Review: Ah, a real gem of the NYC No Wave era is the focus of Dark Entries attentions here as the stunning Holland Tunnel Dive by ImpLOG is given a more than timely reissue. For the uninitiated out there, ImpLOG were formed by The Contortions band members Don Christensen and Jody Harris under the name ImpLOG, after the former left the iconic No Wave act in 1979, and released just the two records together. The story goes that Christensen's recorded experiments with found sounds, and an array of instruments such as a Univox drum machine and Casio keyboards impressed Lust/Unlust Records founder Charles Ball sufficiently enough to issue two tracks from the submitted demo tape as the Holland Tunnel Dive 12? in 1980. It's remained a highly prized record ever since and this lovingly recreated edition from Dark Entries is a must!
Review: It's always a pleasure to find another release from those well-dressed men: Interpol. That great New York band that defined an era and a sound of their own with a stretch of LPs across the 2000s; from Turn On The Bright Lights all the way to 2010's self-titled triumph. With the release of "A Fine Mess" there's seems to be a new influx of energy dedicated to their 2019 world tour, laced with the group's unique tonic of melancholia, of course. This is undeniably heard on opener "Fine Mess", and at five tracks long it's something of a mini album. Recorded during their time spent in upstate New York with acclaimed producer Dave Fridmann (think Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips and Mogwai), the resulting collection of tracks delivers something of a fiery compliment to the deep and visceral energy heard on their sixth studio album "Marauder". Long live Interpol.
Review: New York City's I Am The Avalanche return with their first new music in six years on Dive. The album came about in 2019, thankfully just before we were all in lockdown, so that didn't hold back the band who have put together another masterful showcase of their melodic punk rock sound. The record is imbued with a message of hope and unity, and of course plenty of angular and squealing guitars, gauzy textures and huge riffs. It will be a fine place of musical solace for fans who have been keen to hear new music for a while, and comes on special heavyweight wax with a full insert.
Baby You Have Travelled For Miles Without Love In Your Eyes (4:29)
Death Engine (7:44)
Absoluta Mollpunkten (2:11)
Depression Tourist (2:31)
Review: Maria Linden and Fredrik Balck present 12 tracks under the I Break Horses moniker, and it couldn't sound much sweeter. Or at least that's true for 50% of what's here (roughly). At the risk of sounding cliched, this is pop with one ear on the dark side, and another on the light. There's redemption and desperation, the Swedish siren's whispered vocal style perfectly suited to either feeling, combined with spectacularly polished instrumentation to render the whole thing a vivid picture of human emotion. Openers 'Turn' and 'Silence' are pretty, delicate little things, but we also have the likes of 'I a r m' - an otherworldly tune up - and 'I'll Be The Death of You', which owes plenty to synth and new wave. Then you get the pared back, pitched down and rather reflective 'I Live At Night' and the spiralling chords and stop you dead atmospherics of 'Death Engine'.
Review: When one considers the American post-rock bands that emerged at the outset of what would become the modern era of the genre, the moment when a once fringe experimental form transitioned into a recognized faction of contemporary alternative music, there are only several still active today. Salt Lake City's I Hear Sirens are a member of that circle, having released their debut EP in 2007, followed by two LPs including 2013's Between Consciousness and Sleep, an album that has achieved a place of high regard with fans. However, the moment of their greatest acclaim has since stood as their culminating statement. But now their highly anticipated new record Stella Mori marks the continuation of their inspired exploration into instrumental music and its power to foster emotional release, invite reflection, reward vulnerability, and become the artistic abstraction of a limitless number of interpretations for each individual listener.
Review: When the bass drops in for the intro of 'Dig In', followed by rolling lead guitar stabs and hooks, you know Leeds' I Like Trains have a very strong record on their hands here. Not that this should surprise anyone who has come across the sometimes surreal, always astute and innovative sort-of-post punks.
Arguably the most uptempo track on the album, it still reeks of melancholy and underdogs - the kind of track made by the stars you didn't see coming. Opening on the growly and pared back 'A Steady Hand', with its shades of electro tucked away behind rough and raucous riffs, you'd be hard pressed to pick anything here that doesn't stand out. 'Patience Is A Virtue' soars into stadia-filling proportions on an echoed, sparse guitar harmony, 'Eyes To The Left' closes out on a sensational piece of abstract piano pop, aided no end by Anika's vocals, which have more than a slight sense of AI machine love about them.
Review: Alt-rock, electro and new wave fusionist IAMX - real name Chris Corner) - has spent the last 16 years building his reputation via stylish, synthesizer-laden works. It's something of a surprise then to find that "Echo Echo", his latest album, dispatches with electronics almost entirely. Instead, it sees him serve up radically reworked, re-recorded acoustic versions of tracks from his bulging catalogue built around softly-spun folk guitars, simmering strings and sparse orchestration. For those used to his very particular leftfield electro-pop sound, it takes a little getting used to, but it's well worth persevering: in some instances, his songs sound even better (and certainly more fragile and emotive) when they're delivered in this most traditional manner.