EOL-Audio Review Archive – T

EOL-Audio Archive December 9th, 2011

This is Part ‘T’ of an archive of CD and digital download reviews from EOL-Audio (1998-2007) and the early versions of Terminates Here (2008-2011).

Please note that this writing is varied in quality and is not intended to be representative of the new content I’m creating for this site.  It has simply been uploaded in order to preserve the many hours of work devoted to previous websites.

Read The Rest… »

EOL-Audio Review Archive – M

EOL-Audio Archive November 30th, 2011

This is Part ‘M’ of an archive of CD and digital download reviews from EOL-Audio (1998-2007) and the early versions of Terminates Here (2008-2011).

Please note that this writing is varied in quality and is not intended to be representative of the new content I’m creating for this site.  It has simply been uploaded in order to preserve the many hours of work devoted to previous websites.

Read The Rest… »

No Wave

Genre Definition March 19th, 2010

Whilst there have been many different post-punk movements, only those with any real staying power earn a definition of their own here.  Except for this one.  No Wave was a short-lived, New York-based counter-cultural movement.  In additional to various film and performance art projects, there were a small collective of bands practising an abrasive, atonal and nihilistic form of rock music, which was either an attempt at alienating audiences or an attempt to prove that punk rock hadn’t really been all that inventive musically after all.  Whilst few no wave bands used any new or innovative instruments, their methods of playing the instruments they did have were unconventional to say the least. Read The Rest… »

Post-Punk

Genre Definition March 18th, 2010

Whilst punk rock was revolutionary in terms of it’s socio-political statement, it wasn’t actually all that innovative musically.  Three chords, three-minute songs and freedom to say what the fuck you want isn’t actually that advanced a musicological concept.  Luckily, there were plenty of artists who really wanted to be artists and not just some kind of shock factor.  And it was two of punk rocks leading lights, John Lydon (The Sex Pistols) and Howard Devoto (The Buzzcocks) who went on to form Public Image Ltd. and Magazine respectively, two projects that would both prove to be considerably more advanced in a musical sense than anything they’d written before.

The Manchester based punk band Warsaw became Joy Division, developed unique styles of bass guitar, vocal performance and drum recording and thus became the short-lived musical legends that everyone now knows they became.  They plus Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus and Killing Joke laid down between them the foundations for gothic rock, the sulky daughter of punk. Read The Rest… »

Coldwave (France)

Genre Definition March 18th, 2010

I only put this genre in because I wanted to include the American Coldwave.  On closer examination, I then realised that this particular form of Coldwave might actually fit in after all.  It was, after all, the French version of the New Wave.  Presumably it was called Coldwave due to the icy, minimal compositions many of it’s practitioners created.  I actually wanted to call it ‘Frogwave’ as an analogy to ‘krautrock’, but apparently That Would Be A Bad Idea.

The French had their punk bands like every other modern industrial nation did back in the late 70s.  And as in the UK, USA and Germany, some of those punks thought ‘what can we do to make this more interesting?’.  And it just so happens that France actually has a bit of a history when it comes to electronic music.  Some of the styles innovators originate from the country after all.

And so there was a wave (yeah, wave) of new bands who realised the cold synth textures allowed by the technologies of the time could actually be made to work with the French language, and the results are given below.

Key Bands

  • French Punk: Métal Urbain, Stinky Toys
  • The Cold Wave: Clair Obscur, End Of Data, KaS Product, Marquis De Sade, Martin Dupont, Opera Multi Steel, Trisome 21, Twilight Ritual

The Soundclips


 

Neue Deutsche Welle

Genre Definition March 18th, 2010

Whilst New Wave music is traditionally associated with the English-speaking countries of the world, there was nothing to stop others from having a go. The Germans, always welcoming of many Anglo-American style of music, yet also producing many a fine example of more typically ‘German’ music thanks to the efforts of Kraftwerk, Neu! and the like, were well positioned to generate their own version of ‘new wave’. The early ‘Neue Deutsche Welle’ acts were strictly underground acts, many of them associated with the early sound of the industrial scene or otherwise playing some obscure form of post-punk – with the vast majority of them choosing to sing in their native tongues rather than the more common English. Read The Rest… »

Deathrock

Genre Definition March 18th, 2010

Whilst the Brits were developing the formative sound of gothic rock via the all-purpose interim of post-punk, the Americans, or more specifically a bunch of Los Angeles punk rockers, started doing it ‘their way’.   Deathrock has much in common with the first wave of gothic rock in the UK, both featuring melodramatic vocals, scratchy, effected guitars and hypnotic drum rhythms, but drew more influence from horror movies (and the resultant cheesy ‘horror rock’ bands of the 50s and 60s), film noir as well as some more ‘philosophical’ subject matters.  As thus came the original wave of LA deathrock – 45 Grave, Kommunity FK, Flesh Eaters and the original incarnation of Christian Death.

The phrase ‘deathrock’ was moribund for most of the 80s and 90s, once everyone realised that all such bands could be classed as ‘gothic rock’ regardless of where they came from.  But it was pulled out of storage sometime around the turn of the millennium, and a little background is required to explain why.  The various goth and industrial genres had lived more or less in harmony for most of the 90s, regularly cross-pollinating or at least appearing in the same line-ups and DJ setlists.  But then futurepop and aggrotech began to take over, drew huge audiences and pushed all the ‘old-school goth’ out of sight.  The plaintive scribbling of ‘Play Some Goth’ was occasionally seen on club request lists, but they were fighting a losing battle. Read The Rest… »

Post Punk Revival

Genre Definition March 18th, 2010

By the turn of the millennium, music industry shot-callers were running out of new names for the various styles of alternative rock being spewed out, and the flow was getting less and less alternative by the month.  Time for a revival of something.  As it happened, there were a bunch of bands on the ascent that all name-checked the likes of U2, Joy Division, Gang Of Four and Wire.  The sound of 80s new wave rock and post-punk was on the way back.

The starting place for the revival is hard to locate, but Interpol and The Strokes had both been around since the 1990s, and more importantly, came from New York (a city with a funny habit of starting off new musical movements). They were followed by a flood of others, such as The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party and Editors.  These acts were both accessible enough to get on the radio and in the charts, but quoting enough sacred cows as influences to win over the music snobs.  Jackpot! Read The Rest… »

New Wave

Genre Definition March 18th, 2010

There’s been a lot of ‘New Waves’ in music.  When used without a qualifying term, it generally refers to the predominantly Anglo-American version of the late 70s and early 80s.  In this form, it’s something of an umbrella term, taking in synthpop, post-punk and the early forms of industrial and goth, as well as various other styles that somehow fitted under the ‘new music’ scope (‘New Romantic‘ being a subset of this whole movement).

But we can’t ignore the fact that there were a vast number of bands that sat under the new wave heading, not aggressive enough to be punk, not esoteric enough to be post-punk, not gloomy enough to be goth, not bleepy enough to be synthpop, not abrasive enough to be industrial (don’t get me started on no wave) and not camp enough to be new romantic.  I’d say the New York band Blondie best sums up what I’m getting at here – straddling the genres of punk and disco without being either, but being hugely successful in the process.  Other bands from The Apple, such as The Cars and Talking Heads also found themselves associated with what would become one of many ‘new waves’. Read The Rest… »

Gothic Rock

Genre Definition March 18th, 2010

A good synonym for this genre is ‘No EBM’ – lots of clubs play some kind of goth, but if you see ‘No EBM’ on the flier, you can be pretty sure that this is the kind of thing they’re really looking to play.   Anyway, gothic rock originated as an offshoot of post-punk and new wave.  A number of bands have been credited with kicking the whole process off, including Bauhaus, Joy Division, The Cure, Siouxsie and The Banshess and finally Specimen – the house band of the original ‘Batcave’ club but largely omitted by scene newcomers due to the relatively small number of studio recordings they produced.

The gothic aesthetic thus took shape, bringing to post-punk a (melo)dramatic vocal style and a distinctive guitar sound based around heavy use of chorus/reverb effects.  Some early gothic bands augmented their sound with synthesised atmospheres where available, and a few even utilised primitive drum machine loops in place of live drumming, thus helping create the repetitive, often hypnotic percussion style also associated with the genre. Read The Rest… »