Since Repartiseraren is writing another article for Post-Punk.com this Sunday, we’re preparing a special treat for you readers today, as we delve into coldwave and darkwave – which is also the main theme for the recommendations this coming Sunday. But we’ve picked out three acts that differ a bit from what we’re going to cover then. These acts include: Grist, L A P I S and Walk Onto Sun – all relatively unknown and new. The earlier recommendations (new-wave and post-punk) can be read via our page and two of the recommendations can be found on Post-Punk.com
Grist – Grist EP
Can it get grittier? Grist is a plethora of all things less joyous, all things that are more sentimental. Drawing direct influences from darkwave, I’ve decided to include them into this bonus-article. Having released what seems to be their first EP, this three-song strong release is featured on Flesh Records. From “Eponym“, the first track on this release, they rely heavily on the upbeat new-wave influence to drive both their darkwave and post-punk outfit into full gear. The music itself is thoughtful and elaborate, with severeal intrinstic melodies and an ambitious atmosphere.
It almost feels like the first song is going on forever, in a good way. I’m enthralled by the wholeness of it, how everything is in place and not too disorderly. When “Darker Still” comes out of the shadows, their second song, there’s a punkier and rock’n’rollier vibe being delivered – as the singer almost chants in perfect unison with everything else. I believe that after having heard this song, the singer’s addition to the project is on the same page as the rest of the band – a really ambitious singer that knows what he must do to carry everything from the beginning to the end.
Something odd happens when I push play for the third and final track of this release. It’s called “Ataxia” and is more of a fast ballad then anything else, and here’s where the melodies are absolutely perfect but there seems to be something missing – it doesn’t really do it for me – albeit the start being absolutely glorious. Then comes a baseline you simply can’t ignore, after that – the drums begin galloping into a controlled frenzy – finalizing the song and making it much better then I really had wished it to be – though I still feel slightly disappointed, the whole release is definently worth to check out.
L A P I S – DEMO
Have the United States of California ever let me down? No, not really, because it doesn’t exist – it’s only California – you dummy. There’s been a lot of great acts coming out of the States recently, and I can’t ignore that this particular state have been involved in delivering much of those artists and bands. L A P I S is virtually unknown to me and it feels like this demo-release is their first, since I can’t find that much more about them then this release.
The first song “Media Media” is a bit disappointing when it comes to the vocals. It sounds like some kind of performance art – that I don’t particularly enjoy at all. What leaves me hanging in there is the dark coldwave beat and the continually mowing drum-machine alongside the baseline. Minimalistic, not without errors, but at least I’m willing to take another step in the wrong direction.
Although the second song happens to go in the same direction as far as the sound goes, “Decode” is more well-thought out and feature a noisy atmosphere, transgressing into total coldwave mayhem – with the other one in the duo participating with his vocals – which I must admit goes better with the soundscape as a whole. It’s much more imaginative then the first song.
Now when we arrive at the third station – the song “Tech-ni-que” blares through. The vocalist is less malplaced here then she ever was in the first song, and it almost transgresses into no-wave, some kind of combination between that and coldwave. The better part of the song, however comes later on, although the vocals themselves slowly decline – it’s a decent song anyhow.
The finishing song, “Monuments“, sound like it could accompany “Gallowdance” anytime. Like the bastard children of Lebanon Hanover, we’re taken on a not so picturesque trip into the darkest corners of coldwave – as the vocals almost are chanted and repeated over and over again – it feels like walking on barbed wire. There’s a thin line between this and industrial, there’s a thin line we’ll have to walk on for the rest of the song. Very minimal, dark, and brooding.
Walk Onto Sun – In the Inside EP
This last recommendation wasn’t anything I researched myself. It was recommended to me by one in the duo itself. This five-track EP is something out of the ordinary, as it goes straight into darkwave without any clichés – relying heavily upon atmosphere and the more ritualistic side of it. “Steps To Center” – the first song, almost goes into the dark ambient side of industrial, as it is harsh, calculated and feels like a ritualistic gathering of sorts. There’s a very resounding and sharp noise, that sounds like a ringing bell, which is used throughout the song.
When it comes to “In The Inside“, the title-track of this release, it’s a darkwave-oriented post-punk song executed properly. Existential vocals with a very clear and deep baseline that brings forth the percussion – which portrudes through a synthesizer sweep – into well-thought out but basic lyrical content. This is one of my favorite songs on the whole release, it is so complex in its simplicity that it is almost ridiculous. But I must say that I really loathe the chorus, since it stops the rhythm completely in its tracks and feels out of place.
“Prince Of Lies” is a trip in itself, the most atmospheric song on the entire EP. Here’s where they let the more electronic elements shine on their own, which is where they should be, honestly. I’m all for the more non-electronic influences, but this is straight up, from top to bottom, darkwave with a rhythmic component that is out of this world.
As the fourth song waltzes in, titled “Too Far“, we’ve moved even deeper into the cloudiness upon which Walk Onto Sun relies on. It is beyond sentimentalism, beyond the ridiculousness displayed earlier. It is very real and feels like one of the more emotional songs on this release. Everything is well-placed and the rhythms work great when paired together, the instrumentations takes a bigger place in this song as well, but is co-joined good with the vocals.
“Lull” wraps everything up for me. Around here, I feel like I don’t want to stop listening, but now I really have to. This release gives me great hope for something more finalized in the future. Something that can be even better then this. Don’t get me wrong, this oozes of quality and ambitiousness – but beneath the layers there’s something that simply doesn’t work – but that’s how it is for most groups. It’s a good release all-in-all.