Not gonna lie, we’re pretty happy with how that Front Line Assembly commentary podcast turned out. We do our best to find some interesting historical nuggets and trivia about the records we subject to the WHaC treatment, and we aim to offer a finer understanding of how a particular release figures into a band’s overall oeuvre, but doing that can be a bit nerve-wracking when you’re tackling a record as well known and beloved as Tactical Neural Implant. So it was especially rewarding to not only feel like we’d done what we set out for, but also came away with a clearer understanding of what sets FLA apart from their peers. Anyway, let’s not break our arms patting ourselves on the back and get on with this week’s tracks.

Ghost Cop undercover

Comfort Cure, “Consume It”
Detroit body music up and comer Comfort Cure gave us a taste of the upcoming Not My Taste a few weeks back with “Love in the Worst Way”, and has followed it up with “Consume It”, another in the long line of songs that have been gaining the project lots of attention amongst dark dance music connoisseurs. As we’ve noted previously, the one-man project’s appeal lies not just in having a firm grasp on how to execute minimal, groove-based EBM numbers, but also in how it touches on electro and broader synth music sounds within their small catalogue. The EP drops April 7th, you can pre-order on Bandcamp now.

Sturm Café, “Des Kaisers neue Kleider”
Those fantastic SwEBM maniacs in Sturm Café are hard at work on Zeitgeist, the follow-up to 2021’s Fernes Land, and while that record saw them pushing into all manner of funk and italo corners, this new single finds them in much more sober territory. Sure, there’s the sort of martial melody on the chorus that first made them stick out to us from the pack of throwback acts, but one the whole this is some stripped-down, no BS, pure EBM.

Bedless Bones, “A Poison Tree”
New work from Estonian darkwave act Bedless Bones is always sure to grab our attention. In the past four years Kadri Sammel has carved out a rep for being able to deliver big and immediate darkwave bangers while never skimping on the artful details and atmosphere upon which the genre is built. This new tune, appearing on a forthcoming Cold Transmission comp (also featuring site faves Menthüll and A Projection) is no exception, and we imagine it won’t just be our local club sets which’ll be featuring the hypnotic leads and weighty beats of this number in the near future.

Ghost Cop, “A Shot in the Dark”
While NYC’s Ghost Cop are a new act to us, a quick perusal of the darkwave act’s Bandcamp shows that they’ve been active for at least a decade. Given the strength of new single “A Shot in the Dark” we might have to go digging into that back catalogue; we’ve had a yen of late for the late 90s, early 2000s iteration of electronic darkwave, where dance production met up with icy vocals and prominent minor key melodies. Especially where the genre has moved towards a more rounded, EBM-influenced sound over the last few years, tracks like this one stand out for their invocation of the genre’s regal history, albeit with some nice modern production in this case.

HVPPY DEVTH, “Song to the Siren”
Negative Gain productions has been a going concern for long enough at this point that a house band seems totally plausible. Enter HVPPY DEVTH: wherein artists from the NGP roster do the whole This Mortal Coil thing, collaborating in different configurations and combinations. And as on the nose as having the project’s first release be a cover of TMC’s own cover of Tim Buckley’s “Song to the Siren”, we’re feeling it – programming and production from label co-head Roger Jarvis and Nabil Kassem (both of Kevorkian Death Cycle), and a lovely vocal from Bahadir Demiralay, it’s a transposition that takes speaks to the atmosphere and emotion of the TMC version, but with a distinctly NGP feel.

Spike Hellis, “Mouth (Normal Bias Remix)”
With a massive 36-date North American tour just announced, Spike Hellis are about to show the corners of the continent they haven’t yet visited why they emerged as one the most engrossing and thrilling bands going last year, regardless of genre. As if that wasn’t enough, we also have remix comp Altitude Sickness to look forward to in May, including this squishy and marshy take on “Mouth” from Normal Bias.