Browsing All posts tagged under »post punk«

Die Goldenen Zitronen – Flogging A Dead Frog (art-punk)

March 15, 2016

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Formed at the inception of what would come to be known as the Hamburger Schule (from which they vehemently distance themselves), Die Goldenen Zitronen had their beginnings as an identifiably punk band, but a commitment to creative, aesthetic and political rigour has led them to a variety of stylistic positions, some quite avant-garde. Entertainment might be claimed as a touchstone of punk aesthetics, though, and in that sense, as well as in the overtly political character of many of the songs, it would seem fair to argue that this album of predominantly electronic New Wave/ avant-funk sounds is still clearly situated …

Ashley Reaks – Before Koresh (avant-rock)

October 8, 2015

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Ashley Reaks speaks from outside. His work is most obviously ‘outsider art’ if you look at his visual work, rather than his music: his collage-based pieces, deliberately ugly as they are (although they are often richly and decoratively patterned), with their disturbing, and frequently sexually explicit iconography, position themselves unequivocally away from the mainstream, far from the clean white gallery wall (metaphorically, at least – I have no idea what his shows look like!). Aside from the fact that he uses his own work as cover art, Reaks does not refuse socially conventional framing devices for his music in …

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

September 14, 2015

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The Stringers are a four-piece from Ontario, that plays rock music of the old school – which doesn’t mean that it’s ‘old-fashioned’, but that it’s pop music, god dammit! This is entertainment, with no pretensions to any kind of creative territory beyond that compass; all too often that can imply some kind of highly manufactured, overly polished and self-consciously vapid ‘product’, but this is all about melodies, grooves and the raw sound of musicians making it happen together. Crisp, tight performances are represented in an immediate, close-quarters production, through arrangements that evince a good understanding …

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

March 1, 2015

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There’s a gentle oddness to these songs, cradled in gleefully brutal drum machine sounds and fugal laminations of electric guitar ostinatos. The executioner of the latter is subtly ‘off’, in both pitch and articulation, contrasting the fascistic precision of the former, but colluding with it to efface the performer, along with any notion of their heroic ‘star status’, from the centre of the performance. This is music whose own production sets out to tell us that its author could readily be substituted by a rudimentary machine, or by some other random person; but the songs, and the gloomy disregard with which …

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

October 27, 2014

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Wayne Myers, singer, songwriter and principal instrumental culprit, sent me this mini-album in early February according to my records, but it somehow slipped through the net and never got reviewed. Well, better late than never. Sleeping Beauty is pure poetry. I intend that as a value judgement, but also a literal description; Myers is a poet who works in the medium of song. Now I’d think of it as a species of insult to say that this was an EP of poems set to music, but that’s not what I mean: these are songs, written as such, and the musical materials they incorporate are neither a commentary …

Ashley Reaks – Compassion Fatigue (1-8) (avant-prog)

October 13, 2014

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'Concept’ albums have been a mixed blessing on the history of rock music. The idea that an album might have some connecting theme running through the various songs collected on it has been a controversial one, bitterly opposed at times by those with a strong doctrinal commitment to a particular model of popular music, and of rock as a subset thereof. However, some very interesting music has been articulated over a longer term than the three minute single permits, and I think rock (along with most other varieties of popular music) has long since proved its capacity as a …

Godzilla Black – The Great Terror (avant-rock)

December 9, 2013

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I wasn’t supplied with a lyric sheet when this album was submitted for review, so my assessment of its verbal content is a bit fractional, but there’s no mistaking the central thrust of things, as evident in the title, and in the baleful, malevolent eyes of the infant staring out at us from the cover. This is dark shit. I don’t know where Godzilla Black see themselves, in the grand continuum of not-mainstream rock music; there are certainly echoes of a great many interesting zones of creative practice, and given the great prog-thaw that has taken place in recent years, I have little difficulty in describing their music as …