New York's Stellastarr are a great new band with more than a hint of a Pixies influence. Shawn Christensen's Dave Vanianesque vocal theatrics aren't the only shining point in this band. The guitars ring and chime, the music just grabs you and it's a perfect representation of new Post-Punk music.
Initially prompted in late 2002 with an unlikely namesake, 24KGold consists of Keith Curts (vocals/guitar, Pisces), Mike Martinson (drums, Virgo) and Matt Rosa (bass, Gemini). Keith and Mike have been playing in various bands together for the past seven years, after meeting each other while working at the legendary but now defunct San Francisco punk rock record store Epicenter. Keith took a stab at playing in Subpoena the Past, and both he and Mike were founding members of Ghost Orchids. After a line-up change or two, 24KGold acquired Matt, former bassist in Aaron Montaigne and the Chandeliers. Now a trio, 24KGold are an emergency distress signal, urgent and guiltless. They revisit the important aspects of punk rock's past and sew it to the modern rancor of fashion as function. Wired by their collective influences, 24KGold seem more poised than mechanical, fostering political sideswipes in television attention span tempos, quick as arson. The band has played out to very receptive crowds and this looks to be the very beginning.
Set the scene. Fall 2002, a run down rehearsal space in Edmonton’s north end. Late afternoon and for once the host of funk-metal-cover bands are conspicuously absent. Instead. Unfamiliar sounds reverberate off the concrete walls. Stark, severe. A relentless drumbeat, a pulsing bassline that thunders and crackles on the brink of distortion. Guitars with laserbeam intensity slice through the rhythm. Then. That’s it, that’s the verse. Now we need a part for the chorus. Growing up in the last years of the cold war. Soviet Union, cruise missile, public service announcements. This is only a test. In the event of a real emergency. In a city where winter lasts half the year and the sun sets at 4 o’clock in December. Where you wipe the bureaucracy off your shoes at the door. There’s a sound to it, too, ringing like a mangled echo of northern Britain ca. 1980. Same old story. State of stasis. Bored by the town and the sounds around, drinking too much and poring over record collections mired in a dark, near-mythical past. Joy Division, Wire, the Cure, New Order, Echo & the Bunnymen. Only one thing to do: form a band. Fast forward, 1 yr. later. With THE FLOOR's first record still climbing the charts of campus radio stations across the country, they prepare to unleash their second effort.
|British Sea Power:|
(From a review in The Face):British Sea Power don't do stunt sunglasses, swagger or ingalong loveliness. Instead they run Club Sea Power, a monthly variety show freak-out in their adopted hometown, Brighton. Their website points visitors in the direction of Czech literature and the band ask to be called Hamilton, Wood, Noble and Jan. They wear scratchy wool Royal Navy trousers, deploy plastic bird decoys and chunks of tree on stage, and are very, very good at staring. "We're trying to look military, but decommissioned," says singer Jan (and brother of bassist Hamilton). Visually, BSP are excitement writ thick; musically, second single 'Remember Me' has big, slashing guitars recalling Joy Division and speed-gobbing indie as readily as Jan's twitchy dance and boggle eyes. The rest of their live set portends an LP of epic/intricate art-rock as impressive as the antlers stuck to Wood's drumkit. BSP say their main strength is imagination. "We're willing to take chances." Are you willing to be laughed at? "I don't mind that!" says Jan, with the cheerful look of a man with long experience of public ridicule.
|Signal and Report:|
With a sound that's comparable to Echo at their peak (circa: "Heaven Up Here") Minneapolis natives Signal and Report bring the old sounds of early 80s Post-Punk to the forefront. Singer Christian Hall's vocals echo the ghosts of the Ian's (Curtis and McCulloch to be precise) With Peter Hook inspired basslines, icy shards of guitars and keyboards, and lots of reverb Signal and Report stand at the peak of current Post-Punk music.
Scotland's Franz Ferdinand have been getting a lot of airplay recently, they've even reached the top of the charts in both the UK and the US, but despite their commercial success Franz Ferdinand remains one of the most infectious, brilliant new Post-Punk bands. Rarely do good Post-Punk artists recieve such critical acclaim. I guess this could be a good or a bad sign for the future of the Post-Punk music scene. Trends pass, but we will see what the future of this band holds, based on their musical talent.
|Dirty on Purpose:|
Bio Coming Soon...
Bio Coming Soon...
(From AMG All Music Guide):The Montreal four-piece The Stills are nothing like Interpol, but like those New York City suit-wearing hipsters, The Stills create a stately, post-punk sound quite obviously inspired by the likes of Echo & The Bunnymen and Joy Division whether they intended to or not. Having known one another since the age of 12, vocalist Tim Fletcher, drummer Dave Hamelin, guitarist Greg Paquet, and bassist Oliver Crowe played in various bands until forming The Stills in 2000.
(From Billboard): What began in the mid-'90s as a post-high-school art project--the formation of My Favorite--has turned into something incredibly real. Hailing from Long Island, N.Y., the five members of My Favorite share a fondness for melody and melancholia, New Order and Saint Etienne. The Smiths, too. "The Happiest Days of Our Lives"--a compendium of the quintet's three EPs and brand-new material (as well as a bonus disc of 14 remixes)--is post-punk dance-pop with heart, impassioned lyrics saddled alongside the most sunny of early-'80s-etched instrumentation. The sublime vocal stylings of Andrea Vaughn and Michael Grace Jr. are tailor-made for such musical terrain. Tracks like "The Suburbs Are Killing Us," "L = P," "Burning Hearts" and the title track are as infectious as they come.
Antarctica majestically captures the epic sweep of the south side of consciousness, conjuring the otherworldly experience of deep sleep. The band is perfectly named: they create brooding, constantly shifting textures with reverbed guitars, synthesizers, and muffled vocals that evoke images of glacial oceans, endless expanses of white snow, and blue skies without limits. This gorgeous band has discovered an impossible niche between joy and melancholy and extracted from it an insomniac's perfect remedy. The five members of Antarctica converged in New York City after singer/guitarist Eric Richter left his old band, Christie Front Drive. In 1998, the quintet released its debut, a three-song EP named after its length, 21:03, which features the gentle, ethereal "Full Crescent Crusade." Two years later they returned with 81:03, a double album that does indeed feature 81 minutes and three seconds of slow, oceanic bliss. That record includes the '80s dance pop-influenced "Absence." Sadly, 81:03 would prove the last of Antarctica's short career, as its members announced in 2000 that they would be going their separate ways. Antarctica descends from a long and worthy line of pioneers of cool, shimmering noise. In their celestial sound, you'll hear the reverberating echoes of Pink Floyd's astral epics, Joy Division and New Order's synthesized sadness, Slowdive and Ride's shoegazer intensity, and the shimmering bliss of My Bloody Valentine Loveless. In short, Antarctica continues to develop the craft of atmospheric pop, creating worlds of music you've only dreamed of.
San Francisco's Film School take elements of shoegaze, psychedelia and indie rock to create their own sound. Winding melodies wrap their way around legions of layered chords. Sonic blasts of guitars simmer into thick waves. A wash of droning guitars merge into delicate melodies. This dynamic mix of atmospheric rock and understated pop swirls into a shimmering soundscape underscored by the plaintive vocals of Krayg Burton.
Residing in San Francisco, the members of The Pleased are able to bring a little sunshine to the brooding. Joanna Newsome, the classically trained harpist and pianist, brings an ethereal and soft touch to even the darkest of songs, like “Already Gone,” while still pounding you in the gut with the tragic opening chords of “No Style.” And although Noah Georgeson’s perfectly crooning, echoed vocals sound anything but upbeat, there is a kind of bittersweet happiness that is lacking in most of the stereotypical Curtis Ian followers of our day. It is partly this ability to slightly alter a working formula that makes the overall album so enjoyable to listen to.
(From Sin Newsletter in Belgium): Interested in a band who's been influenced by both My Bloody Valentine and Joy Division? I'm sure you do. Dave and Shawn are two persons from San Francisco who have been working with each other since 1995 on various projects till in 1999 they formed Astral. The discography might be rather short (one EP, the one that we are talking about) but the gigography is rather impressive! Don't think Astral are your typical shoegazing band as there might be some guitars around that will remind you of Slowdive or Swervedriver, but the general mood of this band is the C86-attitude. Some say jingle-janglepop or whatever, Astral are a band who are staying loyal to the indiesound...the sort of music in where guitars speak rather than being the instruments from those who want to prove that they're genius players...
(From Leonards Lair):As an opening declaration of intent the first moments of Lomax's debut album takes some beating. With a ferocious assault of percussion and throbbing bass, 'The Bodies Of Journalists' is every bit as threatening as its title promises. This track and the remainder of 'A Symbol Of Modern Living' are also characterised by their frontman's Paul Weller-style scattershot grunting, re-affirming beliefs that Lomax's spiritual forefathers are The Jam. Thankfully, Lomax are not mere impersonators. The album is peppered with relentless energy and muscular rhythm. Cracking efforts such as 'Armstein's Ladder' and 'When The Pressure's On' are thoroughly memorable and spit-and-bile anthem 'Modern Life' could have appeared on Radio 4's excellent 'Gotham!' album. In fact only the lengthy 'An End' seems directionless. That apart, those who appreciate politically-charged anger allied with sharp hooks should investigate further.
Since 2001 San Francisco's Madelia has evolved from it's dreamy origins into an amalgam of angular dance rhythms, shoegaze, and post-whatever. The band has pounded, shrieked, and insulted each other through their share of sleazy bars & dark clubs, and won converts from the eyeliner crowd to the t-shirt and sneakered. Madelia is deeply influenced by the dynamics of 1990's CA Hardcore bands like Antioch Arrow, Clikatat, Ikatowi, etc., the textural songwriting of groups like My Bloody Valentine, and the Post-Punk dancability of Wire and Gang of Four.
(From AMG All Music Guide): Los Angeles' post-punk revivalists the Moving Units feature Blake Miller, Johan Bogeli, and Chris Hathwell, formerly of the hardcore band Festival of Dead Deer. The group formed in late 2001, shortly after Festival of Dead Deer broke up, and began writing and gigging, with dates at festivals like This Ain't No Picnic earning them wider attention even before they had any releases. The Moving Units signed to Festival of Dead Deer's former label Three One G and issued their self-titled debut EP in fall 2002; subsequently they moved to Palm, who reissued Moving Units in early 2003.
The Flesh is a brash Quartet set to bust out of the NYC underground. Fusing R&B dance beats with dark rock and roll, they deliver gyrating pop anthems and intense live shows with raw charisma. Their "Death Connection" single is a favorite at NYC dance parties and clubs, where The Flesh perform relentlessly.
Formed in the English seaside town of Hove, Clearlake's eccentric take on music has baffled, bewildered, and beguiled both the press and public since they debuted with the "Winterlight" single in January 2000 on the Domino off-shoot label Dusty Company. Jason Pegg (vocals/guitar/keyboards), who had moved to the town to attend art college, played in oddball combos the Fish Brothers and Not a Bit of Wood before forming Clearlake with college friend Sam Hewitt (keyboards, samples). Bassist David Woodward and drummer James Butcher rounded out the lineup and Clearlake began mixing an eclectic fusion of influences including Van Der Graaf Generator, Motown, and Talk Talk with a quintessentially English lyrical perspective. They followed "Winterlight" with the much-acclaimed singles "Don't Let the Cold In" and "Something to Look Forward To." Their debut album, Lido, was released in April 2001 to mainly rave reviews in the U.K. music press, with NME proclaiming that "in terms of sheer charm and lustre, Clearlake leave their contemporaries out in the cold." The single "Let Go" followed, with an affectionate cover of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" on its flip. In 2003, the band inked a deal with Domino in the States and prepped for the release of the Almost the Same EP in August.
In this day and age when a lot of the players in the post-hardcore scene don keyboards to venture into realms of new music, it's good to hear a band that does it quite well and retains the beauty of a glorious era in music that has been long abandoned. Despite the sappy intro, The Automovement have released one of the most under-appreciated releases of the year: very well-constructed, distant and lonely goth-pop songs in that will bring up memories of old bands such as Joy Division, New Order, and OMD or anything comparable to the early 4AD catalog. Awesome instrument sounds and awesome vocals. A must hear. Members now (as of Jan 2003) play in A Luna Red.