Well folks, the Skinny Puppy show has come and gone, and the Kevins’ pass through their old brapping grounds left the senior staff and about a thousand other Vancouverites very happy. We don’t want to give any setlist spoilers (apart from the fact that it was very Weapon heavy, natch), but the costuming, props, and general theatricality were as strong as ever, and getting to see our favourite prodigals return at the best mid-sized venue the city has to offer was a treat. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating that there’s no substitute for seeing Ogre perform live. Even video can’t really express the absolute bodily control he communicates with every move and tic; he remains one of the greatest frontmen we’ve ever seen perform, regardless of genre. There are only two dates (SF and LA) left on the tour, and we’re sure we don’t need to encourage anyone reading this to see those shows regardless of cost if they’re in the area.
…Oh yeah! Our pal (and P·A·L enthusiast) Graeme Foote at Skin & Bones took some amazing, super-pro photos of the show which the band liked enough to give a plug. Check ’em out! On with today’s tracks…
V▲LH▲LL, “Ɖ0Ɯƞ Iƞ Ƚhę ƜǪoƉƽ”
Would you believe that hella mysterious ghost viking project V▲LH▲LL sampled a very recognizable children’s song in their new track? Would you also believe that it’s a masterful flip that brings to the fore the inherent creepiness of the source material, finding a bizarre commonality with V▲LH▲LL’s own style? Lastly, would you believe that due to sample clearance issues, said track is being offered as a free download on Soundcloud, as opposed to being included on their upcoming album for Artoffact records? If the answer to any of those questions is “yes”, boy do we have a song for you.
The Harrow, “Milk And Honey”
Equal parts post-punk and dream pop, there’s plenty to like on the first release from Brooklyn’s The Harrow. We’re a bit late to this one, and there’s a split on our beloved aufnahme + wiedergabe on the horizon, but while you’re waiting for that introduce yourself to some chilly tones that bring early Cocteaus and Sad Lovers And Giants to mind, and maybe even Vancouver’s own late, great Perfume Tree.
Leaether Strip, “Sanctuary”
After the more atmospheric compositional style of Serenade for the Dead II last year (a record we quite enjoyed!), Claus Larsen appears to returning to some rough n’ tough EBM styles on the tracks we’ve heard from the forthcoming Æscapism. Of course this is Leaether Strip’s wheelhouse, and while we’re inclined to enjoy pretty much anything Claus does, it is especially exciting to hear him doing something stripped down, relying largely on his own personality as a vocalist and producer to make a minimally arranged track feel beastly.
Gheists, “Let’s Go Ice Skating”
Never one to sleep easy, Bee Teknofiend’s just dropped an EP as Gheists, the side project he puts in work as when he’s not going bugfuck as Mangadrive. As with debut release Age, Totem rides a bass-heavy trap vibe, but puts clarion-clear, wistful melodies up front which add impressionist lyricism to the brooding atmospheres. Night walk soundtrack fare indeed.
THYX, “Robots Don’t Lie”
A short list of things we enjoy about THYX:
1) Stefan Poiss singing with lots of bizarre harmonic vocal processing
2) Amazing synth guitar solos
3) Catchy songs that get paired with thematically appropriate animated videos
Hey, guess what the new clip from THYX features? If you said all of the above, you’d be correct. The new album from the mind.in.a.box frontman’s solo project (their third in as many years) is currently in our clutches, and we’ve been savoring each cut of tasty science fiction inflected synth music that is pretty much it’s own thing from a stylistic standpoint. Super Vision is out the 25th of this month, expect a more expansive review ’round then.
The Body, “Hail To Thee, Everlasting Pain”
Finally, a little bit out of regularly trodden paths but far too salient and menacing to ignore, here’s the first taste of Portland sludge/doom merchants The Body’s forthcoming I Shall Die Here. Full of scraping grind which should appeal to fans of, say, TG, Lustmord, and Brighter Death Now, this cut also features a more pronounced role for electronic programming, which could presage a very interesting full listen, indeed. Oh yeah, they’re playing with the homeys in Youth Code tomorrow and Wednesday in LA and Pomona, so check that out if you’re in the area and in need of a good trepanning.