ALBUM REVIEW | deardarkhead - Strange Weather

a0473770947_16ARTIST: deardarkhead

RELEASE: Strange Weather

RELEASE DATE: 25th March 2016

RECORD COMPANY: St Marie Records

Experimental, cinematic post-gazers ‘deardarkhead’ formed in Atlantic City, New Jersey, back in 1988. The band have released five recordings on their own label ‘Fertile Crescent Records’ & released the sensational ‘Strange Weather’ , their latest 6 track instrumental, via the wonderful ‘Saint Marie Records’ on March 25th 2016. The band consists of Kevin Harrington on Guitars, Robert Weiss – Drums & bassist Kevin McCauley, who came on board in late 2010 after the departure of longtime singer/bassist Michael Amper! Influenced by Cocteau Twins, The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Chameleons, Joy Division, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Church, The Psychedelic Furs & The Beatles, to name but a few, the overall ‘deardarkhead’ sound can be described as a stunning mixture of old school melodic post-punk, intrinsically intertwined with driving moody psychedelic shoegaze & edged with a beautiful euphoric dream pop swirl. Although completely instrumental, ‘Strange Weather’ oozes style & structure. It soars in just the right places & sulks like a scorned love sick teenager when required.

‘Strange Weather’ opens up with the impressive ‘Falling Upward’. A swirling drone precedes a monstrous build as we’re treated to a post-punk masterclass. Immense drums & throbbing bass lines lead the charge as shimmering reverberating guitar progressions loop and arc all over the musical canvass. Up next, a steadying drum beat that ushers in the jangling early 90’s sounding ‘Sunshine Through The Rain’. This track is packed full of stunning melodic guitar lines that swirl & coil around that impressive drum & bass progression with ease. Although instrumental throughout, you can actually hear in your head just where the vocal parts should be & for me this lets my imagination run wild and adds to the overall expectancy. Track three ‘Juxta Mare’ explodes onto the musical ether with stunning effect. Musically reminiscent at times to the heavier soundscapes created by ‘Lush, Bleach’ or ‘For Against’, ‘Juxta Mare’ swerves through heady shoegaze inspired peaked crescendos & no nonsense hard hitting post-punk lows. A thundering drum pattern firmly fixed to the earth but holding firm to layered, soaring guitars heralds the arrival of ‘March Hares’, track four on this impressive release whilst track five ‘Ice Age’ has soaring atmospheric flair & hints of experimental ambient post-rock coursing through its inner core. The albums closer ‘Thinking Back’ harkens back to the early 1990’s with its sweet, shimmering guitar lines & cymbal heavy drum progressions. Again you can hear the ‘apparitional vocal line’ quite clearly through the intense but insanely beautiful production.

‘deardarkhead’ collectively create beautiful, hazy, experimental soundscapes. The band have previously mentioned on various social media sites their desire to employ a vocalist again at some stage in the future. Im not too sure they need to? For me, I just loved imagining the vocal melody as the music looped and soared through every single chord progression & I personally think that instrumentally they have something really special going on.

‘Strange Weather’ was officially released on 25th March 2016 & is available right now from ‘Saint Marie Records’www.saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com

5/5

LINKS:

saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/darkheads/

twitter.com/deardarkhead

deardarkhead.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish based electronic duo Analogue Wave but also 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. 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.


EP REVIEW | New Politicians - Remission

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ARTIST: New Politicians

RELEASE: Remission

RELEASE DATE: 21/04/15

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Music today has been diluted so much over the years that what we are actually hearing is a sonic soup filled with various musical genre's that represents a modern day equivalent of an original scene. Sometimes in this melting pot of various genres bands get it right & sometimes they fail miserably. Lately there has been a revival (or a rebirth depending on who you ask) of the shoegaze, Dream-Pop & Post-Punk inspired genres with great success all around the globe. Recent releases from unsigned artists in the aforementioned genre's are testament to the fact that the kids are listening to the original creators of these genres of music and are taking on board the influences & philosophies of these first wave bands and using them to their advantage to create something new! I get really excited when I hear a band who actually listen to their influences & don't pigeon hole themselves into one particular musical category. New Jersey based 'New Politicians' are one such band.

'New Politicians' started in late 2012 with Gian Cortese on guitar, keyboards and vocals and his brother Renal Anthony on vocals and guitar. The band, now a four piece with Erik Watson on drums and Winston Mitlo on bass, play Post-Punk, Alternative Rock and are based in Centerville, New Jersey.

November 2013 saw the band releasing their self-produced, sophomore EP entitled 'Drag A City'. This four track release, available to stream & download on their BandCamp Page, earned the band critical acclaim and an army of fans. Their highly anticipated new EP 'Remission' was released on April 21st and it is immense! This band have a full on Post-Punk inspired sound but they dip in & out of shimmering Dream-Pop tipped Shoegaze & Alt-Rock with aplomb. 

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Remission opens up with thundering 'Revelator'. Fans of early Post-Punk will immediately associate themselves with this sound while newer listeners to 'New Politicians' will hear bands such as Interpol, Editors, The Cinematics & White Lies echoing in Renal Anthonys vocal lines. Musically though I can hear The Cure, Bauhaus & Gang Of four coursing through this opening track. Check it out:

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Track 2 is a slower affair. 'Cut A Hole' is edgy & moody with brooding guitar lines and infectious vocal arrangements. This is a very addictive song with catchy, shimmering guitar hooks that bring you in and keep you focused on the track.

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With an almost Dream-Pop inspired flair in the opening guitar lines track 3 heralds the arrival of what is possibly my favourite track on this impressive release! 'Been In The Wars' has touches of Joy Division running through its core but its the reverb drenched guitar lines that dips the tips of this arrangement into something new!  The driving rhythm section and pulsating bass keeps this track thundering to its destination. This is a snapshot of a band in complete control of their sound & its a wonderful thing to listen to. 

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Gone is the driving force of the previous track to be replaced by a regimental beat & really impressive vocal production intertwined with a swirling reverb laced guitar pattern. 'Images' is a great track. Its a well structured track but to me it comes across a bit same, same! And that's not a bad thing either. I simply mean that I'd expect something more from it. It sounds to me like its missing something? Check it out:

[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=1950569280 size=small bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 track=230869745]

 

'Killer On The Mend' floats into the musical ether with its shoegazing esq' guitar swells, repetitive drums & addictive vocal lines intertwined with a maelstrom of reverb soaked sounds, crashing cymbals & immense production. This is a triumphant track that menacingly stalks its listeners from its opening note! This is edge of your seat stuff. Sheer class!

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Track 6 'Remission' opens with traditional shoegazing tendencies represented in its layered guitar effects but its the immense vocal abilities of Renal Anthony that takes this track by the scruff of the neck and leads it into its explosive chorus. Lyrically this band are really impressive but its their songwriting & song structuring that catch this listeners ear. 'Remission' is filled with hook & licks that are so addictive you simply have to continue listening to every single second of it.

[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=1950569280 size=small bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 track=2068739623]

 

The closing track on this impressive release from New Jersey natives 'New Politicians' is spectacular. The bass lines alone will have you hooked from the beginning. The band dip into a Dream-Pop fuelled world of shimmering guitars & full on vocals with 'The Idealist'. A solid drum arrangement keeps this track firmly fixed to the musical landscape while the guitars loop and arc through soaring hooks & swells.

[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=1950569280 size=small bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 track=224961868]

 

'New Politicians' are a band who seem very comfortable in their musical surroundings. They are not afraid to experiment with sound or skip through various musical genre's. Collectively they have some sublime vocal melodies and impressive hooks that are well balanced with their Post-Punk ethos but are not overly exuberant. This is a band in love with music and I believe that for them this is only the beginning. They haven't reached their full potential yet and only time will tell if they ever do. But they have the ability to leave a lasting impression on new listeners & in today's refreshed/rehashed Post-Punk scene that is a good thing.

LINKS:

facebook.com/NewPoliticiansMusic

twitter.com/NewPoliticians

newpoliticiansmusic.com/

newpoliticiansmusic.bandcamp.com/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney
Del Chaney

Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave, but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled 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.