Cemetery‘s cassette demo in 2011 was a welcome and gloomy surprise from Chicago that I first wrote about for CVLT Nation in March, 2012. Although the band have produced at least an LP’s worth of material – and are planning to release it soon, as they detail below – since the demo, and have played out on the East Coast and elsewhere, it’s hard to find info on the mysterious group. As one of the better-sounding bands that are part of the new revivalist deathrock and goth-punk movement that includes bands like Lost Tribe, The Spectres, Deathcharge, Arctic Flowers, Crimson Scarlet, Belgrado, and others, the creepy, Christian Death-sounding quartet have slowly been amassing followers due to word of mouth praise and dubbed circulation of their cassette.
I interviewed singer Danny and guitarist Desmond below to find out what bands have inspired them and what they’re currently working on.
Waiting can be a bitch. Like the next Star Wars or sublime dish Taco Bell will cook up, the interval between The Banner‘s last release (2008′s Frailty) and this jet black gem has been a nail biter. Unlike Star Wars (but like Taco Bell), you know that this band’s sound is never in the wrong hands. So here we have The Banner’s first release in over five years, and though its length is brief, this could be equated to their potential Episode VII.
As a band that has continually redefined itself with each release, no matter how small, The Banner refreshes itself with unprecedented speed, skull-crushing fury and Type O Negative. These four tracks have been released sporadically since the beginning of 2012 in rough, unmixed versions. It would be a sin to decry these finalized versions, in fact this EP does little in the disappointment department.
“Wolvesblood” opens with a tongue-in-cheek sound clip from Pulp Fiction that is pleasantly self-referential for these Jersey devils. This self-loathing anthem is as fine a one as they’ve ever produced, tearing the listener down layer by layer until only a shuddering mass remains. The wrath is palpable enough to slash your ears to bits. The words throughout are cutting, a poem that rides on storm winds. “Wolvesblood” flows like blood from a freshly mauled throat into “Lilith,” a spine-twisting blur that demands a sacrificial circle pit. Let us pray to the heathen gods to give these dudes the funding and financial backing to tour, these songs need a live setting. None more so than the apocalyptic, bleak but triumphant “Negative Zone.”
One of the best peace-post-punk records to come out of America in the 80′s was created by San Francisco unsung heroes TRIAL & the name of their classic album is Moments Of Collapse. This band started out as a young peace punk band in the early 80s, but by ’84 their sound really started to develop into something more akin to post punk. TRIAL’s anarcho punk roots ran deep – their singer John was the younger brother of Matt from Crucifix; Chris, their drummer, played for Crucifix; & Cyrnai was once a member of the Sleeping Dogs, the 1st American band signed to the Crass label. Moments Of Collapse was a testament to the band’s creative spirit – the opening track, “Lobotomized Visions,” is a dense wall of industrial dirge that’s sound can never be dated. John’s lyrics were written from somewhere deep within his heart, but he wrote them in a way that we all can be touched by them. Songs such as “Unshackled In The Garden” have this eerie neo-folk vibe about them; his voice seems like a haunting fog rolling over the hills. TRIAL was not afraid to experiment with sound: how it could be bent, stretched & deconstructed, then built in to something new. Every song on Moments Of Collapse drips with damaged emotion, these are compositions that have layers of cold built around a warm skeleton. The drumming on this album is a voice unto itself; the way Chris plays, it’s like he is speaking different languages for us to decode. If you are into post-punk & would like to hear a record that was created from the heart, for our hearts, then TRIAL’s Moments Of Collapse will build your future. So now all you have to do is do whatever you have to do to find this album on vinyl!
…or at least listen to.
There have been a lot of new dark postpunk and deathrock releases lately. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track. But here are some of the recent singles, EPs, and LPs that deserve your attention.
Like their fellow deathrockers in Fangs on Fur and Christ vs Warhol — two bands that, like Catholic Spit, are from Southern California — Catholic Spit inject their take on deathrock with a fiery punk sensibility and energy. This 6 person (!) band has been fairly prolific compared to other bands in the genre. (The most prolific band has to be Blue Cross, who have released 3 LPs in just over two years.) Catholic Spit’s 7-song Pact with the Devil LP was released in late 2012 and was followed only a few months later with the uptempo “I’m Your God Now” 2-song 7″. And now comes this split, which you can stream for free at the band’s Bandcamp page. Ericka’s vocals shriek — in a good way — through watery, flangey guitars (think John McGeoch), backed up by Nick Townsend’s andrenalized, uptempo punk-style drumming and Kaleb’s rock solid bass. (Townsend also did the band’s recordings for this release.)
The Catholic Spit contribution to the split can be heard at this Youtube video below.
Coming out of Berlin, NERVÖUS find themselves caught somewhere between the post-punk and hardcore punk scenes. This five piece band is able to construct tracks with a post-punk main structure and feeling, while enriching their sound with hardcore-esque intensity and groove along with some influences from the 70s garage scene. The result of their efforts is Konfetti & Mutwillige Zerstorung, an uplifting, energetic offering which becomes addictive the very instant you hit play.
Starting off with the weird intro, “Skit I,” the band sets a strange mood, disorientating you and making you anxious about what will follow. But soon enough the unreal bass line of “Im Puls” comes, lifting the whole track while the heavy guitars’ rhythmic play offers further impact. The realization is instant… this album is fucking fun. Not in a bad way obviously, the music itself is quite playful and positive in an elevating manner. The bass sound is immense, creating a solid brick wall when combined with the great feel coming from the drumming, while the guitar lines are very cleverly arranged within the sonic concepts of NERVÖUS.
As of right now, you can get 40 to 50% off all the records and cassettes in the CVLT Nation Record Store!!! After a year of carrying music in our store, we are shutting it down and we are clearing out all our stock at the lowest prices you will find anywhere. CVLT Nation HQ is making the big move up North, so we are taking a break from the music retail business…so check out the record store for massive deals on titles from Neurosis, Deafheaven, Kylesa, Code Orange Kids, NAILS, Cursed, Ramesses, Noothgrush and many more!! Head over to the record store, no code required!
Boston’s No Sir, I Won’t play revolutionary anarcho-punk without plagiarism, but developed into a modern form. ‘The Door‘ draws obvious influences, but they have breathed new life into it. Profoundly political, it is fueled by disillusionment, anger and the world’s downward slope.
The opening track has that ungovernable force and crescendo of Conflict’s ‘Mighty and superior’. The second song ‘Elevators’ begins with snippets from 1976′s ‘Network’, “The whole world is becoming humanoid, creatures that look human but aren’t.” It is reminiscent of Chumbawamba’s ‘Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records’ with the military percussion of Crass. This is anarcho-punk at it’s finest, music like this makes you want to change the world. Exhilarating and thought-provoking, if you don’t like a message in your music this is not for you. For some it causes goosebumps on their skin, like those bands you first heard that made you think out of the box. There has to be another way or made you question everything you’ve ever been told.
The MOB were more than just a band in the 80′s. They were a state of mind that made me see the world in a different way. Musically, they created melodies that have stuck with me for a lifetime! Today CVLT Nation is sharing with the world a spot on live set from The MOB recorded on 10/16/81 in Holland. You can find the stream and download below. So many of the things that this band was fighting against still ring true today! NO DOVES FLY HERE!
Music via Kill Your Pet Puppy
(Note: This article originally appeared, in an earlier form, at Souciant.com, here. It is reprinted with permission from the author.)
Manchester’s Warsaw changed their name in 1977 to Joy Division to avoid conflict with the punk band Warsaw Pakt. Coincidentally, that change served to mark the break between Joy Division’s punk phase and their later, better-known dark postpunk era. There is something important to this: Many bands at that time started as punk bands yet ended up becoming postpunk, deathrock, and gothic rock acts.
Although Warsaw’s output has its fans and diehard evangelists to this day, it’s the Joy Division material that garnered that band’s popularity. Easy Cure – a British punk band – became The Cure. Crisis became Death in June. The punk band The Outsiders became the postpunk band The Sound. And it goes on. But other bands have had the opposite problem: They are known for their punk material, but their later postpunk output remains neglected, or is seen (by purist punks, at least) as a kind of embarrassing deviation from punk purity, to be brushed under the rug. Rare are bands like Wire or Siouxsie and the Banshees, or Killing Joke — bands whose punk and postpunk material is accorded equal acclaim.
Well, here are five bands whose postpunk material merits reexamination. Audiophiles will be familiar with some of the releases. The material warrants broader exposure regardless.
Watching this video gives me chills and brings me back to one of the most inspiring nights I ever had in my life! While living in San Francisco in ’84, I got the chance to see a rare show by TRIAL that totally blew my mind, but GLORIOUS DIN, who opened that night, transformed me. That night I realized I must start a band, and the next day me and my homie Gary started D & E (DIVERSE & EFFECTIVE). GLORIOUS DIN was one of the most outstanding post punk bands to ever create music, but what’s interesting is that most people have never heard of them. This is why CVLT Nation is so ultra stoked to share with you a very rare video of a GLORIOUS DIN concert from 1986. THIS BAND CREATED TIMELESS MUSIC THAT STILL MOVES ME TO THIS DAY!