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Deftones Gore Review

General Information:

Artist: Deftones
Album: Gore
Genre(s): Rock
Subgenres(s): Experimental Rock
Released: 2016
Length: 48 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Reprise Records

Track List:

01. Prayers/Triangles
02. Acid Hologram
03. Doomed User
04. Geometric Headdress
05. Hearts/Wires
06. Pittura Infamante
07. Xenon
08. (L)MIRL
09. Gore
10. Phantom Bride
11. Rubicon

Deftones Gore Cover

Deftones Gore Cover

Deftones Gore Review

Gore is the 8th studio album by American rock band Deftones. As the band has evolved and implemented new sounds into their repertoire over the years it is self-evident with Gore that they’re still cutting into new territory. This has largely been caused by the conflicts within the band over what direction they should move in and somehow both camps got their way through an amalgamation of post hardcore, post rock, shoegaze and sludge metal in different measures. Some of these genres do already overlap in other musical circles but Deftones have managed to combine them in an entirely new way that most easily placed Gore under the large umbrella genre of experimental rock.

The use of the pop format is still present in many places but there is also a two part song found in Pittura Infamante, meaning “infamous painting” in Italian, and Xenon. This format also works to their advantage by being able to experiment sonically while still appealing to a wide audience.

Chino Moreno’s voice is at times heavily distorted to sound like high pitched radio garble so his lyrics aren’t always easy to recognise, with many of them being cryptic enough to be interpreted in many ways depending on the listener, but he also clings onto his distinct singing voice elsewhere when he isn’t breaking into a shouting frenzy elsewhere.

There are some parallels to be found with their 2006 album, Saturday Night Wrist, in terms of subdued musical elements although the flirtation with trip hop found there and with White Pony (2000) are nowhere to be heard. The opening song, Prayers/Triangles, kicks off Gore with familiar feedback noise from Saturday Night Wrist’s opening song, Hole in the Earth, but instead of launching into a meaty guitar riff it dissolves to introduce the subdued moods that are littered throughout Gore. (L)MIRL follows on much in the same way whereas the title track is much less streamlined and evolves into a massive sludge metal plod towards the end.

There is certainly no hugger-mugger from the variety of influences that have crept into the melting pot that is Gore because everything from the internal conflicts of the bands has managed to be turned into an unexpected advantage rather than a hindrance. How far the pendulum swings from this point on is yet to be seen but if Gore is any indication to go by then Deftones will continue to innovate.

Performers:

Abe Cunningham: Drums
Stephen Carpenter: Guitar
Frank Delgado: Samples, keyboards
Chino Moreno: Vocals, guitar
Sergio Vega: Bass
Jerry Cantrell: Additional guitars (track 10)

External Links:

Deftones Homepage
Deftones on Wikipedia
Gore on Wikipedia

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Leaether Strip Civil Disobedience Review

General Information:

Artist: Leaether Strip
Album: Civil Disobedience
Genre(s): Electronic
Subgenres(s): Electronic Body Music (EBM)
Released: 2008
Length: 69 minutes (CD 1), 72 minutes (CD 2)
Language(s): English, German
Label(s): Alfa Matrix

Track List (CD 1):

01. Civil Disobedience
02. The Damaged People
03. When Blood Runs Dark
04. Bite Until You Taste Blood
05. Jagtvej 69
06. Going Nowhere
07. I Said I’m Sorry
08. Pissing on My Territory
09. It Hurts Doesn’t It
10. One Day
11. The Devil’s Daughter

Track List (CD 2):

01. A Whore for Jesus
02. I Wear Black on the Inside
03. Machineries of Joy (Die Krupps Cover)
04. Snakebite
05. Soul Collector
06. Could Ya, Did Ya
07. In the Arms of a Demon
08. One More Reason
09. The Cradle of Death
10. Stains
11. The Evil in Putin’s Eyes

Leaether Strip Civil Disobedience Cover

Leaether Strip Civil Disobedience Cover

Leaether Strip Civil Disobedience Review

Civil Disobedience is the 11th studio album (and second double album) by Danish Electronic Body Music (EBM) artist Leaether Strip. Claus Larsen, the sole architect behind Leaether Strip, guarantees two things with Civil Disobedience with the first being a tour-de-force in aggressive dance music paired with subversive lyrics that paint a grim reality.

This is noteworthy early on with The Damaged People, wherein Claus Larsen lists off vignettes of suffering ranging from “the village idiot who made us laugh/until he raped a girl behind the bike shed” to “the dead man on the second floor/no one noticed he was gone until the smell came” and “the gay teenager killing himself/because his parents told him what the world does to faggots”. The last of those could possibly be a reference to his teenage years in which he was in danger of taking his life*.

On the first CD Claus Larsen’s voice ranges from confrontational snarls and shouts to outraged cries of distress (on Going Nowhere in particular) but on the second CD he often sounds more even tempered by comparison. The distorted vocal effects are still implemented across Civil Disobedience in varying degrees to compliment the militant attitude of the music. Some songs also contain voice samples to introduce a lyrical theme with The Cradle of Death, from the second CD, being the most explicit as it is presumably a recording of a soldier or journalist who recalls seeing “scores of people who had been killed, women who had been gang-raped” to “men who had been castrated and been left to bleed to death” … “those are things that we would see nearly every day”.

On the surface you could accuse Claus Larsen of using mere shock value to grab some attention but at the same time it’s entirely possible that this is the result of someone venting his own frustrations with the troubled world he observes. On the politically conscious title track he observes that “politicians use unfair tactics/to scare the people with convenient lies/they want two sides to go against each other/to make us pick the side they want” and Jagtvej 69 addresses the riots in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2007 following the closure and demolition of the Ungdomshuset (The Youth House).

Tired and true loud/soft dynamics with a heavier industrial music influence are used to up the aggressive ante on this song. Starting with a sample of protesters shouting and chanting, the soft piano motif poignantly overlaps them only to be cut down by caustic industrial stylings before it abruptly stops for a haunting solo vocal performance with only soft crackling noises of a fire to create a tense yet sombre atmosphere. The electronic elements are also present in other parts of the song and when they’re used subtly alongside the piano the end result is unquestionably one of Civil Disobedience’s finest moments.

Could Ya, Did Ya is an electro-industrial flavoured song that brings the electric guitar to the forefront and begins with a sarcastic sit-com skit whereas Stains takes a rather gothic twist with an organ arrangement that goes on for a good 3 minutes before the thumping dance beats reappear. There is also a cover of Machineries of Joy, originally by Die Krupps, on the second CD that is sung in both English and German but doesn’t forgo the awkward moaning sounds and manages to be about 2 minutes longer than the original. This leads right into the second guarantee of the Civil Disobedience album: the unholy length of each CD.

The running time of the first CD is 69 minutes and the second is 72 minutes. Matters aren’t helped by the fact that on average each song is nearly 6.5 minutes long so not only will each CD test your patience, there is also the practical question of having the time to be able to sit down and listen to either half properly.

These are some obvious negatives that could have easily been addressed by releasing each CD as a separate album or by shortening some of the songs because the likes of Pissing on My Territory is the shortest song on the album (4 minutes and 43 seconds compared to several that are between 6 and 8 minutes) yet it has some of the most replay value for this very reason.

While Civil Disobedience can feel stretched out on both halves of the album, it shouldn’t diminish the positive qualities found in the dark lyricism that is melded with the spirit of punk rock, particularly in the vocal department, and aggressive dance music because it is a powerful combination that deserves a larger spotlight.

Performers:

Claus Larsen: Singer, songwriter, performer

External Links:

Leaether Strip Homepage
Leaether Strip on Wikipedia
Civil Disobedience on Wikipedia

* http://www.phxgoth.com/leaether-strip-interview/ “I was a troubled gay teen on the closet, in danger of taking my own life”.

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Frank Turner Campfire Punkrock Review

General Information:

Artist: Frank Turner
Album: Campfire Punkrock
Genre(s): Folk, Folk Rock
Subgenres(s): N/A
Released: 2006
Length: 18 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Xtra Mile Recordings, Good Friends Records

Track List:

01. Nashville Tennessee
02. Thatcher Fucked The Kids
03. This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The One Of Me
04. Casanova Lament
05. I Really Don’t Care What You Did On Your Gap Year

Frank Turner Campfire Punkrock Cover

Frank Turner Campfire Punkrock Cover

Frank Turner Campfire Punkrock Review

Campfire Punkrock is the first solo release of British folk musician Frank Turner. Taking the form of an acoustic folk EP, he departs from the punk rock sound of his previous band, Million Dead, entirely and it’s evident from the get-go that his voice is much more suited to the stripped down folk sound he has opted for.

His earnest lyricism always takes centre stage with the first song, a folk rock number titled Nashville Tennessee, acts as a sort of introduction to himself and his self-awareness when he sings “from the start, the land scaped my sound, before I’d ever been to America” as well as other references to his transatlantic influences while lacking knowledge of American geography from which they come. There’s also a sarcastic undertone to be found when he claims “and if I knew anybody who played pedal steel guitar/I’d get them in my band and then my band would get real far” as he points out the conventions, or formula, of country music that influenced him while defending himself by saying “and yes I’m in four-four time, and yes I use cheap, cheap rhymes/but I try to make a sound my own” and concludes his observations with a simple and honest mission statement of “the only thing I’m offering is me”.

This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The One Of Me continues the upbeat folk rock sound to sing about escaping from his current town of residence and cites “…talking to girls hazardous to my health. They’ve been in this gene pool so long they’ve got wrinkled toes” and “I still want to be buried here, just like I said but I’d prefer it if you’d wait until I’m actually dead” as his concerns whereas Thatcher Fucked The Kids shows a completely different side of Frank Turner.

He drops his backing band for a solo song using only his voice and acoustic guitar to dive into the world of protest songs. As the title implies, it focuses on former British Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and how she affected the youth of society in his eyes. The punk rock passion flairs up in his scathing analysis which ranges from calling children “a violent bunch of bastard little shits” to addressing the upper class reducing social mobility by saying that “as they were settled as the richest of the rich/they kicked away the ladder, told the rest of us that life’s a bitch”.

Casanova Lament and I Really Don’t Care What You Did On Your Gap Year shake things up further in terms of song-writing as they are low-key compared to the first three songs. The former being from the school of sad sounding singer-songwriters sitting on a stool sullenly and the latter brings the backing band into the mix again but without the energy that grips the listener at the beginning of Campfire Punkrock. This leaves the EP flagging a bit towards the end but Frank Turner’s ability to tell stories and convey his thoughts through matter-of-fact lyrics are the biggest strength and draw of Campfire Punkrock that will keep listeners attentive.

Performers:

Frank Turner: Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Ben Lloyd: Electric Guitar
Nigel Powell: Drums
Tarrant Anderson: Bass

External Links:

Frank Turner Homepage
Frank Turner on Wikipedia
Campfire Punkrock on Wikipedia

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Darkspace Darkspace III I Review

General Information:

Artist: Darkspace
Album: Darkspace III I
Genre(s): Ambient, Heavy Metal
Subgenres(s): Black Metal, Dark Ambient
Released: 2014
Length: 64 minutes
Language(s): N/A
Label(s): Avantgarde Music

Track List:

01. Dark 4.18
02. Dark 4.19
03. Dark 4.20

Dark Space Dark Space III I Cover

Dark Space Dark Space III I Cover

Darkspace Darkspace III I Review

Darkspace III I is the fourth album by Swiss black metallers Darkspace. Aside from every album having similar cover art work and following the same numerical sequence for song titles, they also repeat the same challenging run time with overly long songs blended together by using dark ambient segments. On the surface this description makes Darkspace sound as though they’re following the same rigid pattern as their older output, which begs the question of what’s new?

Perhaps the most obvious change is in the recording quality because while Darkspace still insist on overloading the listener on high-density distortion, it doesn’t bare the same intensity of their earlier output and with Dark 4.19, their sound is refined to a significantly more accessible style that relies on simple and repetitive guitar riffs between the prevalent buzz-saw guitar and muffled blasting drum sections that can often go on for minutes at a time, which Dark 4.18 will acquaint you with soon enough.

All three band members are credited for vocal duties but this is by far the most irrelevant part of the album because not only are they so sparsely arranged throughout these monstrously long songs, they are also completely unintelligible and buried under a mountain of distortion so it’s impossible to make anything of them. The only exception to this is the use of a small sample from the film 2010: The Year We Make Contact on Dark 4.20

It’s also worth noting that this album is effectively a singular song broken down into three parts which are then stitched back together through the use of dark ambiance. In spite of the ambition and overall length of Darkspace III I, it would be a far cry to call this progressive metal due to the sheer repetition (if nothing else) and if it was to be cut down then you could easily have an album at half the length and twice the replay value.

In short it’s best to say that this is business as usual for Darkspace. Existing fans will probably be delighted by it and for everyone else it’s going to be a question of being able to put time aside to listen to it uninterrupted.

Performers:

Zorgh: Bass, vocals
Zhaaral: Guitar, vocals
Worth: Guitar, vocals

External Links:

Darkspace Homepage
Darkspace on Wikipedia
Darkspace III I on Wikipedia