To the surprise of very few, our beloved Terminus Festival is the latest event to succumb to the inevitable, having been officially postponed until next year. Meeting up in Calgary with friends new and old and seeing bands hailed and unfamiliar has been the highlight of the year for nearly the past decade, and it’s rough to not have it to look forward to. But, as with the last three weeks, we’re trying to make the best of things and using some of the extra time we have to dig out new tunes, like these six.
We’re happy to share the debut video from Berlin act CIERŃ for their track “Truthspeak”. In case you’re wondering, there’s no irony in that title; the track is a pretty clear call to action with regards to the terrifying rise of global fascism, and a plea for unity amongst those who oppose it. As with all their tracks, there’s a classic peace-punk vibe to the music, with lyrics and vocals (courtesy of our friend Vancouver transplant Devi) which match the powerful imagery of the video. If you needed something to help brace yourself for the struggles ahead, this should prove fortifying.
Einsturzende Neubauten, “Ten Grand Goldie”
Is there a sweeter balm in these dark times than the promise of new music from Einsturzende Neubauten? We would contend that there is not. New album Alles in Allem is due in May and is providing us with something to look forward to already with the promise shown in debut taster “Ten Grand Goldie”. An interesting meeting of the band’s modern era sound with mid-period Haus der Luge touches, you’ve got trad EN junk percussion, Blixa being charming and doing high pitched screeches, some horns, organs, all kindsa goodness. This thing can’t get here fast enough.
Black Nail Cabaret, “No Gold”
Here’s an incredibly smooth and elegant slice of noir-darkwave-pop courtesy of those cool cats in Black Nail Cabaret. As always, Emese Arvai-Illes’ vocals are the centerpiece, but the combination of blunt kicks and big, lush programming on this number is intoxicating. The follow-up to 2018’s Pseudopop, Gods Verging On Sanity, is due in May and you can bet a high-priced cocktail that we’ll have some comments on it then.
Sturm Café, “Koka Kola Freiheit (EBM Version)”
We were talking on last week’s podcast about the number of bands doing some spring cleaning on Bandcamp in response to the shutdown of live activity, and those quirky Swedes in Sturm Café are no exception. Amongst four other rarities, check this entirely reconstructed version of our beloved “Koka Kola Freiheit”. None of the synthpop-cum-italodisco stylings of the version we’re familiar with: it’s all stiff upper-lip (and tongue subtly in cheek) EBM here.
Blutengel + Hocico, “Obscured”
Hey gang, Alex here again. Look I know what you’re thinking; “Here’s old man Kennedy with an overly defensive post about how the new Blutengel thing is passable, *yawn*.” I know my write-ups about Pohl and company are usually pretty tongue-in-cheek in that way where I’m using irony as a curtain to cover for the fact that I totally unironically like the dopey German vampire band, but what if I were to tell you this new collab with venerable Mexican aggrotech godfathers Hocico actually kind of slaps? It’s basically a Hocico song with a Blutengel chorus slapped on it, and if that doesn’t sound appealing to you you might as well move on. But if it sounds even vaguely intriguing, why not give it a listen? I did and my day was mildly improved by the experience.
Alex Reed, “Sunday/The Sun Always Shines On TV”
To quote a wise man, “everybody knows shit’s fucked“. And while we’re certainly indulging in our fair share of escapism during these times, we also feel the need to reckon with…whatever the hell this is. It seemed fitting, then, that our friend Alex Reed elected to roll out a set of covers for his “Live From Quantine” streaming concert which tap into the strange brew of uncertainty, peril, and cautious hope currently fermenting in all of us. And segueing Bowie’s 9/11 snapshot with something as wistfully romantic as A-ha’s “The Sun Always Shines On TV” is just the sort of savvy curatorial move we’d expect from the good doctor.