All posts tagged: Post-Punk

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ALBUM PREMIERE/REVIEW: MARTIN BRAMAH, “The Battle Of Twisted Heel”

While Popdose recently reviewed the new, long-overdue release from Blue Orchids, the band led and fronted by guitarist/frontman Martin Bramah (original guitarist of The Fall), we also take great pleasure in presenting and premiering for you in full, Mr. Bramah’s newly-reissued solo album, The Battle Of Twisted Heel.  Originally released as a mail-order only item very briefly in 2008, this compiles the tracks from that CD plus a few items from an equally cult-based release from Blue Orchids, 2005’s Slum-Cavern-Jest!, giving this an 11-track fullness. While one might expect an upbeat, slightly angular pop sound as has been his trademark, you’ll find a very different affair here.  Acoustic based; a much more tradtional/folk feel and subdued – this is a low-voltage performance but highly powerful and seemingly personal.  Case and point, the emotions cast in “Stone Tumbling Stream”, with its flute figures for really coloring in the feel, is a standout track.  “The Fall Of Great Britain” (which, I admit is a very clever play on certain bands’ names…) is neo-Celtic and very Pogues-like.  “Lucybel” …

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ALBUM REVIEW: BLUE ORCHIDS, “The Once And Future Thing”

Once upon a band called The Fall, Martin Bramah was the original guitarist in this most important and seminal Manchester group.  But the overwhelming directing fist of Mark E. Smith dictated otherwise and Bramah left along with original keyboard player, Una Baines, to form The Blue Orchids.  While The Blue Orchids have had their stops and starts over the last 37 or so years, Bramah has seen fit to reform the band with a new line-up, a series of re-issues and a brand new album, The Once And Future Thing.  And for someone who’s been around for as long as Bramah has, he still has a lot of the youthful energy that makes this a fun and interesting listen. Opening with the very mid-’60’s/garage-y “Good Day To Live”, things are off on a very high level; catchy and driving, with the right dash of snarling punk-y vibes for good measure.  “Jam Today” has a late-period Kinks feel and is equally catchy and “Motorway” definitely harkens back to Bramah’s days with The Fall (think “Bingo Master’s …

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POPDOSE VIDEO PREMIERE: THE POP GROUP, “S.O.P.H.I.A.”

This year’s welcome return of England’s post punk provocateurs The Pop Group saw their first album in over 30 years, the critically-acclaimed Citizen Zombie – and now, they have released a video of their track “S.O.P.H.I.A.”, taken from the aforementioned. The video comes as a round-up from a year of extensive worldwide touring, which included the Glastonbury Festival, and more recently, a guerrilla gig at Banksy’s Dismaland and finishing the year with a three date tour in Japan. Beloved bands such as The Minutemen have cited The Pop Group over the years as one of their greatest influences and upon listening to any of their catalog, you can see why. So after a lengthy absence, here is…  THE POP GROUP:

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Welcome To Pittsburgh #6: Night Vapor – S/T

Welcome to, Welcome to, Welcome to Welcome To Pittsburgh. Long time, no see. My fault, really. Computer died, brain is fried, et cetera, et cetera. No time for small talk, though, because today Pittsburgh, if there’s any justice left in this dusty speck of a universe, should be covered in the oily residue that is Night Vapor, a self-described avant-punk quartet whose debut full-length should soon be slivering around the underground in these parts. CLIMBER!   Sorry, after a few listens, you’ll see why I have a natural tendency, a tick, if you will, to do that from time to time now. CLIMBER! God save us. I’VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO GO FAR IN THIS ORGANIZATION! Exhale, exhale. Okay …   If T-Tops is Pittsburgh’s answer to Melvins, then Night Vapor is surely its sour-faced, punch-to-the-gut response to Killdozer. That’s as close a goddamn summation as I can muster. The typical Night Vapor dirge, if you will, features bass like a leech sticking to the bottom of your feet and lurching, aggro/almost-arrhythmic time signatures. …

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Hot New Rock: A Projection, American Television, the Breton Sound

The name of the site might be Popdose, but rock and roll is our lifeblood. Here are some truly exciting new bands to truly get your heart racing and blood pumping to all the right places, most notably your fists and feet. A Projection • Exit Stockholm’s A Projection takes you in the wayback machine to the early 80’s, recalling a variety of beloved post punk bands like Joy Division, a very young Cure, Comsat Angels and the Chameleons. Loads of post Millennial bands have tried this formula and a select few like Interpol have been able to make it work. A Projection takes “the sound” and makes it sound both retro and modern. Their debut album, Exit, is easily my favorite album of the year by a new artist, it’s packed full of sinister singles that crackle with urgency, energy and most importantly, addictive melodies that reward listening on heavy rotation. A Projection makes me want to dig up every cassette I made of my late 80’s college radio show. Once you get past the DeJoy Division Vu in the rhythmic hook …

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REVIEW: HC-B – “Rough”

It takes a great record to remind me how awkward it can be — yes yes, like dancing to architecture — to write about really good instrumental rock music. For the moment, the band putting me in said position is HC-B, the record is the group’s latest Hidden Shoal release, Rough, and both are terrific, sometimes bordering on breathtaking. There are plenty of tropics and meridians that can bring you to Catania, Sicily, the band’s birthplace and home since forming in 1999, that heady peak of post-rock, and they are surely writ large all around the band’s sound. They flirt with the glassiness of Slint and The For Carnation, the epic crescendos of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the mannerisms and tempo of Do Make Say Think, the dreamy sway of early Mogwai. It’s evident these guys have done their cribbing and their homework. There’s love in these notes. But the music, above all else, is studied but somehow not derivative. Go figure. The song-suite “Deux,” a single of sorts if there is one on the five-track disc, starts almost menacingly calm and brooding, very post-punk, …

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Fall, “Sub-Lingual Tablet”

There was a period in my life that The Fall was the most important band in the world to me because of their utter desire to wipe away the over-layered prettiness and bullshit that seemed to plague so many of their contemporaries.  And also because they came up with some ridiculously great and memorable pop songs – from “Totally Wired” to “Telephone Thing”, in countless ways, Mark E. Smith and his revolving line-up of merry cohorts were masters of a sparsely brilliant and innovative universe. It’s some 37 years into The Fall’s recorded career and they’re back again with another verbally twisted album, Sub-Lingual Tablet.  If nothing else, Fall albums are worth their salt just by the titles alone.  And it’s been a good 22 years since I last listened to a Fall record.  So this is a treat – and take that for what it’s worth.  You have to KNOW The Fall to appreciate their very direct, particular sound – for those not aware, it’s the sound of Mark E. Smith’s voice – he …

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Welcome To Pittsburgh #5: Night Vapor/T-Tops/Gangwish – Gooski’s, 5/30/15

Is it smoky in here or is it just me? [Rubs tears from bloodshot-red eyes; guy next to me passes out from lack of oxygen.] No, it’s definitely goddamn smoky in here. So, so, so, take off your momma-made sweater and your Velcro-strap sneakers and bark hello to the neighborhood of fucking make-believe! This is the fifth installment of Welcome To Pittsburgh … Now Go Home, friends, and tonight we’re reporting from the front lines of the dive bar scene, the legendary Gooski’s, where the drinks are cheap, the music’s loud, and the smoke (of both the tobacco and marijuana variety) is thick and welcoming and loverly. Somebody must’ve forgot to tell guitarist/vocalist/man-about-town Patrick Waters and, um, just about everybody else in Polish Hill that T-Tops weren’t headlining this dual record-release shindig – the band was second on a three-act bill – because they goddamned owned Saturday night. The crowd was thickest and loudest for them. The walls and floors shook the most when they played. The set was impeccable; not a note was out of place. …

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ALBUM REVIEW: Nonagon – The Last Hydronaut

It’s hard to write about Nonagon, a Chicago-rooted band whose latest pocket full of cuts and volts is a 12-inch EP titled The Last Hydronaut, without using words like blistering or conjuring up images of what a caged animal sounds like after it’s been poked and prodded, jabbed and jabbered at, then let loose. For good reason — this modest little trio, which recently joined NYC’s The Austerity Program to launch Controlled Burn Records, is a mean son-of-a-bitch and has the chops to prove it. And the latest EP only firms up the resume. Let’s delineate all of the whallop and punch of Hydronaut’s six songs, even if that would be sucking some of the life out of it. Well, have at it. “Razing All Boats” rages, “The Pfister” paces nervously and explodes, and “King Corky” shows that there’s texture to the blade. On the second side, “Elvis” plods and hammers, “Affinity Fraud” scorches the skin, and the closing “Hydronauts” punches you in the face but shows hints of emotive regret at doing so. And …