Browsing Tag

industrial

KURO has dropped the antipathic industrial hit of the year with ‘Lividity’.

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.

Connect with Kuro on Facebook & Instagram.

Stream the official video on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Alien Al and the Juperoids welcome you to the future of dystopic pop with their standout single, Alice.

After a successful debut with their single, Probe, the electronic space rock outfit Alien Al and the Juperoids, fronted by actor and singer Alyx Nazir, have released their ground-breaking self-titled debut album.

The perfect introduction to their conceptual, expressionist style is the pop track, Alice, which starts with the same arresting atmosphere of existential sci-fi films that welcome you into cold dystopic futures. Through the eerie progressions, the single picks up some more archetypal pop tendencies along the way before a frenetic rock outro. In the strangest and most beautiful way, Alien Al and the Juperoids prove the value and warmth of music in our embittered world through Alice.

The debut album from Alien Al is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

R1OT gave big beats an industrial sting with ‘Intermission’ from his debut EP

DIGITAL RIOT by R10T

Under the influence of Robert Smith, Butch Vig, Jimmy Page, Trent Reznor and Brian Eno, the Toronto-based alt-electronica artist and musician R1OT released his debut EP, DIGITAL R1OT, in 2015 to introduce his glitchy industrial big beats to the airwaves. Any fans of Skinny Puppy will want to delve right into the entrancingly melodic standout single, Intermission.

Intermission hits midway through the EP to indulge you in a histrionically progressive rave track that keeps your rhythmic pulses captivated throughout the entire 5-minute duration. The preceding and subsequent tracks are slightly more caustic, but if you find yourself inclined to seek out the filthiest electronic basslines, you won’t be disappointed.

Intermission is now available to stream and download on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

LIVE REVIEW: A histrionic evening with Mercury Machine

The Deaf Institute became a welcome sanctum away from the culture-blind chaos that spilt from most venues on bank holiday Saturday in Manchester with the sublimely curated line-up featuring The Last Clouds, Woman You Stole and Mercury Machine.

The Last Clouds kicked off proceedings with their confessional lyrics, imploring vocals and dark indie electronica stylings that will be familiar with any fans of Covenant, VNV Nation and Apoptygma Berzerk. If any artist can prove there is an intrinsic beauty in vulnerability, it is the Last Clouds. Their recently released single, How to Get Up From This, was all it took to allow my curiosity to transpire into fanatic adoration. The theatrical atmosphere of the single wouldn’t be out of place on the end credits of an apocalyptic blockbuster. Yet, it was the heart-wrenching lyrics, “I tried to speak but it is hard because nobody cares/ I’ll tear the books from my shelf just to lie in the words of somebody else”, that cemented a place on my radar for the criminally underrated act.

If anything can spice up a line-up, it is the je ne sais quoi of Woman You Stole. They set themselves apart by an avant-garde mile with their lively debonair set that easily commanded the crowd into feeling what was orchestrating between them – even if it was fascinatingly unpredictable from one progression to the next.

Their capriciously experimental style is arresting on record, seeing it first-hand is something else entirely. Describing Woman You Stole as entrancing may sound hyperbolic but their sophisticated originality that emanates from their authenticity and mind-blowing talent, rather than through diehard determination to find obscurity, is something everyone should make an effort to witness at least once.

It almost seems needless to rave about Mercury Machine; the band that falls outside of the Manchester post-punk assimilative trap and find themselves in far darker territory, one that made me pretty nostalgic about the soundtrack to Cradle of Fear. The Manchester-based dark indie electronica five piece’s set instantly made it obvious why most of the room were sporting their t-shirts and why why so much hype has amassed around them since the release of their critically-acclaimed debut album in 2019.

Their lyrics are too efficacious in allowing you to explore the fucked up avenues of the human psyche while the pace of frenetic rhythms allow you to find euphoria through defiantly dancing to depictions of our mental precariousness. I couldn’t have asked for a better hit of post-lockdown catharsis.

Bands should always be judged by how much they move you emotionally and how much they can make you move; as Mercury Machine got the first post-lockdown dance from me, I can’t give them much higher praise than that.
Their inhibition-stripping histrionic sound still finds space, occasionally, for Marr-style guitars that add even more energy to their caustic industrial sound could fill stadiums. If goths felt more inclined to leave their bedrooms, that is.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Heck Vektor has unleashed their industrial garage-rock single, Superspreader.

Superspreader (Sonofabitch Mix) by Heck Vektor

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.

Stream and download Superspreader via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

UK solo artist Matt Black has made his industrial-rock debut with his single, Are You Afraid of the Dark?

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.

Are You Afraid of the Dark was officially released on August 20th; you can check it out via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

TUNNL19 deliver grungy industrial rock in their debut single, ‘Voices’.

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.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Urban Sombreros put a theatric twist on industrial electronica with their single, ‘BAD’.

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.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

12 Below – Jetsam: Austere art-rock

South Florida’s most avant-garde art-rock artist 12 Below is back with his sophomore single, Jetsam, which pulls together as a dark and discordant mash of industrial, darkwave synth-pop and post-punk.

With an intro that shares reminiscence to Manchester post-punk outfit The Chameleons before the soundscape switches into a phantasmal feat of electro-rock that any fans of Dir En Grey or Celldweller will be familiar with, you’ll be hooked from the first haunted note to the last.

The ethereally ambient soundscape was constructed with effect-loaded guitars and glassy keys in downtempo progressions, for the visceral kick, 12 Below loaded caustic drums and a heavy serving of bass. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to hear an artist similar to NIN, who also makes the dark electro sound their own.

Jetsam is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

DOLLSDONTCRY – ‘Manticore’: A harsh, dystopian future writ purely in sound

Leaving aside the obvious mentioning that dolls sometimes DO cry – Tiny Tears, anyone? – DOLLSDONTCRY, from Lucedale, Mississippi, via Alaska, has created a nightmarish soundscape of grinding, driving instrumentalism in the vein of early Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, or Revco music. Think a little ‘Pretty Hate Machine’, ‘Psalm 69’, or ‘Linger Ficken Good’, without vocals, and you’ve a pretty good idea of what’s on offer here. Opening with some heavily distorted bass riffing, it’s a landscape of bleeps, machine-press crashes, sampled roars, and rising sequenced keyboard parts.

It’s always difficult for young artists to make their voices heard effectively with instrumental work, but this is an excellent track, a harsh, metallic, post-Terminator world of sound, evocative and stimulating, with a definite voice.

You can hear ‘Manticore’ on Soundcloud. Follow DOLLSDONTCRY on Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes