And lo, we are returned! Back from our annual two week hiatus, and ready to start disseminating the astonishing amount of new music that has already come across our collective desks in 2017. Of course there will be plenty of loose ends to tie up from December of last year as well, but if we were to guess it won’t be long before we’re inundated with more new music of interest from Our Thing than we’re comfortably able to handle. What surprises will the new year bring? What styles and genres might see renewal or innovation? Which new bands will emerge and take us by surprise? Let’s peruse the tea leaves (or this week’s selections at any rate) and see what we can divine.

Forever Grey

Forever Grey

Actors, “Hit To The Head”
More strong stuff from Vancouver’s own Actors. Jason Corbett may be a seasoned studio-head, but this track’s getting by just fine on songwriting alone, with some Bowie-like melancholy thrown into its churning drive. As it happens, we’ll be DJing Actors’ show in town this Friday in support of Kanga, so pop by and check ’em out if you’re in town, won’t you?

Volt 9000, “Spasmolytic”
Volt 9000 covering Skinny Puppy is pretty much a gimme as far as tracks inclusions go. And why not? We’re long time supporters of the Toronto based industrial act’s material, and Cory Gorski’s passion for the Kevins is apparent in his work as V9K. This track is actually part of a free (if you can catch the downloads when they’re available on Bandcamp, anyway) tribute to Skinny Puppy that also features favourites Cardinal Noire, Leaether Strip, Dead When I Found Her, D/Sir and Inexora amongst others.

Zex Model, “Consume Starve”
It’s unclear how much posthumous material from Paul Von Aphid there is yet to be released, so every bit of new work we can hear feels special. This single from Kansas’ X O S Musick is the kind of dark, woozy electro industrial that was Zex Model’s stock and trade, ominous threatening and visceral. As we have said since his untimely and incredibly sad passing this past September, the best way to remember Paul is to spread what he created as much as possible. We hope that if you’re unfamiliar and you like what you hear as much as we do, you’ll share it as well.

Forever Grey, “Lost In A Moment”
A stand-alone cut from Michigan’s Forever Grey. As we found out when we copped their Alabaster Chamber release last year, the duo’s capable of dishing out dark, icy, and utterly heavy stuff. This tune’s a little more stripped down and minimalistic than some, but the mood is still massive.

Ohm, “Uppercut”
And there’s a new one from Chris Peterson and Craig Huxtable. We’re always pleased to hear these two local legends do some new work, and as with their debut album from 2013 the melodic, mechanical style of electro-industrial feels both classic and modern in equal measures. Does this mean a sophomore record might be forthcoming this year? We can only hope. Vancouver industrial for life, fool.

Atropine, “Hearse Hand”
Classic electro-industrial grooves sit at the center of this tune from Atropine’s latest, Assailant, but the Norwegian outfit slather everything in squelchy ichor and body horror. Assailant looks to be a good measure different from 2014’s much more EBM-focused Recurring Nightmares, with some heavy Puppy feels.