Monthly Archives: February 2017

Naked (on drugs) Return, Bearing “This Gift”

Naked (on drugs), This Gift (Tombed Visions, 2/24/2017)

Describing sounds like those made by a band like Naked (on drugs) presents a challenge, since they largely defy straight-line comparisons.  The group from Salford – who we’ve missed since 2014 – have returned with This Gift, an album containing re-recorded old friends and new material, and featuring a new lineup enhancing the core duo of guitarist Luke Byron Scott and singer/multi-instrumentalist Sebastien Perrin.

“Boudoir Fingers” sets the mood, coming in all big band sex machine and slowly grinding its way towards what seems, at first, like the sounds of la petite mort but ends up something more akin to a scene from “Natural Born Killers”.   The band’s perverted swing is evident on the revamped title track, which (without diminishing our fierce loyalty to the original) retains a dirty-faced loucheness and now includes a minutes-long chaotic whirl, as well as new track (and lead single), “Sedative Smile”, a further, Humbert Humbert paean to the “dirty white tights and green leather jacket” clad Lee Ann.  Elsewhere, there’s a fine balance of outright groove and experimental noise riffing on tracks like the older “Death Dance” and new, “Rapture” on ludes cut, “The Hair Suit” (a new personal fave), while “The Hotel” provides a leeringly lovely close to the proceedings.

Every so often – including as I was pulling together this word jumble – I get (self-diagnosed) ocular migraines.  Beginning as protozoan blobs, they unravel into ever longer, attenuated strands shimmery with the colors of an oil slicked puddle.  It seemed fitting.  “*Sigh* But, what does it sound like”, you ask?  Fine – jazz, goth, noir, new wave, no wave, Nick Cave, Bowie, Brel, Brecht, bop – all thrown into a blender and pulsed, …pulsed, with the top off.  Sing in the rain.

This Gift is out now, and available on limited edition cassette via Tombed Visions.  Stroll the darkened streets with Naked (on drugs) on fbook, bandcamp and/or their site.  Enjoy the video for “Sedative Smile”, below.

Glitter Veils Share “Gossamer Folds” and “Soft Touch” from Forthcoming Figures in Sight.

Glitter Veils, “Gossamer Folds”; “Soft Touch” (Flexible)

Photo credit: Savvy Creative.


Australian duo Luke Zahnleiter and Michael Whitney make music as Glitter Veils.  Their album, Figures in Sight, is due this Friday (2/10) from Flexible Records (an imprint of Terrible), who have been kind enough to provide teasers in the form of “Gossamer Folds” and “Soft Touch”.

A pleasantly disorienting, almost vertiginous, feel wafts from these tracks.  Like a liquid motion toy’s suspended, colored drops fusing, detaching, and reforming in slightly different ways, familiar threads – the Guthrie-esque guitar wash in ‘Gossamer Folds’; the early industrial heft to the programmed beats underpinning the peyote-fueled western glitter ball of ‘Soft Touch’; a dream pop feel here, a bit of JAMC menace there; whispered, droning vocals reminiscent of Spacemen 3 or Massive Attack – blend, separate and reconvene in novel ways.  “Gossamer” is my personal favorite, its bent guitar lines, slightly ooky fun house-style synths and lurching beat tracing lazy arcs in the sky.  Definitely looking forward to hearing the rest.

You can find (a bit) more things Glitter Veils on soundcloud and fbook.  Figures in Sight can be pre-ordered now on Flexible’s bandcamp page.  Tune in, drop &etc.

Hark! The Black Angels Return With New Track, “Currency”, from Forthcoming New Album, Death Song.

The Black Angela, “Currency” (Partisan)

“currency/carry me/everyone is held hostage…
one day it’ll all be over/one day it’ll all be gone”

A welcome return from Austin’s The Black Angels, whose new record (and first in four years), Death Song (which appears to be a riff on the band’s name and the Velvet Underground song from whence it came – meta!), is due for release April 21 (pre-order here) on Partisan Records.  Lead single, “Currency”, finds the band as tight as ever.  Singer Alex Mass’ voice is the linchpin and dead center in the mix – carrying more than a hint of menace on past tracks, here singing in almost plaintive tones of the social quicksand of a consumerist society.  The song, several times, threatens to go full-on freak-out – a sliding, fuzzed bass repeatedly sounding a clarion’s call – before showing restraint and a slow burn.  If this is anytnig to go by, the new album should be a good one.

The Black Angels will also tour behind Death Song – dates here (with A Place to Bury Strangers).

Experience the Waking Dream of Penelope Isles’ “Cut Your Hair”

Penelope Isles, “Cut Your Hair” (Art Is Hard)

Art Is Hard records’ 2017 singles club aims to provide listeners with a “monthly postcard” from the label’s artists.  The first such missive comes from “Brighton via Cornwall”’s Penelope Isles, who share the beguiling “Cut Your Hair”.  The track sets off on a confrontational tone – short/sharp/stabs of guitar, drum and bass strut, bob and weave, as lyrics describe a decision to settle into a corporate life (after, natch, the titular clip) – before slowly lifting the veil on a crushingly beautiful chorus of arpeggioed upper register and swelling vocals asking, “did you laugh?”.

“Cut Your Hair” is available now, from Art Is Hard.  Discover more of Penelope Isles by queuing up (calmly) and following, on:  fbook, the twittsoundcloud and/or bandcamp.  The band also have a few shows upcoming in the UK (dates below).

2/2 Woodlane Social Club, Falmouth
2/3 Unit 23, Totnes
2/4 The Green Door Store, Brighton
2/7 The Olde Blue Last, London
2/20 The Prince Albert, Brighton