The first track of the CD version of Troller‘s self-titled LP is called “Milk”; it’s nightmarishly gothic and genuinely creepy. Horror movie sound effects (or noises that remind me of horror movie sound effects) slash across a dreary landscape of synths and bass guitar, and after a slow build up Amber Ormand’s vocals – echoey, despondent, and ghostly – announce the arrival of an LP that is at turns darkwave-y, shoegaze-y, and eerily psychedelic. It’s a good and darkly atmospheric album by a younger Austin, TX band on Denton’s Handmade Birds label. (The original cassette and vinyl came out on Holodeck / Light Lodge/ Living Tapes.)
There are 10 tracks total, 4 of which are untitled dark ambient/instrumental pieces that thread together the 6 other songs with vocals, most of which have monosyllabic titles (“Tiger,” “Best,” “Milk,” “Thirst”). Although there is nothing quite as deathrock-sounding on the release as the opener, the rest of the LP is a multi-layered, lush journey through achingly sweet dark pop nostalgia (“Winter”) and early 4AD shoegaze-esque postpunk (“Best”). In fact, much of the music has a very Projekt Records “ethereal wave” vibe, a la bands like The Cranes – wails of tragedy and bliss awash in kaleidoscopic synths, vocals floating wraith-like above a melody anchored – barely – to earth by a drowsy, gloomy bassline. The Anti-Gravity Bunny blog called it “graveyard hallucination pop”. That’s not a bad description at all.
Text and photos: Darryl Reid
I show up to the show super late, France’s La Fraction are half way through their set. Before they can finish their set there is some drama – cops show up, find a bunch of punks drinking outside the venue, and fuck over Jo (half of Blue Cross and the man putting on the show).
For a moment, the night and the entire fest seem to be in peril. Fucking Pigs.
Soon as the pigs leave, La Fraction finish a killer set and Blue Cross sets up.
If you’ve been following Blue Cross you’ll know they aren’t the type to play live shows and I was curious to see how their sound translated live, since they are a two piece and use lots of drum machines and effects in their music. As mentioned elsewhere in the site, they borrowed a couple members from Asile, Pat and Joel (on Drums and Bass), to round out the band. The whole band were on point and played a blistering set.
I love this whole post punk/goth revival going on and Blue Cross are one of the best bands leading the revival. If you have the chance to see them live, do it – you won’t be disappointed.
by Oliver Sheppard
Ottawa, Canada’s goth-punk duo Blue Cross have just delivered their third full-length LP, “Conspiracy,” in under two years – a remarkable feat, considering that many bands nowadays take years to release new material. Originally a side-project of street punk band Germ Attak, Blue Cross’ music explores more mid-tempo postpunk and deathrock territory. Their sound, guided by Jess’ spectral vocals, recalls bands like the Superheroines, Madhouse, and more obscure early goth-y postpunk with female vocals like Your Funeral or Pink Military.
Chaos Rurale Records and Blue Cross’ own Bandcamp page have made “Conspiracy” available for streaming, coinciding with the physical release of the album. (Bruised Tongue is actually offering the LP on cassette!) CVLT Nation has been following Blue Cross since the beginning; the band’s debut LP, “Mass Hysteria,” was reviewed here; their second LP, “I am Death,” was reviewed here; and the band was interviewed by CVLT Nation last year here. Recently, Maximum Rock ‘n Roll also interviewed the band.
Click the graphic below to begin streaming “Conspiracy” now!
It’s bizarre to think that this label is now 13 years old; what started out as an art project and supplement to a print zine quickly kind of spiraled into much more than we ever anticipated. This mix represents the second half of ABSOC’s discography, and is intended to showcase the direction we have taken over the last 5 years or so. While all of these bands are quite different in nature, the one thing they all hold in common (outside of all of them being very nice people) is that they are all breaking out of typical genre molds and are doing something unique, while staying firmly rooted in DIY punk. We really try to identify bands we think are pushing the envelope, and keeping the underground challenging and provoking.
We are basically an analog label; our releases are all largely on vinyl and cassettes (very few CDs), and our only foray into digital distribution is via MP3 download cards. We really believe a record should be experienced with artwork, layout, and lyrics when available, and really put effort into making packaging unique. We are based in Seattle, and have largely focused on Northwest bands until recently with collaborations with partner labels in Sweden, Germany, and Canada.
We’d really like to thank Sean and Meghan and everyone involved at CVLT NATION for all of their amazing support over the past few years! And cheers to all of you whom have ordered from us, supported the label and came to the shows and tours we promote. It’s been an amazing ride and we are really excited for this upcoming year’s releases which will include the s/t debut full length from INSIDIOUS PROCESS, early 8” lathe and demo releases put to 12” by NÜ-KLĒ-ƏR BLAST SUNTAN, a re-issue of early material from KALASHNIKOV (Italy), and an upcoming split between ADELIT@S and KOHOSH (Seattle). Keep it DIY!
Rob + Matt
What a fucking awesome night – on May 24th, Usnea, Lighting Swords of Death and Atriarch rocked the 5 Star Bar in downtown L.A.! Portland funeral doom wizards Usnea played such an outstanding set that they gave us chills. Then L.A’s own Lighting Swords of Death wreaked havoc with their aggressive, unrelenting black metal! Atriarch had the whole house under their spell with their death rock doom ceremony! Our comrade in photography Johann Currie was on hand and took some enthralling photos on the night! CVLT Nation would like to salute everyone who came out, all of the bands and a big shout out goes to EAR/SPLITTERS for keeping the underground alive in the city of dead angels!
The reality is that Oakland’s dark punk warriors The New Flesh have created a stellar fucking new album called “REALITY” – pre-order HERE. All of these tunes are anthems that will have your shadow dancing in protest for the world to wake up! I’m totally impressed with The New Flesh writing skills because they are able convey an aggressive spirit while at no time losing their sense of cryptic melody! CVLT Nation is stoked that we get to share with you The New Flesh REALITY streaming in full below!…Check out their west coast & east coast tour dates…
Some days I see happiness in the blackest skies and some days I hear bliss in dirgy basslines and somber vocals! Maybe this is why I have Liar In Wait’s new EP “Translations of the Lost” on repeat, and it has our little girl dancing non-stop – which means a lot, because she has great taste! Today we have been given the honor of premiering their outstanding new visual for their song “Fall With Me,” which was directed by John Bradburn. Liar In Wait’s record hits the streets on May 28th and will be released via Profound Lore Records… Stay tuned, we have some exclusive things happening with them in the very near future!
No matter how old I get, certain memories will never leave my brain. One such memorable night cost me two dollars, with a fog machine blinding me as my head nodded to a drum machine: when I saw The Sisters of Mercy on their first ever show in Los Angeles. Andrew & Wayne were on point at this gig and I knew I was watching something special. This band was a part of my brooding teenage years and I still enjoy them to this very day. This is why Fuck Yeah The Sisters of Mercy is our favorite tumblr right now! Once you check out this page you will not be leaving for a while, because it’s full of epic pictures and stellar videos…First and Last and Always, The Sisters of Mercy RULE! Peep the image gallery and more!
What would happen if one of your favorite bands got trapped inside of an Alice In Wonderland fantasy world? You would end up with the 1984 play-at-home special featuring Siouxsie & The Banshees alongside Robert Smith telling some bugged out children stories. Hearing each band member speaking through their inner child is pretty awesome! Within the chapters, you will see some outstanding Siouxsie & The Banshees videos. If you have young children who like good music, this is a perfect video for both you and them…Now watch The Banshees do their thing in fantasy land…