Ghost Cult caught up with Billy Howerdel (also of a perfect circle) to discuss his new solo album – What Normal Was (Alchemy Records, Rise Records, BMG). Billy discusses his career up to now, the choice to use his own name instead of Ashes Divide, letting his 1980s influences fly on the new album, his upcoming tour dates, and some plans for a perfect circle too. Continue reading
De Arma’s new three-track EP Nightcall marks something of a turning point for the Swedish gothic rock band. Following their 2021 album Strayed in Shadows, the band have now signed a multi-album deal with Silent Future Recordings, for whom Nightcall is the first offering.
YouTuber Anthony Vincent is at it again with another 10 Second Songs Video! Watch Guns N Roses mega-hit ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ performed in the styles of Lady Gaga, Rammstein, Billie Eilish, Periphery, The Smiths, Amy Winehouse, Alice In Chains, Celtic Folk, Bluegrass, Eurobeat, Bollywood, Lizzo, James Brown, Korn, Aerosmith/Run DMC and more!Continue reading
The new chapter in The Transformers Movie series, Bumblebee is out now. Starring actress and pop singer Hailee Steinfeld, the music in the film has a decidedly 1980s sound with songs from Bon Jovi, Sammy Hagar, The Smiths, Tears For Fears, Duran Duran, Rick Astley, Howard Jones and more heard in the film. The main theme of the film is performed by Steinfeld herself. Check out the trailer and soundtrack now. Continue reading
Matt Skiba is very busy these days. He’s fronted Alkaline Trio for close to two decades and also dabbled in side projects like Heavens and The Hell. In case you didn’t know, he’s also currently filling in for Tom Delonge in Blink 182.
And because apparently the devil makes good use of idle hands Skiba just released KUTS (Superball Music) with The Sekrets. The Sekrets almost being a supergroup for the Alternative Press crowd as it also features AFI bassist Huntar Burgan and My Chemical Romance’s Jarrod Alexander on drums.
Are you still with me? Good, because if you are a fan of any of those aforementioned groups then you are in for a pleasant surprise with KUTS.
The formula here hasn’t drastically changed. It’s simple, yet effective songwriting mated to a bright, but not overbearing mix. And that’s not to say that 2012s Babylon or Haven’t You EP weren’t good, but The Sekrets are starting to stretch their sound a little more as opposed to sticking with traditional pop-punk compositions. While there still are bits pf punk fire from time to time like on opener ‘Lonely and Kold’ and ‘She Said’ it seems that Skiba and his cohorts have been revisiting their The Smiths, The Cure, and Echo & The Bunnymen LPs.
This more post-punk approach really sets in on the second half of KUTS. Songs like ‘Way Bakk When’ and ‘Hemophiliak’ shift The Sekrets’ emphasis to melancholy as opposed to two minutes of aggression. ‘Never Believe’ and ‘Vienna’ close out the album and finds Skiba further channeling Johnny Marr with simple but haunting music to compliment his almost world-weary vocals.
Skiba finds a way to honor some of his musical heroes without it coming across as just a love letter to the late 70s and early 80s. But then again the man has time for what seems like 400 other musical projects. Not sure how he does it, but hopefully he won’t stop soon.
Oh, Jesus. Richmond, Virginia has proved a fertile ground for the heavier end of metal over the last two or three years, but the cheesy 80s synth and tinny-sounding drums that overshadow Silaluk (6131), the début three-track EP from quartet Shadow Age, sadly give me all the wrong kind of chills.
Changing their name from Colony some months ago, their ethos has remained post-Punk yet the feel loses some of that intensity. The rapid bass of the opening title track underpins coldly mellow strings, while lacklustre yet melodic vocals, a cross between Barney Sumner and Morrissey, enforce the pervading Mancunian air. Sadly, save for the lead shimmers and slightly more urgent delivery of ‘A Portrait of a Young Man Drowning’, the first two tracks have more of the Indie / Pop of New Order than the angular, piercing swagger of forefathers Joy Division.
It’s the booming drums and Post-rock leadwork of the moody, balladic closer ‘Innocence’ that finally give this outing a bit of steel. The building swathes of pensive atmospherics take the listener into Shoegaze territory, that Smiths vocal link ever more apparent and lightly dusted over the emotive instrumentals which are evocative of the heady days when both U2 and The Sisters of Mercy were both capable of appealing to the harder rockers among us. The sound that Shadow Age are peddling is indeed an attractive one in many respects, but overall it’s missing a row of teeth which would generate real interest outside the NME readership.
Psalm Zero is the last offering of the Canadian label Profound Lore Records and, once again, they hit the nail in the head (please do not forget about the amazing Artificial Brain’s Labyrinth Constellation that was also released by the label). This time around with Psalm Zero, a project that unites two great musicians and artists: Charlie Looker (Extra Life and Zs) and Andrew Hock (Castevet). Two musicians, two artists that have pushed the boundaries and delivered art of higher level. More often than we would like to admit, projects with members of known bands (if you don’t know them it’s your problem) fail because the members of those projects are afraid of facing with each-others style, influences and artistic output. Well, that doesn’t happen with Psalm Zero. With their debut full-length album The Drain, they face each other and there’s an enormous clash which makes the album such an enormous piece.
The first thing to make an impression on the listener its how the harsh vocals of Andrew Hock face the beautiful, overly dramatic – just imagine Morrissey (The Smiths) singing on and old, beautiful and huge cathedral and you will have an idea how profound, romantic and heartbreaking Hock’s vocals are – making a game of power sometimes and other times just a simple and incredible beautiful harmony like if they were meant to be together. The other thing is the all atmosphere of the record: perhaps the best description is post-punk industrialized that operates in this all spectrum of melancholy being sometimes just mournful other times just fuckin’ heavy with nothing on its mind other that pure and utterly rage. Seven songs and a record with just thirty eight minutes of running time, The Drain is an incredible and amazing introduction into their universe. There have been a lot of projects lately that are based on the 80s post-punk sonority, Psalm Zero are just one of most, if not the most, interesting projects of them all. Another pearl at the end of the ocean. Addictive and exciting.