ARTIST: Nest Egg
RELEASE: Nothingness Is Not A Curse
RELEASE DATE: 13th April 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records
Back in 2015, after releasing a handful of tapes and singles, North Carolina-based minimalistic kosmische/psych trio 'Nest Egg' unleashed their mind-expanding debut album 'Respectable' to the masses. With a repetitious but controlled sonic assault filled to the brim with swirling analogue sounds, cavernous guitars, droning synths and metronomic percussion, reminiscent at times to the sonic conjuring's of Moon Duo, Föllakzoid or Throw Down Bones, the band have returned with their sophomore release, the brilliantly titled - 'Nothingness Is Not A Curse'. Officially released back on the 13th April 2018 via the good folks over at Fuzz Club Records this hypnotic collection of tracks is a heaving, sweaty pulse of instantaneously addictive, swirling repetitious noise. 'Nothingness Is Not A Curse' is available to buy/download right now on various formats from either fuzz club.com or fuzzclub.bandcamp.com respectively.
Nothingness Is Not A Curse by Nest Egg
The album opens up swirling menacingly in an atmospheric haze filled with majestic synth, droning organ, shimmering tambourine and the metronomic pulse of percussion. At first ‘DMTIV’ presents itself like some kind of garage-psych behemoth but instinctively drives a sonic furrow into the ether as it’s krautrock like tendencies are brought to bear thus beginning it’s brilliant sonic circumnavigation of a repetitive beat adding various instrumental fancies into the melee with each repetitious turn. The chug of fret noise joins a hail of screeching guitar stabs, both attacking the senses at different stages as those malicious shakers join in and quickly pull haunting vocalisations into the mix to ride the turbulent waves into a rather distinctive post-punk hued lead break. ‘DMTIV’ is a triumph, a blistering opening salvo and wonderful jumping off point for this album. Up next, ‘Print-Process-Repeat’ jangles into earshot riding a swirling organ drone accompanied by the strum from a glistening guitar progression. Thunderous drums rock back and forth on waves of throbbing bass frequencies as that sullen vocal arrives, meandering in and out of woozy lines of lead as the ever constant swirl of organ rises and falls just below the mix.
‘Denied Doctrine’ charges into the ether strapped to a turbulent instrumental drone and that metronomic beat. The chug of guitars sways malevolently on a driving bass progression as the vocals arrive and are lashed to within an inch of their lives by stinging lead lines and breathtaking layers of reverberation. There’s a hypnotic tinge to this track that is instantly addictive right up until it absolutely loses it mind and explodes into a massive wave of surging noise and meanders on into it’s fantastic finale. ‘Denied Doctrine’ is sublime and another definite highlight for me on this release. Up next, ‘Long Night Outside’ drives into earshot on a repetitive bass signature and those charging drums. Abrasive guitars join in at sporadic intervals as it’s vocal lines arrive steeped in darkly atmospheric reverberation and add to to the overall feel of the track. There’s modern psych at the core of proceedings here but it’s mingled with post-punk and riotous rock & roll to create a heady sonic brew.
The albums penultimate piece entitled ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ is a burgeoning sonic monster filled with swirling synth, pounding percussion and humming lines of bass. Reverb tinged vocalisations ride the tremulous sonic wave as collectively, the instrumentation explodes into something more akin to punk-rock. ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ is absolutely captivating, utterly absorbing and a bloody marvellous track to behold. The album closes out with it’s self titled track. ‘Nothingness Is A Curse’ tumbles into the sonic arena on a repetitive percussive assault as atmospheric drones and electronic theatrics steeped in reverb conjure up ghostly sonic reflections and those noisy bass frequencies add intense menace. Explosive chord changes accompany sullen vocalisations into the breech as soaring lines of lead guitar oscillate and glide in and out of simmering synth and noisy delay laden progressions. There is an almost cinematic ending to this track that is worth your time all by itself and it closes out what is another stomping Fuzz Club Records release.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream-pop, postpunk & 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 genres 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.
ARTIST: Jenny Besetzt
RELEASE: Tender Madness
RELEASE DATE: 15th July 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Friends Records
Tender Madness is a full length album by North Carolina’s Jenny Besetzt, a group who uses fast tempo in contrast with dark sounds to create deep and vast post-punk that sounds as if it was conceived at the beginning of the post-punk era, but was recorded much, much later. Over the course of eight tracks the band do little to confront the listener; an intelligent and crafty move… Instead they pull their music back from distinct definition and throw very few punches. You’re probably thinking that’s an insult, but it’s very much the opposite. Modern post-punk bands try so very hard for sounds and songs to be noticed… They throw soundscape after soundscape, turn instruments up louder, sing the lyrics in Japanese, play with their guitars not plugged into an amp and what not just so the audience, or the reviewer, says something like ‘this album is really in your face’ or ‘there is a lot going on in this album’. Sure they may be compliments, but when so many bands do it, it’s refreshing to hear a post-punk outfit sketch out songs and play them as they are… You know, without a million different guitar lines that all sound muted because the kick drum is turned up so loud.
Tender Madness by Jenny Besetzt
Tender Madness opens with ‘Authorless Speech’ a fantastically dark and shoegaze-inspired song that starts with slow and neat dream pop guitar after which fantastic double tap drums enter, but only distantly, in the background of the music. Through this brilliant piece of song writing, Jenny Besetzt begin to display the kind of musical colouring they fluently practice possess; firstly with the magnificent post-punk sound and then with the heavy, deep and baritone vocals, which brings the song onto a whole other level. Black As The Night purrs on a beautiful vocal, it's the albums entire vocal section that really holds everything together fantastically, especially the instrumental riffs and the beautiful underpinned synths. Such amazing synth tone may be heard on ‘Dorothy Everything’s Fine’, one of the albums true highlights; inspired by darkwave dance tracks and slow, classic post-punk guitar with bass that is drowned out by the aforementioned synth sounds during the chorus. Soft spoken, murmuring, deep vocals float heavily within the mix and the whole thing sounds like a true reflection of a style of sound that so many bands have tried to reach for but just end up sounding generic within. An average interlude follows, entitled ‘Kanizsa Triangle’ which is built predominantly around a choir like synth piece that plays softly with a few samples chipping in the background.
‘Lunar Talks’ opens with what sounds like a heavy metal riff, but eventually seeps back into a dream pop style tune. Over the course of the song, the band build up an alternative, dream like riff before splintering back into heavy, industrial sounds of the beginning giving the song a wild and spinning feeling. Perhaps the greatest song on the album is the playful, dreamy and utterly beautiful title track; its beginning is that of a loose, pictorial dream sketch, utilized through soaring synths and guitars. This song is the closest the band get to what some may refer to as ‘nostalgia’ and they do so with a kind of elegance and grace that never broaches textured simplicity. Eventually the song gets more downtempo and situates itself back in the light of the bands previous sound, but all the while it never exceeds its trance-like beauty and swift, easy appearance. Both Tender Madness & ‘The Rabbit’ acts as a sense of ease and ambience to the dark and heavy post-punk songs that preceded them. The Rabbit features lighter vocals, a brighter and more melodic sound courtesy of the indie-inspired guitar plucking and the pulsating soundscape of synth under the mix. One should also listen closely to the enthralling instrumental outro to the song, which crescendos into a fantastic math/post-rock inspired piece of guitar and drum playing. This tiny piece of music, enough to only fill a small portion of the song, is symbolism of absolute musical genius; subtle, engaging, alternative and absolutely captivating in its presentation.
And that’s that. But before you go and enjoy these songs on all their post-punk merit and dark but sweet musical textures, there is something more to be perceived about this album. Go out and find a modern post-punk album and I am sure that the band will go deeper and darker as the album goes on. Either that or they will chuck a lengthy, epic, synth and soundscape filled piece on the tail end of the release. Well, Jenny Besetzt have done neither of these. They’ve instead started with the dark and substantial alternative musings and drawn out the ending to something else, to something more; something that sounds more illuminated. With this in mind (and what was written before about how the band have presented the songs as they are) this album beats out on being another generic post-punk revival album; offering a neat conceptual reward for the listener by showcasing lighter songs on the end of the album. All in all the production and mixing are good and the performances are brilliant, but the real crux of the pleasures of this album are held within the band’s song writing ability, which at times sounds as though it is throwing a swift middle finger up to all the clichéd alternative bands out there. Where others would try too hard, they have not… And this shows itself simply and neatly through performance, concept and sound.
Tender Madness is available to buy/download right now from jennybesetzt.bandcamp.com
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
by Primal Music