Posts Tagged ‘single reivew’

Independent – 1st October 2021

James Wells

If emerging from lockdown seems to suggest that the pandemic and all the darkness associated with it is over, you’d be mistaken. People have suffered deep psychological trauma as a result of isolation, of anxiety, of division, of loss.

The new single from dark electronic duo MAN1K1N is a testament to all of this, as we learn that it was ‘conceived as a reaction to a personal loss and a year and a half of solitude. It’s a time capsule of several isolating moments’. Such time capsules are important as a reminder that there is always something else, something more.

Speaking about the track, they say, “The heavy solitude of this past year during quarantine was a poignant influence in the moment this song exists in. Too often, suicidal ideation is regarded as a trope. But the anguish felt in those private moments is threatening and devastatingly lonely… We wanted this song to speak to that without glorifying an end, or without being overly direct. It is a trope mired in heavy familiarity that we wanted to capture. We invite the listener to draw their own conclusions and inspire conversation.”

It’s well-realised, a dark mid-paced industrial stomper with an insistent beat, but with deep layers of atmosphere through which pour all the pain, all the anguish, the torment, and the turmoil. Channelling and finding a release for those dark moments is always the better outcome, and this also stands as a message of hope to others, that there is something on the other side: in time it will pass. In the meantime, trying is its own reward.

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23rd July 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

The new release from Dutch duo Vaselyne, consisting of singer Yvette Winkler and musician and producer Frank Weyzig is sold as a maxi-single, and sure enough, with the track accompanied by instrumental and demo versions, it does replicate the feel of the old 12”, which in time became the CD single.

If I’m habitually ambivalent about versions and remixes, it’s because they often feel like it’s an attempt to eke out a limited amount of material over the most space, and back in the day – the day being the late 80s and through most of the 90s – as a completist collector of a number of bands, I’d feel a bit swizzed over B-sides consisting of acoustic versions etc spanning multiple formats, and much preferred the first half of the 80s when the 12” single often meant no more than an additional B-side not on the 7”, or at most, an extended version, and there as only a 7” and 12” on offer, rather than a 7”, 12”, limited 12” and likely a standard and limited CD, all with different tracks, plus a cassette single that was likely the same as the 7” but well, you couldn’t just leave it, could you? Especially if it was in a nice card slipcase or a cover like a cigarette packet.

I digress, just a little. Firmly rooted in the brooding corners of theatrical gothic rock, the piano-led ‘Waiting to Exhale’ is six minutes of poised, dramatic splendour, a work of melancholic beauty. Yvette’s vocal are rich, bordering on the operatic in places, although never overdone: there’s no bombastic emoting here, just controlled reflection. The production is full, but again, uncluttered, not over the top. In this respect, there isn’t much difference in the song’s evolution from the demo to the final version, other than the fact that the final version is fuller, more polished, but with no loss of resonance.

And if it invites comparisons to Evanescence, this is perhaps the key difference: Vaselyne keep things real and resist the overblown, and in doing so, render the more understated emotional qualities more sincere-sounding. A mournful string scrapes across the layered vocal and carries the listener into a space of aching reflection.

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The Secret Warehouse of Sound Recordings – 29th June 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

The thing that fades with the morning is the night, the hours of darkness in which so many of us find ourselves, if not sleeping, in contemplation or otherwise tormented with thoughts, while others find the memories of the night before receding with the sunrise. And what is so often vivid in those dark hours becomes hazy, intangible, and moved further out of reach with every hour that passes. And it’s that sense of loss, of the passing, of an absence that permeates ‘Fading with the Morning’ with a palpable ache.

Over the course of five finely-crafted minutes, The Beatflux build from a delicate, twinkling guitar intro that’s almost post-rock in its persuasion, into a colossal country-tinged grunger and Enrico Minelli’s gritty vocal has a grainy timbre that’s thick with emotion and a tone that says ‘drunk it, smoked it, lived it’.

Musing on how the ‘Sunlight cuts our eyes, changing hue’ may not be a startlingly poetic or vivid image, but it’s all in the delivery as the band conjure something far more evocative in the moment than on paper. ‘Fading With The Morning’ very much harks back to the sound of Alice in Chains, with a keen sense of melody and a layered subtlety in the arrangement that means it gains momentum as it progresses to truly anthemic scale.

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16th July 2021

James Wells

Here at Aural Aggravation, we may have a predilection for noise and abrasion, but sometimes, we get headaches, sometimes we just get too het up and stressed and life gets so horrible that we need a break. Besides, even pop songs don’t necessarily mean mainstream these days: and without the kind of exposure that propels them to stardom, purveyors of pop can be as underground as the darkest of sludge metal acts.

Bethany Ferrie – 23 and hailing from Glasgow – beings us a piano-led song that’s poppy, but also serious, but without being Coldplay or Keane about it. She does, however, represent a generation of new artists who are emerging with a maturity that belies their years.

On ‘This is Where I Leave You’, Bethanie twists and turns through a gamut of emotional turmoil, and there’s a whole lot of emotional anguish here, but it’s presented delicately and digestibly thanks to a sweetly melodic delivery.

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26th February 2021

It seems only fitting that lo-fi indie duo Videostore should return to the roots that inspired their vaguely nostalgic moniker and the theme for their debut album Vincent’s Picks for their latest lockdown single release with a song which Nathan says was inspired by ‘sitting around watching superhero movies.’

Certainly, inspiration for a lot of art has been coming from closer to home this last year, and most life has been lived vicariously for many of us. Movies provide a much-needed escape when the limits of your life are just four walls, and this punchy, guitar-driven single is exemplary of Videostore’s resourcefulness. Written and recorded just a week ago, accompanied by self-filed footage (mostly shot at home or in local parks in a single day) and assembled by Dave Meyer, it’s once again a strong sell for the DIY methodology that facilitates not only full artistic control but a greatly reduced time-lag between conception and release, ‘Superhero Movies’ celebrates its uncomplicated evolution – Nathan sitting on the sofa with one of his many guitars, parked in front of a laptop, the pair supping wine.

‘This is not my movie’ Lorna sings, increasingly frenzied, as she spirals and spins around, beshaded, in a park somewhere as the guitars fizz and the bass thumps against an insistent drum machine.

And while this is ostensibly an indie tune, the tumultuous distortion of the buzzsaw guitar and the overall production is actually reminiscent of Big Black – in particular their cover of Wire’s ‘Heartbeat’. It’s not entirely pretty, and it’s better for it: ‘Superhero Movies’ packs all the energy, and delivers it with a raw immediacy that really hits the spot.

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23rd October 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

Well, it’s an odd choice of name for a band. Maybe it’s an age thing or a Lincoln thing, but growing up, kecks were underpants. This is why it’s important to consider all aspects and angles when choosing a band name: what does your band name say about you? Still, it’s not as bad as The Front Bottoms.

The Kecks are based in Hamburg, although their members hail from Australia, the UK, Austria, and southern Germany, making them a truly international collective, and ‘All for Me’ is one of those songs where the lyrics don’t seem to entirely connect, a kind of patchwork of images and ideas and expressions that endlessly bounce off one another to convey… well, what, precisely?

It’s not a criticism as such: the same is true of so many lyrics: even boiling down pop greats from Bowie to Duran Duran reveals a lot of songs lack a general cohesion.

‘All For Me’ is a mid-to-low tempo indie tune that’s got hints of The Smiths and early Pulp about it, and somehow, in context, when Lennart Uschmann pours anguish and angst into the lines ‘And I wrote some songs for you / but you would always listen to / all of that white noise in between the radio stations’ it all makes sense somehow, on an instinctive, intuitive level, all of which is anything but pants.

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