After a bass-dripping slam of an intro, KURO’s latest single, Lividity, asserts its volatility early in the mix before unravelling around poppy industrial hooks and serpentine antipathic vocals. If you’ve been mourning the downfall of Jimmy Urine recently, you’ll find just as much salacious charisma here.
It has been a while since I’ve had my finger on the pulse in the industrial scene, it took the incandescent talent of KURO to draw me back in with their monolithically fierce guitars and the earworm potential in the magnetically antagonistic vocals. Not only is it an instant hit at surface level, but Lividity also serves a deeper purpose. In their own words. here is how Lividity transpired:
“I wrote Lividity in an attempt to capture the discomfort, rage, and volatility felt by ethnic minorities during the tumultuous events of the BLM riots sparked in the wake of 2020’s events as well as the StopAsianHate movement- which was exacerbated by the racial division sadly spurred on by pandemic.
These traumatic happenings seemed to create a black hole of negativity and distrust in society that enabled many in positions of power to engage in horrific behaviour with little consequence at the expense of the vulnerable. The video highlights this. I and we, as a band, wanted to highlight this, raise awareness for it, and hopefully push to make a positive change that could contribute to the ending of these problems. However, to really do so, we all need to come together, and time will tell with that.”
Industrial music and gripping lyricism don’t often go hand in hand; instead of offering a series of thoughtless reprises with the aid of a rhyming dictionary, KURO digs deep into the macabre to exhibit the veracity of contempt behind this instantly infectious harsh electro-rock hit. Frankly, we’re obsessed.
Lividity is the first single to be released from their upcoming EP, Death by Aesthetic, due for release in October 2021. KURO are also set to join the industrial icon, Grendel, on tour. Tickets are available for purchase via Bandcamp.
Youngstown Ohio’s prodigal sons of industrial metal, Heck Vektor, have released their scathing new single, Superspreader. With the energy of garage punk, the harsh electronica stylings of Powerman 5000 and vocals that switch from Alec Empire-level slick to caustic and confrontational, it is impossible not to be drawn in by this tumultuous amalgamation of alt electronica and rock.
Even though I hit play on the covid-related track with hesitancy, the glitchy basslines, nefarious charisma and unpredictable breakdowns quickly replaced the cynicism with admiration. We can’t wait to hear what follows.
UK-based singer-songwriter Matt Black tapped into the collective sense of listlessness and despair with his scathing industrial rock debut single, Are You Afraid of the Dark.
The lyric-less soundscape uses samples of doom-mongering news broadcasts, featuring our seemingly dim, realistically catastrophic prime minister who seems determined to blather the country to ruin around heavy scuzzy metal guitars and percussion that could only be described as apocalyptic.
With a similar sonic palette to Machine Head’s Bloodstone and Diamonds and Disturbed’s Down with the Sickness, we’re sure plenty of the industrial rock and metal community will welcome his cathartically foreboding presence on the airwaves with open arms.
TUNNL19 has been making major waves in the alt-rock scene in Puerto Rico since 2013. Originally, they performed in cover bands, their latest single, ‘Voices’, proves they have just as much talent as the artists they were covering.
It’s a bitter pill that many artists have to swallow that ‘good’ instrumentalists don’t necessarily make great songwriters; the hooks and fervent energy in Voices affirm that was never going to be an issue for TUNNL19.
After a fuzzy synthesised intro, the electronic alt-grunge track starts to unfold with scuzzy, Rob Zombie-reminiscent-guitars, high-energy grunge vocals and industrial beats that come with an alt-90’s-style-psychedelic kick. They even managed to find room for some post-punk sensibilities in the low reverberant basslines that won’t fail to pull you into the heart of this fiery feat of refreshing alt-rock.
Voices officially released on July 2nd; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.
The Urban Sombreros have put a baroquely theatrical twist on industrial electronica with their latest single, BAD (Michael Jackson). As Marilyn Manson falls, The Urban Sombreros rise.
The coarse and distorted vocals, beatboxing, bluesy angular guitar riffs and trance-style interludes ensure that you’ve never heard a feat of electronica quite like this before – no matter how obscure your playlists are. It’s manic, but The Urban Sombreros’ playfully charismatic mania is one that you’ll easily get on board with.
The Cambridge, UK-residing artist is easily one of the most experimentally bold, infectiously addictive artists we have heard this year. We can’t wait to hear how they’ll follow on from BAD.
BAD released on June 9th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.
Vancouver’s alt-electronic-rock powerhouse duo Asterous unleashed their highly anticipated self-titled EP on April 23rd. The standout single, ‘Heroes’, is a sublime mash of sinister tones, glassy 80s-inspired synth notes and caustic black metal vocals that break the accordance laid out by the reverb-laden animatronic female vocals.
The arresting single seamlessly shifts between spacy melodicism, comparable to the work of Depeche Mode, to industrial metal increments with buzzsaw riffs that cut with reminiscence to the likes of Static X and Rob Zombie.
The stylistic choices are one thing, but the way that Asterous pull them all together is quite another. Heroes, paradoxically, serves nuance by the bucket-full.
You can check out the EP for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.
What Davey Havoc started in the 90s, Observe the 93rd are finishing with their latest atmospheric electro-rock release ‘awareness of death’.
With hints of Reznor in the darkly mesmerising single perfectly rounding off the duo’s eccentric and sporadically caustic sound, awareness of death isn’t a single that you can listen to half-heartedly.
The symphonic layers wrap themselves around the existentially meta lyricism which serves up lyrics such as ‘We all know that this is more abstract than any dream’, making it all too easy to get lost in a mind hole as you listen to this contemplatively artful single unfold.
Catch the official video which premiered on February 5th by heading over to YouTube.
‘Falling Away’ is the cinematically plaintive debut single from the Scotland-hailing, London-based Alternative artist, The Wait, if any track has the rhythmic capacity to lead you down an aural rabbit and offer you kaleidoscopically psychotropic experience, it’s this one.
With artists such as Frightened Rabbit, Hans Zimmer and Trent Reznor all influencing The Wait’s transfixing electronically-crafted sound, alchemy was always going to spill from the soundscape. Many artists may have attempted to assimilate Hans Zimmer’s legendary works, but The Wait chose to take the composer’s sound and use it as the perfect precipice to jump off into a darkly creative masterpiece. I don’t use the term ‘masterpiece’ lightly.
Falling Away is available to stream and download on Bandcamp.
There was no forgetting Toronto-based artist GelaX after getting acquainted with the Alt-Rock outfit through their single, Mr. Square, now, they’re set to drop their debut EP ‘Dreamsonic’, any fans of alluringly scathing Dark Electro-Rock are going to want to hear it.
The standout track ‘Voodoo’ exhibits the best of GelaX’s signature empowering sound, this time, they’re making no bones about humiliating and eviscerating gas lighters and people who need to crush the sanity of others to feel like they’ve won. I’m sure we all know PLENTY of those.
While GelaX exude all of the commercial potential and accessibility of artists such as Massive Attack and Garbage, there is a darker Avant Garde edge to their tracks in the same vein of Industrial artists such as Angelspit and Emilie Autumn. Yet, Voodoo retains its rhythmic melodicism with the indulgent bends of the bass notes sitting alongside bluesy rock textures which come with a kick of kaleidoscopic Psych.
Voodoo is due for release along with the rest of GelaX’s debut EP on January 8th, 2021. In the meantime, you can check out their earlier releases via Bandcamp.
Keep up to date with their latest releases via Facebook.
Swipe Right to Drown is the third single to be released from Texan Alt-Pop artist and producer Xeren Lia. It threw me right back to the 90s while greeting me with galvanizingly fresh energy.
Not many artists manage to replicate the sex appeal of Nine Inch Nails while simultaneously offering authenticity, but Xeren Lia manages it with ease. The soundscape may be slightly more turbulent than Trent Reznor’s sultry rhythms, but that perfectly ties in with the theme of Swipe Right to Drown which was penned after a bad breakup and a serial-dating experience. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Desperately aching for connection, for something visceral, only to get wrapped up in superficial affection we want to scrub away the next day. I really hope I’m not alone there. But what I suppose I’m trying to say, is that Swipe Right to Drown is one of those tracks which stir up a smorgasbord of unexpected emotion and will set every one of your senses alight.
That definitely doesn’t happen every day. You won’t want to let this release slip you by if you’re a fan of the darker side of Pop.
You can check out Swipe Right to Drown for yourselves by heading over to apple music.