Listen: Morthouse – Morthouse

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Oh how Montreal fosters our youth. With music not only from there, but also from the stronghold Toronto – which have given us much prosperous acts – that in turn don’t have to look far and wide to find accomplices. From this city comes a duo whom share the same surname, which makes you wonder if they’re indeed brothers. Thomas L’Allier and Philippe L’Allier are the main characters behind this trio, which gets their drumming lent by Samuel Gemme. He’s the one whom gives them their nice rhythm, although the riffing and the general mood of their tracks suggest a wider conspiracy – where everything needs to be fitted right to create their rather unique sound. Not that anyone else haven’t done it before, but I like the nicely done rhythms that coincide with their wonderfully spooky and melancholic theme that seems to be a re-occuring concept.

Almost a month ago or less, they released their first album which is the self-titled “Morthouse“-release. It’s among the better crossovers between mainly post-punk, alternative rock and goth rock that I’ve heard. Thrown in is the urgent vibe that no-wave creates with its messy undertones that are concocted well together with melodies – which makes this influence far too melodic to have the amelodic overtone that only no-wave can contribute with. Not to mention how they use different instruments in perfect harmony, bringing a dark cabaret touch to their otherwise completely magnificent self-image. Now they’ve also got the cockiness that is needed to really bring forth the funkiness and jazzyness that can be heard between the lines dropped by the brothers. I’m feeling like I’ve been invited to a cabaret and that I can see them behind the scenes. The music is unraveled and I’m instantly intriguied by it as they casually bring forth their more instigated selves. A must-listen for everyone of you at home longing for a proper crossover release and not a kitsch re-interpretation. Listen to the whole album down below.

Lyssna: Sanne de Neige – Low

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Otippat värre. I myllan uppe i Växjö så växer det så att det knakar. Nu tror jag att den perfekta blandningen mellan pop och gothmusik är nådd, då Sanne de Neige självsläppt “Low“. Tidigare så har de släppt en demo som mottagits väl av andra blogg-zine och nättidningar. Eftersom att jag inte lyssnat på den än blir det svårt att förutsäga hur mycket bättre eller sämre den är, så jag börjar i andra änden istället. Det märks väl att coldwave och post-punk går hem i stugorna och att det har börjat få större spridning än eljest. Just denna blandningen av känslosam pop, som med hjälp utav de andra två genrerna gör att de kan bilda sig ett eget sound, ger upphov till den mest smärtsamma ljudbild som kan uppnås. För att inte tala om hur bra sångerskan Sanne är i sammanhanget. Man blir tagen av hur mycket de kan åstadkomma med en så återhållsam ljudbild.

För det är precis så det är. Mellan lagerna så blandar de hejvilt, men ingenting känns för långt ifrån för att kunna uppskattas. Allt känns så nära. Dock känns det som att de faller kort med den instrumentala versionen utav låten “Forest“, eftersom att avsaknaden utav sång gör att man inte riktigt tror att det ska hålla. Fast även där blir man motbevisad, men det känns fortfarande som att det är något annat än Sanne de Neige. Det är skandalöst att inget skivbolag gett sig till känna för att släppa denna fantastiska bedrift. Förhoppningen från ens egen sida är att de ska kunna nå så långt och att det kan släppas på fysiskt format, för det skulle förmodligen göra succé. Ni kan lyssna till släppet här nedanför, jag rekommenderar det oerhört mycket.

Spotlight: Passion Slaves – Demo 2014

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It’s a nice day for a nip of post-punk. Canada have been boasting with their simmering environment of talents that have been emerging from nothing. One of those seem to be Passion Slaves, which I frankly know nothing about and whose imagery suggest minimalism – to such a degree that I might not even agree. But my weakness for the classic approach to post-punk seem to have tainted me this time around. The only thing which bothers me is the vocal part, but that’s a miniscule objection to their sound as such. They’ve actually recorded their first demo, so that objection might be weak to begin with. One thing I like about the vocalist is her energy when she sings, but there seems to be a show-stopper in their unharnessed energy – because at times it feels like they don’t master it yet. With that in mind, the two demo-tracks “Mortal Coils” and “Shadow Grounds” have an interesting goth rock and post-punk sound. The gloomy melodies resound in my own mind and their boasting sound as a whole give me an impression of them as serious musicians. It feels good to observe that they haven’t submitted themselves to every cliche possible when handling such an environment of genres. The fast riffing, great drumming and overall performance of this group makes me want to hear more of them. It seems like they’ve given much thought to these two songs so I wouldn’t really be hopeful for more in the near future, but who knows. I feel like there’s a mystery within their imagery and the visuals that are put into my head when listening to them. I just hope that the one ingredient, e.g. the vocalist and the lyrics, don’t steep too far down into the unlisteneable fold. Stream their whole release down below and give them some money if you like it.

Spotlight: Warmline – Sad (Re-Release)

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A duo that you probably haven’t even heard about, due to their mystical appearance, both aesthetically and musically – is Nic Hamersly. When searching out Nic Hamersly, he first appears on The Scrap Mag‘s first compilation titled “The Scrap Mag First Compilation 0001“, under his own name. Well, no wonder that he does that, after all – he’s most known as Ortrotasce, his minimal synth-pop moniker. By knowing that, it makes this even more interesting. Together with Jacob Hales, he produced an album titled “sad“, that had gloomy post-punk with notable influences like shoegaze and darkwave, experimenting with those genres together. This release was sadly self-released by them in 2011, which meant that it had been dug into the muck. Thankfully, Ritual Tapes unearthed their gem – re-releasing it, but bringing out other surprises as well. Originally, they also released two tracks under the name of “Instrumentals” the same year. Instead of just re-releasing both releases as one, Ritual Tapes have gathered their first five tracks from their album, and balanced it out with tracks from demos, compilations which includes everything from “sad” to “Instrumentals“, and “Black Earth” – but they’re not limited to just that.

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Ten tracks spanning up to 42 minutes, with the additional female vocals of Chloe Kendall on the 5th track titled “Empty“. Featuring an A Side and a B Side, whereas the B Side feature tracks created from 2011 to 2014. Nic Hamersly hand-picked these tracks together with the label Ritual Tapes. Everything on this cassette, except the track “No Tomorrow“, written by Nic Hamersly and Jacob Hales, was solely written and performed by Nic Hamersly. This might interest those of you whom are very into the gothic rock of yesteryear, but need that shoegazer fix appropriated into the atmosphere of the tracks. It’s all-in-all a very devoted release, and a very interesting one, especially for those of you who might’ve followed Nic Hamersly’s work with the solo-project Ortrotasce. Even though some of the synthesizer-sound might be alike in some of the tracks, this is something entirely different. You can stream the whole release down below.

RA release a music-video for their new song!

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The Swedish public service program PSL have premiered a music-video which is something out of the ordinary. Maybe not the video itself, but certainly the music. A band called RA, which have been unknown to me have re-surfaced once again, since they released two demo songs in 2012, which had apparently been widely appreciated. They’ve been compared to the legend that are Bauhaus, but at the same time, they’re a lot more psychedelic and a bit more rock noir than gothic, per se, with large hints of equally as great post-punk. Their latest song “Bloodline“, is a single taken from their forthcoming release “Bloodline EP“, that’ll be released in the “early summer” on Double Sun Recordings.

This particular song is a stark reminder of what Sweden is sorely lacking, whereas I’m glad to announce that the ‘need’ and lack of this kind of music, has been covered by this wonderful band – in a wonderfully extravagant manner. Everything from the widely psychoactive and decadent music-video, to the lyrics in the song and the arrangements – can be considered to be flawless. Yet they’re dirty and fruitful enough to not frame themselves as an overproduced monstrosity.

They’re also going to be the supporting act when Peter Murphy comes to Malmö, performing Bauhaus material and celebrating 35 years of Bauhaus. Which is going to be on the 9th of June. Since there seems to be a little bit of a problem with the embedding, you can watch their music-video (in Sweden) by following this link.

Invisible Guy recommends: 80s Gothic Rock – 1985 (Part IV)

I think it’s time to give you another treat, this time I’ll be recommending my favorite Gothic rock bands from the 80s. I begin with 1980-1981 (Part I) and then gradually move my way up throughout the years: 1982 (Part II), 1983-1984 (Part III), 1985 (Part IV), 1986-1987 (Part V) and 1988-1989 (Part VI). I’ll be continuing the fad of six different episodes and I’ll bid you my welcome into the world I knew and the world I’ve discovered and continually re-discover when I’m surfing the web. I want to give people another opportunity and to find out about bands and artists that they haven’t heard of before. Sometimes I occasionally sneak in a bigger band or two, but that’ll just be if the song is good enough. But by no means is this a top 30 of the best Gothic rock from the 80s, I’ll have to give you a top-10 list in the future of the Gothic bands that I think top my own list. I’ll also have some commentary beneath each clip as I had in the earlier parts that covered post-punk, mostly because it looks more aesthetically pleasuring and say something about the song or the lyrics. Let me take you into this world now.

You’re now entering Part IV of the recommendation.

If you wish to continue, click on the Continue reading button.

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Valentine’s Day Showcase [#3]: Salem Rages, The Respondents and Jarz!

2098897630-1A totally new track by the lovers of new romantic, namely Salem Rages. In this track, “Love Is Alive“, they display where they come from and it’s a perfect get-go for Valentine’s Day. Showing off the perfect blend of old-school goth, new-wave and new romanticism which takes its toll. Coming straight out of Liverpool, of all places, this gem is one of the best I’ve found recently. The gloomy atmosphere, in combination with fast and steady riffs, combined with the singer’s energetic voice makes for trouble. Not really trouble in the way you’d see it, but trouble in the love department. There’s also a big hint of hardcore punk in the mix, which will satisfy those of you longing for that. Happy Valentine’s to all you hopeless lovers, but do get some of Salem Rages before you go out to search for the one. Casket Records will steer them from the shore and release it under their catalog of 004, but you’ll have to download it for free down below.

1046252255-1Time for another pretty unorthodox combination of genres, at least if you compare. The band The Respondents released their latest album today, which is titled “Exploded View“. In which we get to follow them through the peculiar world of surf-punk, a little bit of horror movie scenery musically, and of course a touch of post-punk. If you bring out the punk to play with the surf, you’re going to get something like this. But it’s eccentric, something I’ve never even heard to be close, more than in a few cases. It’s like if you blend Hawaii with a more sinister Count Dracula-esque Romania of the past. Lord Vlad is all over the place, despite some of the riffs taking you to more exotic places than that. All I can see is rain pouring down on my screen, whilst I wait out in the darkness and when I pass a house I hear this music. Kind of the experience you get, but it’s not bad at all, no – it’s ghoulishly good. For all you undead lovers out there, take a seat and enjoy the ride. Featuring tracks from “Kill Screen” to “Red Flags“. It seems like Wrong Hands is the label to go to, if you’d want it.

2467632350-1So, if you need to slow it down a notch, I have the perfect solution. Nothing more than Jarz and his newly released album “A Story With A Touch“, which resembles your ordinary day-to-day life. The experimentalism surely takes advantage of the sampling that is given to you if you’d be going through crowded places, trying to find the light. With “the light“, I mean, trying to find a way out there. He’s got a hectic tempo at times, but there’s still an angelic sound pulsating through the sound-scape from beginning to end. As you hear the different melodies and the rhythmic arrhythmic cling together, you suddenly have nowhere to go and find yourself stuck in a maze. I’d like to say that this is both for you that would love to take some time off and just relax, but at the same time his quirky instrumentation and feeling for experimentation surely takes it to a whole other level, which cannot be calm, but reeks of longevity. This is something you’d play in the background if you’re working and it’s something you’d spend hours with your brain trying to analyze. So forgive me, for I was wrong, but it’s much calmer than punk. Tracks that are featured on this release are “Belarus“, “A Story With A Touch“, “Its Not What It Seems To Be“, “Belarus (Revy Remix)” and “Random Stems Remix (Fabio Papa)“. Released by Wondermachine Music.