Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Heart Puke - Flesh Eating Foundation

"We need to get bigger guitars. BIG FUCKING GUITARS". I like to think that was the masterplan behind Flesh Eating Foundation's latest collection of post-punk aural abuse and post-industrial suburban horror. Whilst previous albums Purging and Seethe were hardly shying away from six-string the riffs are really cracking out on this one, resulting in an attack filled album that shows what early Ministry or Nine Inch Nails would have sounded like if they had lived in Stafford and had day jobs. Fear not though: the loops, synth, and twitching danced-up drum beats are still there, it's just that the guitar is more at the front than before and give the substantial part of the sound with the other elements being used as lead and counterpoint rather than rhythm.

Stand out tracks include the potential floor filler "Time Is Running Out", the utterly manic horse-meat scandal inspired "Equinicide", the sing-along call to arms of "Who's Rules", and the IDM mess-up that is "Dog Rough". All of it is gloriously fuzzy, sounding like it was recorded in the finest bomb-shelter in the land. Just be warned that this album doesn't have the clean dance grooves of EBM, nor the guitar overlordship of rock. It's a horrible, messy, slamming together of things that make a lot of angry noise, and it's all the better for it.

So if you are having a pissed off day and want to hear the world burn, or just want something industrial that doesn't go on about relationships, clubbing or sci-fi, then give this a shot once it's released in the new year. And if you want some festive fun before then then go to their SoundCloud page for Boris Karloff reading Hans Christian Andersen. Because "Christmas".

This album is confirmed 100% David Bowie free.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Climax - Beastmilk

If you like your doom & gloom to be bastard sexy and filled with big, black grove then the debut album from Beastmilk is for you. 'Climax' is 10 tracks of leather-clad rock-out tunes that swagger into town looking for either the apocalypse or your daughters.

Wild and wavy guitars, booming bass-lines, and a drum kit having the living hell kicked into it whilst introspective lyrics being howled out are the order of the day here. Opening track (and well deserving single) "Death Reflects Us" & "Genocidal Rush" give have a thick menace and jubilant, near sing-along, quality to them, whilst "Love In A Cold World" & "Strange Attractors" get a bit slower and more gritty. All in all it's a solid slab of Death Rock that has just the right level of power and passion to it: heavy on the dark ambiance but not forgetting to rock out along with it. Given the genre it's always tempting to compare it (quite favorably) back to 80's acts like The Sisters of Mercy or Christian Death, but this also has a much more contemporary hard rock feel to it and a bigness to its sound that could almost be U2 on the best worst day of their career.

So if you are either looking for some rock with a bit more edge to it but that doesn't get all heavy metal, or something new and gothic but without the synths, or just something that sounds great when cracked up loud on your stereo then  give these guys, and this album, a shot.

David Bowie has not been reported as being on this album.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Lily Allen for Christmas Number One? Brilliant!

So the betting money is on Lily Allen's version of "Somewhere Only We Know" being the 2013 Christmas Number One, and this makes me smile for a number of reasons:

  1. It encompasses the true spirit of Christmas! Its from an advert for Christmas shopping.
  2. It's a cover of a classic old tune! It's nine years old and proves that we now live in a retro free-fall.
  3. It isn't a Simon Cowell X-Factor hit! Instead it is corporate music by a totally different set of producers and media manipulators.
  4. It isn't a "Get X to Christmas Number One!" campaign song! Because that was cool in 2009 with Rage Against The Machine and has since deteriorated into repetitious nonsense.
  5. We now have scientific proof that you can make a Keane song worse!
So all in all a win for the biting cynic in me. Then again I gave up on the importance of a Christmas Number 1 years ago for a number of reasons. The first is that singles sales have gone through the floor, so where as in the 70's, 80's, 90's & early 00's you needed to shift a two and a half millionish to get the gold you can now do it with four hundred thousand. Still an achievement but also 16 times less sales needed. Secondly is that if you check the history of the Christmas Number One there have only been 12 Christmas Number One's that have actually been about Christmas (including 2 versions of "Do they know its Christmas" which is actually about famine), so the idea of 'a proper Christmas Number One' is a major reworking of history. And finally Christmas is no longer about when people who are into music go and buy music, it's about people looking for a gift in Tesco and spotting something they heard on the radio by Inoffensive & Clean-Shaven. This is why major artists don't bother releasing anything good at this time of year, they know they aren't going to get the top slot so wait till the New Year sales slump for a cheeky go (looking at you, Iron Maiden). And if you really want to see what's happening in music go and check out the album chart.

So sit back, enjoy the seasonal cheer, ignore the hype, and just pray that Lily makes good on previous promises.