Tag Archives: new wave

The Present Moment – The High Road

Some albums really do need to come with a warning. In the case of The High Road by The Present Moment, it would read a little something like: This album may cause withdrawl symptoms from the slightly dizzying effects of strobe lights; the dusty, lung-filling scent produced by smoke machines and the general heart-palpitation-inducing atmosphere of night clubs. It’s true, I’m a few years past the socially acceptable age of clubbing, but I very nearly grabbed my last pair of these and hit the town after listening to this.

Hailing from LA, artist Scott Milton has produced an album that, in terms of musical scope, fairly well epitomises that night club scene, the kind where nary a braindead pop hit is heard and music doesn’t just add to the ambience, it is the ambience – and the people are thriving on it.

The primary forces of The High Road draw on some of the more subversive elements of that scene – namely dark wave, goth and industrial. Opening with the nicely ominous ARRIVAL, an intro glazed with drone, the tone is set for a slightly jaded, occasionally cynical eye to be cast from the observervational point of a dark corner of the room, while those being observed remain completely oblivious as the beat goes on.

Tracks such as No Pieces Fit and the title track itself, The High Road, lean more towards synth numbers with subdued melodies and energetic rhythms, though things do get a little more sinister and occasionally aggresive. From the murky, droning bass in EMILY, to the outright frustration displayed on THE DAMAGE IS LOVED, where the frantic industrial core drives it to the point vehement despair.

The High Road, at the very least, should be played loud – much louder than is necessary to annoy the neighbours so that you can’t hear them knocking on the door. But for my money, it needs to be heard in that other place – the place where darkness and light coexist in the flash of a bulb, curls of smoke obscure and frame the dance floor, and where the energy isn’t just directed by the music, it’s responsible for creating it.

The High Road is available in a limited edition of 100 phsyical copies, which you can purchase via Desire Records; or you can download the album from Bandcamp.

S4E

Advertisements

The Liar Script – Days Like Minutes, Minutes Like Years

I’ve mentioned elsewhere recently that lately I seem to be having a bit of a bout of old skoolism. More specifically, I’ve been digging up a bunch of old albums and rediscovering all those great songs I remember from the 80’s and 90’s. Which might be a little obvious to anyone who recognises at least a few of those album covers over on the left.

These things are generally cyclical, I presume, and has less to do with a disenchantment with current music and more that sometimes you just suddenly remember how great all that stuff was and need to hear it again. I mustn’t be the only one, considering the recent shoegaze revival.

If, like me, you always leant more towards the gothic, post-punk and/or new wave side of things, then chances are that – also like me – you’ll dig what San Francisco’s four-piece post-punk outfit The Liar Script have been up to. Relatively new, at least on my radar, The Liar Script give an assured dark and broody nod to all the classic elements that made gothic post-punk bands like The Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division and Bauhaus, well, classic. Offering consistently solid tracks that are fresh-sounding with touches of the familiar, the current 6-track album-to-be Days Like Minutes, Minutes Like Years is a sure-fire cure for old-skoolism if you’re suffering from it, or a perfect addition to your library if your’e a post-punk fetishist still revelling in it.

Take a listen to one of my latest favourites, Ghosts.

The Liar Script and Days Like Minutes, Minutes Like Years, as well as a two-track EP titled Twisting the Way (which features a cover of The Sound‘s Winning) can be found on Bandcamp. Pay no mind to notions of  new or old  school music, just pay them a visit and check out some great music. 😉

S4E


Low Sea – Las Olas

When it comes to music purchases, there’s a few things I can’t resist and will inevitably cause me to spend my hard earned $$ with hardly a second thought…

  • Low and/or one-off production runs
  • Nifty packaging
  • Self-released CDs

Any one of them may pique my interest, combine all three and it’s virtually guranteed I’ll be suckered in.  Well, assuming the music is to my liking. Recent purchase Las Olas by Irish duo Low Sea gets bonus points for the artwork on their awesome debut, released a few months ago.

Las Olas by Low Sea

It might not be the most elaborate packaging around, but for my money (a very modest €9.95 which included P&H) it sure is nice and effective. 😉

But enough about the pretty, Low Sea create some great music, too.

Las Olas is a swirl of lo-fi shoegaze, new wave, post-punk, dream pop and electronica, with a bit of ethereal, fuzzy psychedelia added to the mix, and for the most part the combo is measured just right. Influences, or camparisons to, have included such artists as Mazzy Star, Jesus and Mary Chain and Spacemen 3, but I’d like to add in a smidge o’ The Cure and – every now and then – some old school Transvision Vamp.

Leading track for the album is Never Yours (which, if you’re so inclined, can be downloaded for free via Pitchfork), a track that builds slowly, steadily and distantly – a bit like you’re listening to the song underwater, with the sound gradually rising from the depths until it near smacks you in the face with the disdainful tone of the lyrics – it’s cooler than it sounds, trust me. Other notable highlights for me are Couldn’t Help Myself, Save My Soul and Sidewalk.

All in all, I think Low Sea have chosen a particularly appropriate name – I urge you to immerse yourself  into their slightly murky depths where you can drift happily on waves of etheral, dreamy noise, all the while bobbing your head to the consistent rhythm, and every now and then you’ll get rocked. 😉

Visit their online shop to buy that nifty, limited edition CD version.

Or buy the album in MP3 format from CD Baby. (Also available on iTunes).

S4E