Friday, April 30, 2010

Th' Faith Healers - Imaginary Friend (1993)

01 Sparklingly Chime by destroy the scene

02 Heart Fog by destroy the scene

03 See-Saw by destroy the scene

To be honest for years i wrote these guys off without hearing a note of music. why? well i always thought from their name that they were some sort of wilcoesque americana band that was probably dark and full of religious imagery with just that touch of dark country sound not unlike neko case, possibly it sounded like current Dylan. whatever image i came up with in my mind all i knew was that i didn't want to hear it, i had heard enough americana and i didnt need any more soul searching horseshit in my music collection.

i was dead wrong.

they aren't even American. they are from England. early to mid 90s. what got me to check them out was the's noise rock list. both their albums ranked in the top 200 releases and i kind of got a "what the hell?" reaction and listened to a few tracks. it wasn't neccesarily noise rock but it definately had elements. and it turned out to be quite awesome. it predates quite a lot of stuff while taking from it's own time and borrowing from the not so distant past.

a summation of their sound is both easy and hard to describe. they have elements of My Bloody Valentine in some songs, The Breeders and just a lot of the 90s alt girl lead groups in general in others. they have elements of what Pavement would sound like on Brighten the Corners a few years down the road and you can tell Modest Mouse were paying close attention to the guitars. and some of these songs contain all the above elements thrown together. the one trick i notice this band likes to use is dynamics, they learned this mostly from the pixies, the whole quiet to loud thing, except where the pixies were never really that quiet and never really that loud this band truly goes from quiet to LOUD. they also definately have a post rock feel ala slint and rodan but less dark. the lyrics are hard to make out and there is a lot of talk singing. the music is super melodic at tmes(mostly in the singing)

also this band wouldn't be out of place in the whole chill wave lo fi thing going on today.
i highly recommend this for anyone who likes a band who wear their influeneces on their sleeve and who dig out their own special niche due to the time and place of their existence

also the album just plain rocks

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Akitsa - Au Crépuscule De L'espérance (2010)

AKITSA - Les sentinelles by m.r.t
AKITSA - Loyauté by m.r.t
AKITSA - Le dernier putsch by m.r.t
AKITSA - Antithèse by m.r.t

The new Akitsa album on Hospital Productions is another unique slab of weird Black Metal, experimental noise, and odd pop structures mixed into one. I think the band is a one man band from French Canada, but I cannot find much information on them. All I know is that the band is apparently from Canada and the album titles are in French and many of the songs are sung in French. Regardless though, for the past decade this band has been releasing extremely noisy, reverb heavy records that test Black Metal purists because at one point the songs are steeped in black metal aesthetics and sound design, but have more in common with pop rhythms that share more with Cold Cave and the 80s synthpop sound.but the record does feature straight up black metal blast beats (although mixed weird) and rock drum patterns. This sound makes since because Dominick Fernow, who is Prurient and runs Hospital, is a member of Cold Cave. The vocals are also really bizarre because they stray the line between the demonic vocal impersonations that many Black Metal singers use ("Morsure"), while indulging in more melodramatic, but interesting and intense screams that are more akin to Bone Awl ("Cercueil national"), and some French Pop-Rock/Punk delivery ("Loyauté"). Also, the production is steeped in reverberated shit that seems to favor a more mid to high frequency range, with the low frequencies barely coming through on the drums. This type of production is the kind of grimy Black Metal that I tend to gravitate to because of the harshness of the sound, through the level of shitty recording, that adds a certain dirtiness to the music, which makes it sound more brutal and abrasive. The meshing of many genres makes the new Akitsa album a pretty worthwhile listen because the band still seems to be refusing the strictness of the Black Metal sound, while simultaneously carving their own way within the genre. Also, on the track "Vers la mort" the vocals sound like if EYE from the first Boredoms' album Soul Discharge sung on a Black Metal track, which is pretty impressive and strange.