And so a quick canter through some of the stuff that has come in this week….and there has been a lot of it so I will be necessarily brief……
First to the noisier end of things….
Following the recent one-time live reunion of defunct metalcore pioneers, BLOODLET, at the A389 Recordings 10th Anniversary Bash in January, the label has confirmed two special pending releases from the band in 2014.
BLOODLET’s inventive, ominous style of swamp-born metalcore is relived once again on the recently unearthed 1994 demo track, “Embrace,” recorded alongside the band’s archetypal “Shell” and “Cheribum” tracks, yet was never released. The lost track was discovered by hardcore webzine XStuckInThePastX and shared the masters with A389 Recordings, who will relesase an official 7” single of the track, now available for preorder on red or black wax with a B-side etching of the magic circle.
The same day, A389 will dispatch aspecial reissue of BLOODLET’s landmark debut LP, Entheogen, which Victory Records initially released in early 1996. Through the direct cooperation with Victory, the new edition of the album will see a deluxe 2xLP pressing, for the first time ever delivering the seminal release on wax in its complete and correct playing sequence, fully remastered at Audiosiege and spread across two 12″ records cut at 45 RPM for optimum sound quality. This deluxe reissue also features a huge 24″x36″ poster insert of Aaron Turner’s (Isis) incredible cover artwork, and is being released as a one-time pressing of 1000 copies.
Available from February 7th.
What I like about this band is that they managed to deliver their message in a coherent and audible fashion, unlike a lot of metalcore which is just a riot of undecipherable noise.
A389 Recordings also release the reissued, long out-of-print Suicide King LP from Cleveland metal/hardcore outfit, IN COLD BLOOD, the 1990s act formed by the Melnick brothers, Aaron and Leon (ex-Integrity, Ringworm, etc. collectively). Originally released via A389 in 2009, the Suicide King reissue will see deluxe reissue on the same release date as Aaron Melnick’s new self-titled debut SHIN TO SHIN LP (which is featured on this weeks Sonic Attack), also on February 7th. Suicide King compiles all of IN COLD BLOOD‘s EP and demo tracks with a complete remastering job and new artwork. “Eleven tracks of dark and crushing Cleveland metallic hardcore that could only be crafted by former members of Integrity and Ringworm!” says the promo. Ultra fast, and more akin to hardcore punk than metal, in places this is mostly short order stuff but there are a couple of lengthier tracks one of which “Machine” slows the pace down for a bit and hops out of the genre pocket to create an interesting dynamic.
In an entirely different musical universe we find the work of DOMINIC WOLF who is a London based singer-songwriter who uses loop pedals in order to control and affect his vocals and arrangements in an interesting way. “Behind The Sun” is his upcoming new single. The track begins softly with just an acoustic guitar and vocal, at which point my critical faculties started to switch off as it sounded like yet another singer- songwriter, but it then develops into a multi-layered and increasingly attractive piece of work. The track progresses organically and builds into a very interesting ambient/dub laminal piece towards the coda. Glitchy percussions, extra ghost-snares and increasing backing harmonies bathed in reverb, transformed my initial lack of interest to a feeling of admiration. “Behind The Sun”will be available for sale and download 16th of March and is taken from Dominic’s forth-coming EP Masks.
Turning to matters local the latest single from Eccles very own TROJAN HORSE dropped through the interweb via Bandcamp on Monday. It’s their best work yet, which is fulsome praise indeed given the quality of the first album, and the eclectic wizardry of the Fire EP. The release comprises three “phases” of the song “Paper Bells” – a single edit, part 3 and part 4. All variations on the same tune but is such wildly differing arrangements and interpretations as to warrant consideration as entirely different composition. The first track is suitably manic in a way only TH can deliver, Nicholas sounds a tad like Efrim from GSYBE/ASMZ as the quartet ring their usual multi-facteted changes. Part 3 is slow. ambient and considered – I got a faint echo of Wish You Were Here era Floyd mingled with something from Brian E – gentle textures and throbbing noises from, I assume, Eden at the keyboards. Part 4 is in the same camp as “Patricroft Way” from the first album and is a delicious mix of strummed acoustics, multi-layered vocals and 60s pop sensibilities. Simply beautiful stuff. Can’t wait to hear the album based on these three tracks.
Over to Abstercot for episode 13 in the wonderful world of Eddodi and MOFF SKELLINGTON’S latest release which is entitled “Villages of Bicycle Rain” which was pressed into my eager hands last Saturday Night by the great man and his good lady. Moff describes this as “my most Eddodi album to date”. I have to agree, it is a stunning exposition of the best of the man’s work. There is the usual Moff imagery, slightly aside from the world in which we live, where Creosote, Crayons and Petrifying Moons are the topics of conversation. Moff has abandoned traditional music elements of recent albums and reduced the output to the raw Eddodi form – spoken word, home made instruments and sparse arrangements. It is a synthesis of the best of preceding work and in this stripped state demonstrates more than ever the unique and compelling nature of his work. I do consider it is one my sole roles in life to make sure the rest of the known universe is made aware of this man’s work and I shall continue to pursue this with some vigour. I’m not sure when it is released and Moff has not completed the associated artwork – I shall be featuring tracks on the Aural Delights Podcast over the next fourteen weeks.
JAMES STEVENSON’s bio reads like a who’s who of post-76 UK music with stints in Chelsea, Generation X, Kim Wilde (Kids in America), and The Cult. From the 90s onwards he has been associated with Gene Loves Jezebel, The Alarm and Glen Matlock’s The Philistines. His forthcoming album “Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over” is released on March 10th and again features the great and the good of the music establishment with the legendary Barriemore Barlow of Jethro Tull, Glen Matlock, and the trio of Maggie Ronson, Elizabeth Westwood and Tracie Hunter on vocals, amongst other luminaries. It’s a stylistically varied album echoing the man’s career with some early punk edges but generally a straight ahead rock feel. Fans of traditional UK rock will love this.
It was trailed several months back, it’s been on pre-order for a similar amount of time, and it finally arrived yesterday – the much anticipated pairing of GARY LUCAS and PETER HAMMILL. The album is called “Other World” and fans of Mr Hammill will be delighted with what is a rich collaboration. It usually takes PJAH some time to bring an album to fruition but I get a sense with this partnership quickened the pace of writing and delivery. The opener “Spinning Coins” is perhaps one of the most accessible pieces Peter has written in a while, Lucas does what he always does so very well, which is to create dense and beautiful beds of sound over which Hammill can deliver his words.After the opener things are mixed up considerably with a great deal of exploration around form and layering. At times I was reminded of the complex compositions on “Chameleon In the Shadow of the Night” and more appropriately “Silent Corner and the Empty Stage” harking back to the more complex explorations of Hammill’s earlier solo phase which has returned on recent albums. All in all a great album and well worth the wait.
I’ll be doing a one off podcast to celebrate Peter and Gary’s work which will feature tracks from the album.