STIFF BUSINESS: The new full length album by Nicholas Mallis, The Final Station, once again bursts to life in full bloom and is packed with notable touchstones he makes his own. For fans of classic, expansive pop of the sort that ran unchecked for a very long time (approximately 1972 through about 1987) and incorporated influences from across the whole of the UK and Europe, as well as significant rhythmic guidance from Jamaican artists of multiple styles, his will fit into your wheelhouse quite nicely. Opening track “Disaster” really tees the album up nicely with its steady rhythm guitar and Brian Eno-perfect descending melody and doubled vocal. Lyrically, the record is timely in its criticisms and observations, but more often than not subsumes these bits into universal themes of the flattening aspects of modernity. To wit: “Forget to wonder/ Forget to dream/ Forget to switch out the laundry…” from “Multiply.” That same song is punctuated with mystery and, ironically, warmth by a stellar but simple melodica line. Even on the hyped-up dance pop of “Catch 2022,” Mallis says, “How many people out there avoid their friends at the grocery store?… How many people out there would rather book a ticket to the moon?” Although I’d hesitate to conclusively paint Mallis and his music with the broad brush of retro-futurism, his deft use of now-classic twists of point-making, both in a musical and literary sense, are a welcome reminder of lessons we’d either forgotten or packed away while being convinced we learned them the first time. Check this out as soon as possible at nicholasmallis.bandcamp.com, and be a fan over at nicholasmallis.bandcamp.com.
BRISTOL CALLING: It seems like a really long time ago when I told y’all about how doomy goth rockers Feather Trade would be touring the UK with Spear of Destiny. Well, that all happened last fall, and the band just released a Live EP from one of the shows on that tour. Simply titled Live From Bristol-The Fleece, the record is a tight collection of six tracks showcasing the throbby and dark tunes the band is known for. Highlights on this particular collection are “Mouthbreather,” “Deadbody” and the anxious slow grinder “Just Like Film.” Stream along at feathertrade.bandcamp.com, and keep up with the gang at facebook.com/feathertrade.
BRING THE NOISE: Psychological horror show Wuornos makes the noise of nightmares, and does so in a way so patently aggressive that the recordings have a vitality to them that similarly structured projects don’t. On the relatively new three-track EP When I Wander From You, Within Me I Find Darkness And Fear, opening track “Don’t Vote” is a shots-fired salvo of the first degree. While that particular track maintains a steady pulse throughout, the next track, “We Do Not Know What A Body Can Do,” is a blind roller coaster of squeals, slow downs, hyper speed oscillations, et al. Final track “Liber Null” is the longest one here at nearly seven and a half minutes long. Roughly, it incorporates a lot of the same elements of the first two tracks but makes very good use of raygun-ish sound effects, and by its end slides into a recognizable rock rhythm. While not in any rational sense a traditionally enjoyable record, its scorched execution never wavers in its intensity, and consistency of this sort is very difficult to achieve. Head to wuornosath.bandcamp.com and hear for yourself.
HOME BREW: Evan Leima (ex-Dream Culture) has slowly released songs from his newest project Pants That Fit onto a collection of tracks named The Cronoavitus Mixes. As a songwriter, he is well-skilled at exhibiting two primary styles: well-wound psych-pop and furious punk. Opening track “Stability/Desire” is a prime example of the former, while track number two, “Fill Eyes With Sun,” exemplifies the latter. So, too, does the newest song “Tear Through The Gas” fit that latter category. The song, written in reference to our current phenomenon of massive demonstrations/direct action and police response, is currently the final song on this growing collection. I kind of like the idea of letting this group of songs gather steam and increase in size as kind of a dynamic document of 2020. No idea if that’s Leima’s intention, but it’s my take on it. Your experience will vary, so set your controls for the heart of the sun over at pantsthatfit.bandcamp.com, and if so inclined, give a thumbs-up at facebook.com/pantsthatfit.
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