Buns
Jonathan Toubin of Soul Clap

High-Functioning Flesh shares new music video, LP out now on Dais Records

Definite Structures is the new album from High-Functioning Flesh out now on Dais Records.

Instinctive EBM laced punk from Los Angeles own High-Functioning Flesh cuts through the discord with their sophomore album, Definite Structures.  Formed in southern California in 2012 following the conclusion of their previous musical endeavors, Gregory Vand and Susan Subtract came together fusing their backgrounds and aesthetics of industrial, punk, and noise to model songs that were collected on their debut album, A Unity of Miseries, A Misery of Unities, on Atlanta based electro label DKA Records.

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Live Review: The Department of Descriptive Services Demand We Kiss the Future’s Boots

April 29, 2015 – Hushe Clubbe – The Hyperion Tavern – Los Angeles

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Photo: Amy Darling

The Department of Descriptive Services draw a shocking visual contrast to the oppressive darkness and haunted house charm of the Hyperion Tavern. Yet with the dusty majesty of the dim chandeliers and ghostly legal library decor, it seems as fitting a place as any for the dystopian duo to read us our rights…or lack thereof. Tonight, they’re part of the entertainment for Hushe Clubbe, a weekly event started by two LA legends, Don Bolles (Germs, Ariel Pink, Fancy Space People, and about 100 other bands) and Nora Keyes (The Centimeters, Fancy Space People, Roco Jet). We’re moments away from witnessing the faded fetish dinginess of Hyperion Tavern inundated with an apocalyptic bomb that commands you to dance while verbally demanding that you do no such thing without the proper permit.

Photo: Harry Cloud

Before we even hear a note, we’re dragged with tyrannical insistence into the grim sci-fi fixation of The Department of Descriptive Services just by looking at the explosive red dynamo of vocalist Bebe McPhereson’s untamable mane and keyboardist Bronze John’s Invisible Man meets SS commander that demands attention through perplexing anonymity. While John remains the nameless faceless soldier of the authority, Bebe is its proud and frighteningly charismatic mouthpiece and flag bearer…literally. She appears waving a black banner bearing a red inverted pentagram as a distorted voice authoritatively leads the audience in the Department of Descriptive Service’s anthem with such lines as “one nation, under Satan” given emphasis by Bebe’s cheshire cat hybrid of sneer and grin.

Photo: Amy Darling

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Hear Communions’ Self-Titled EP – Out Next Week on Tough Love Records

Photo: Ida Dorthea

Danish four-piece Communions have shared their new, self-titled EP in full over at Noiseybefore its release on Tough Love Records next week.

 “gut-punching tunes” – Noisey

Made up of brothers Martin and Mads Rehof, Jacob van Deurs Formann and Frederik LindKöppen – spanning only 18-21 years old – Communions are well recognized for their transcendent melodies, delicate guitar lines and emotive pop songs about naivety and youth.  The new record sees them continuing their exciting development from last year’s 7″So Long Sun while exploring new elements and voices within their own sound resulting in somehow instant classic and highly addicting songs.

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Negative Scanner – S/T – Out on Trouble in Mind on July 10th

Photo credit: Ashleigh Dye

Negative Scanner are a Chicago post-punk quartet formed in 2012 by Rebecca Valeriano-Flores (guitar, vocals), Tom Cassling (drums), Matt Revers (guitar), & Nick Beaudoin (bass) in the wake of the breakup of Flores & Cassling’s previous band ‘Tyler Jon Tyler.’

A fierce live unit, they honed their chops on Chicago’s robust DIY scene, propelled by the rhythm section’s dialed-in hive-mind & the twin guitar attack of Revers & Flores, whose powerful voice delivers her lyrics with passion & conviction.

The band has previously released two 7-inch singles in 2014 – the first on Trouble In Mind & second on Tall-Pat Records – this “s/t” album is their full-length debut.