Album Review | Alternative F̷acts V/A - A Shoegaze Resistance Compilation (DKFM Shoegaze)

ARTIST: Alternative Facts V/A

RELEASE: A Shoegaze Resistance Compilation

RELEASE DATE: 17th March 2017

RECORD COMPANY: DKFM Shoegaze

Normally we don't cover compilation releases here at Primal Music. And it takes something really, really worthwhile and selfless for us to commit to reviewing one in full. But every once and a while something truly spectacular arrives in our inbox that is very very difficult to ignore. 'Alternative Facts' is a brand new eighteen track compilation of shoegaze & dream pop artists standing in opposition to tyranny. Half of the musical contributions to this compilation are new and exclusive, never heard before now. All proceeds from this album will be split evenly between Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union & is the brainchild of Cory Osborne (Lightfoils/Panda Riot) & Greg Wilson (DKFM Shoegaze Radio) with support of dozens of talented musicians and graphic artists, and released as the only label issue from our brothers & sisters over on DKFM Shoegaze Radio. The compilation gets it's full release on March 17th 2017 and is available to pre-order right now from dkfmshoegaze.bandcamp.com

This compilation opens up on a high, swirling deftly in a hazy ball of beautiful noise. ‘Whimsical’ have just released their latest sublime long player ‘Sleep To Dream’ via Saint Marie Records and here they unleash ‘Had I Known’ a noisy (previously unreleased) brute that sails effortlessly through growling instrumentation & tumbling waves of reverberation, topped off by the beautiful almost ethereal vocal skills of Krissy Vanderwoude. Up next, Milwaukee based ‘Brief Candles’ have lifted a previously unheard track from their forthcoming new album and supplied it specifically for this very worthwhile compilation. ‘Alarm Fatigue’ jangles and shines like a sonic beacon, filled with beautifully intense driving instrumentation, shimmering vocal lines and brilliantly executed composition. The ever amazing ‘Lightfoils’ appear here too with a huge track entitled ‘Retrace’ featuring Rebecca Scott on vocal duties. This track soars through blissful layers of impressionistic lead lines drenched in resonating reverb & underscored by that rambling bass line. Definitely one of the highlights on this release for me.

San Francisco based Lauren Grubb aka ‘To The Wedding’ takes a track from her brand new soon to be released EP entitled ‘Here And Now’, her first new music since 2014’s immense ‘Silver Currents’ and supplies it solely for this comp. ‘Brightest Light’ growls as it enters earshot trembling on a bedrock of noisy bass frequencies and an explosive percussive attack. Lauren’s vocals are addictively engaging as they meld effortlessly with screaming lead lines and sublime feedback laden instrumentation. The ever brilliant ‘Stargazer Lillies’ have taken time out of a busy touring schedule to record a brand new, never heard before track specifically for this compilation release. ‘Lets Kill Time’ is seriously addictive with it’s droning guitars and swirling instrumentation that deftly circumnavigates that sublime vocal line whilst the immense Californian based husband & wife team of Jenny & Joseph Andreotti aka ‘Fawns Of Love’ bring their dreamy brand of lo-fi shoegaze to bare with a brand new track entitled ‘Please’, hot on the heels of their recently released debut album 'Who Cares About Tomorrow'.

Chicago based ‘Panda Riot’ are primed to release their latest long player ‘Infinity Maps’ sometime in late spring. They have supplied a pre-release track specifically for this compilation and ‘Gold Lines’ doesn’t disappoint. It explodes into earshot held fast in a swirling ball of effervescent guitars and repetitive drum patterns as beautifully executed vocalisations float effortlessly into the ether underscored by throbbing bass lines and brilliant production. Up next, noisy San Francisco based shoegaze/dream pop outfit ‘Balms’ have graciously supplied a previously unheard track entitled ‘Nothing In’, lifted off their forthcoming debut full length release. ‘Nothing In’ sways and drives through streaming waves of explosive instrumentation that gyrates effortlessly around that highly addictive vocal track. This is so good and it leaves me in no doubt whatsoever that ‘Balms’ are definitely ones to watch out for in 2017. Wavy Chicago based ‘Lazy Legs’ are represented here with the shimmering ‘Crush’ a track that boils and rages in reverb laden splendour deftly undercut by that beautifully intense vocal line whilst California based ‘SHEER’ have donated a track from their soon to be released six track EP ‘Psychic Quarry’ penned in for release on April 28th 2017. ‘Room’ swerves into earshot raging blissfully in a tangled sonic ball filled with screaming lead guitars, throbbing bass lines, explosive drum patterns and a stunning vocal track. I’m really looking forward to hearing the full EP in April.

Dan Ballek (Mr. K’s Dream) & Paul Lopez (Spell 336, Sana Obruent) aka ‘Angel Falls’ supply a newly remastered version of ‘Touch The Sun’, a trembling reverb laced piece with steadying percussion, upfront vocals and a soaring chorus line whilst the ever reliable ‘The Foreign Resort’ have handed over the beautifully entrancing ‘Skyline-Decay’ for this compilation and it doesn’t disappoint. Hypnotic synth lines lead you into a false sense of security here and its not long before the band unleash a blistering electronically charged post-punk standard underscored by hazy shoegaze moments and a brilliantly executed vocal performance. ‘AEVE CVE’ is a new side project by Preston Maddox (Bloody Knives, S T F U) and he offers up a brand new track here. ‘Glassrain’ is explosive. It’s a menacing, electronically charged drum & bass behemoth with an undercurrent of growling bass frequencies and delicious sequenced synth lines. It’s fascinatingly euphoric nature will be a shock to most but what I’m really impressed with here is Preston's ability to experiment with different music genres to create brand new sonic adventures to explore.

Seattle based ‘Blackpool Astronomy’ are a band who don’t usually float my boat musically. They are however represented here with a rare alternate version of a track entitled ‘Safe Place’ lifted off their forthcoming new LP penned in for release later in 2017. Up next, the immense Minneapolis based ‘Chatham Rise’ bring their magical brand of psych induced shoegaze/space-rock to the party with a track entitled ‘How Do You Sleep’, a jangling cacophony of woozy reverb laced frequencies that float and twirl through layers of hypnotic instrumentation and gloriously hazy vocalisations. Alaska based ‘A Thousand Hours’ are a band who have peaked my attention of late and I’m on record as saying that at times they remind me of seminal US based outfit ‘For Against’ with their brand of driving post-punk hued shoegaze. For this compilation they give up the brilliant ‘Soon’, a shimmering effervescent piece drenched in reverb and overlaid with stunning vocals, soaring lead lines and throbbing bass frequencies. Definitely a track to float away with and having heard their forthcoming debut album in full I can safely say that it will be on many a music reviewers end of year list for 2017.

The compilations penultimate piece comes from Seattle based experimental noise pop outfit ‘Charlatan’ entitled ‘Still Life’ and it’s lifted off their latest ten track release ‘Supermax’. ‘Still Life’ is brash, angry and atmospheric. It swerves into earshot gyrating wildly in a feedback laden ball of fuzz and sequenced percussion, collectively drenched in stunning reverb. It’s vocals scream anti-establishment with their punk rock leanings, riding a turbulent wave of fizzing electronics. Bloody good stuff if you ask me. The closing track on this mammoth collection comes from the ever reliable Philadelphia based ‘Stellarscope’. ‘This Is How It Ends’ is an exclusive track specifically supplied for this compilation. It screams into the ether in a raging cloud of dissonance and discord. Soaring guitars and pulsating drum patterns envelope the instantly recognisable vocalisations of Tom Lugo, Stellarscope’s now legendary guitarist/frontman thus closing out a very interesting compilation of artists.

Recommended!!! 

5/5

LINKS:

dkfmshoegaze.bandcamp.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney has spent the last four years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.


NEW VIDEO PREMIERE | The Morelings - Less

Philadelphia based 'The Morelings' have re-created that late 80's post-punk & dream-pop infused shoegaze sound that hark's back to oldschool musical stalwarts such as The Cure, Cocteau Twins, Secret Shine & For Against, with relative ease. With stunning vocal arrangements sitting on top of epic wall's of effected guitar's, throbbing bass line's and solid drum's they exploded onto the already amazing underground Philadelphia based post-punk / shoegazing live scene & raised the bar with their epic soundscapes. 'The Morelings' self released their stunning debut EP 'No Sign' to the masses on January 8th 2015 and it instantly became a firm favourite here at Primal Music & Radio. They have just announced a plethora of live shows throughout May, June & July with some brilliant artists such as: Winkie, Intimatchine, Creation Myth, Exiles, Modern Merchant, Spirit System, Lubec, Myrrias, Lightfoils, New Canyons, Tiny Fireflies & 800beloved and we are very pleased to announce The Primal Music Blog's  premier of their brand new video directed by esteemed film maker Bob Sweeney for their amazing track 'Less' & we also caught up with the band and asked them about the video's inception, direction & their future plans. Check it out:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_NTDNJr6aM&w=853&h=480]

CAN YOU SAY SOMETHING ABOUT HOW YOU DECIDED WHAT DIRECTION TO TAKE WITH THIS VIDEO & WHAT INFLUENCED ITS STYLE?

When we first met up with filmmaker Bob Sweeney, the conversation began with Jean-Luc Godard. We knew we wanted to work with Bob, but had no idea that we shared an interest in French New Wave cinema, so we were thrilled with that. Films like Breathless and Last Summer in Marienbad entered into the discussion. Jean Vigo’s 1930s L’Atlante informed the process as well. We weren’t interested in a linear narrative for this song and we knew we didn’t want singing.

YOU USE A PINHOLE EFFECT AND A MONOCHROMATIC BLACK AND WHITE PALETTE FOR THE VIDEO. WHAT IS THE THOUGHT BEHIND THIS?

We were aiming for something artistic, something both beautiful and ethereal, but also timeless and placeless. We wanted to build a layered dreamscape that was not unlike entering into a memory again and again. The pinhole and the particular monochromatic tint of the film helped to frame that, creating a kind of constrained, fragmented view and a dreamlike feel. 

NOW THAT YOU HAVE YOUR DEBUT EP OUT & A VIDEO UNDER YOUR BELT WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE SPRING / SUMMER?

We make our NY debut next week (May 14) at a new venue called Alphaville with a killer lineup: Winkie, Intimatchine (L.A.) and Creation Myth. In June we have another NY show at Cake Shop with Exiles and Modern Merchant. Then we will head down to North Carolina to join Spirit System for their EP release show just prior to stepping into the studio for a week to begin tracking our first LP.  In July we’ll be in Chicago with New Canyons, Lightfoils and Tiny Firefiles and then, before heading back east, we’ll play Detroit with 800beloved. We’re beyond excited to get on the road and share the stage with these extremely talented bands.

LINKS:

themorelings.com

themorelings.bandcamp.com

soundcloud.com/the-morelings

facebook.com/themorelings

instagram.com/themorelings

twitter.com/themorelings

themorelings.tumblr.com