I totally respect the power of music, and how when it’s made with honesty and untainted conviction it can truly become timeless. There is a very special band from the mid 80′s named Spahn Ranch, and they put out one record, Thickly Settled, which was released on Insight Records in 1986/87. This album has sonic healing powers that will amaze you from the very first note. The singer’s voice is enchanting and haunting all in the same breath. The guitar work that you will hear on Thickly Settled is so majestic and moving, that the guitar tones will have your nightmares dancing with your dreams. Spahn Ranch were good at creating tension in their tunes that would play off of the tranquil audio tapestry of darkness the wove. I must say that this band also had some really driving songs on this album, and the tribal feeling to their drumming always has me transfixed! What I have heard is that this was the first time that anyone in this band had ever played instruments, which I think made them have an open mind in the way they created sound. When you hear “Dissipation,” you will feel as if grey walls are surround you, but above your head are be sunrays from your past, and the fragile voice of the singer is your friend. From the very first twinkle of “Wonder and Perish,” your life will never be the same. It’s all of the languages that are spoken by the instruments that always have me saying Spahn Ranch are super radical. Do yourself a favor and blast their tune “Crutch” loud – the dissonant energy in this song will make you realize that this band are an American treasure. I’m a firm believer that music can bring people together, no matter what subculture you might call home, and Spahn Ranch is the kind of band that can do just that, unify! Let also be known that 20 years before there was ever a Godspeed You Black Emperor, their was Spahn Ranch. Do whatever you must do to find this record…below we are streaming four of CVLT Nation’s favorites from Thickly Settled.
#.Wicked horns + Taped together with a sick bassline +700 heartbeats = 1/4 of a UV POP Tune Just a Game
#.Off kilter guitar strums + Percussive madness + Distorted Vocals = 1/4 of a UV POP Tune Just a Game
#.Broken harmony + Nonstop head movement + Sonic protest against the Norm = 1/4 of a UV POP Tune Just a Game
#Post Punk Anthem + Timeless Track created in 1982 + When the masses were dumb but just a little smarter than now = 1/4 of a UV POP Tune Just a Game
New York label Sacred Bones Records are reissuing the UV POP 7″ Just a Game/ No Songs Tomorrow, and both tunes are boombastic. “No Songs Tomorrow” is this really happy song trapped inside a sad song – it’s pretty epic they way that the band did it. The vocals have this rad mournful tone about them, and they play well off of the melancholy guitar playing. Then you have the lyrics themselves, super simple but very though-provoking, and they have a vibe of forever about them. So, I will go on record and say that I’m way happy that this awesome piece of post-punk creativity was re-released…now a whole other generation gets to know the epic sound of UV POP!
CVLT Nation is all about finding the unity within the dark arts, and part of this foundation dates back to my teenage years in the 80′s when all weirdos banded together. This was a time when you had no choice but to to come together, for the simple fact that you were not a part of the boring masses that were out to suck the spirit out of you. Two scenes that collided in the early and mid 80′s were Peace Punk and Deathrock. I never thought I would hear bands in 2011 that would take the essence of what was created decades ago and put their own unique spin on it. A band that has got me way extra excited is Virginia’s Lost Tribe, and they have a self-titled album which will be released on Blind Prophet Records Oct 1st. that is PERFECT! This is blackened soul music that bleeds out killer dark rhythms of the past and beyond the present. Every fucking tune on this album has super rad tribal drumming that has my brain cells bouncing around my skull. Lost Tribe’s basslines have the stench of the graveyard, but also resonate with a sense of anarcho protest energy. When you hear “Gunk,” I’m sure you will say to yourself that Discharge and Southern Death Cult have just taken over your spirit! Then their is the vocalist, whose delivery is transcendental and aggressive all at the same time, making the best environment for sonic magic. The lyrics weave in and out of my imagination. Lost Tribe are way sicker than anything I could ever write, in my words you can’t hear the amazing guitar work that is weeping on every song. It’s the interesting twists and turns that can’t be explained through text that makes this album so rad. When you hear the dirge of their song “Fog” blow into your life, you will get where I’m coming from! I started this review talking about the past, but I’m sure that Lost Tribe has the power to put both the Peace punk and Deathrock communities under their spell in 2011. No matter what kind of music you are into, just be glad that you have found the Lost Tribe!
I can remember everything about this one night in San Francisco in 1984; it was when me and my crew of merry ghouls went to see The Cure at the Kabuki Theater. It was super rad because they were on tour for one of my favorite albums, The Top. The show was all that and a bag of chips, especially when they performed “The Caterpillar”. Robert Smith was the voice of my generation; he wrote the kind of songs that helped us make sense out of our young lives. He also had a very unique way of singing that was dark on one side, but sunny on the other. I guess you could say that he was the male version of Siouxsie. As a band, The Cure were originators from the moment they said go, and they also constructed subversive pop tunes that would stand the test of time! They crafted my favorite songs between 1979 and 1984, although even after that time, I still would hear diamonds in the rough. Today, CVLT Nation has gathered some killer live footage of The Cure performing some of their most moving anthems. So after the jump, check out these rare visual moments in musical history!
I have a huge affinity for female performers, I always have and forever will! There is one woman that transcends all of them, and that is Siouxsie Sioux. She represents what I want my daughters to grow to be: strong, confident and independent the the max. As a teenager growing up in the L.A. punk scene, you saw her influence on almost every young women in the scene. I really don’t think that this city would have given birth to Deathrock without the help of her music and style. With her band, Siouxsie and the Banshees, I watched them change the face of British pop music. Also, their music was the soundtrack to some crazy times in my own life, and I have never grown tired of her voice. I would say that even now I listen to her in some form at least three times a week. I was a happy human being when a couple of months ago my oldest daughter came to me to ask what were my favorite Siouxsie albums so she get them for herself (yes! result!). Today, CVLT Nation would like to celebrate the one and only Siouxsie Sioux with an epic video essay. So after the jump, let us take you to our Hong Kong garden…enjoy all of the videos!
Who let the bats out…those gothic weirdos BAUHAUS invaded my reality when I was 12 years old & have been a part of my life ever since. I remember when I first saw one of their videos on late night T.V., I was more than hooked, I became a fiend. The music that BAUHAUS created could never be duplicated because these musical ghouls knew how to make black magic like no other band. When you listen to “Hollow Hills,” you see the fog moving towards you as you walk through the enchanted forest. Peter Murphy’s voice & lyrics are on a whole other level of radness. Daniel Ash & the rest of the band created music that was way before it’s time & full of musical adventure. When you looked at BAUHAUS, you knew it was OK to be as weird as you wanted to be. You see, in the early 80′s, not looking like the status quo put a bullseye on your back, just asking for the jocks or the preps to fuck with you. What got me super hyped about BAUHAUS is that they crossed all boundaries; they unified the punks & death rockers. As a frontman, we all know that in his prime, Peter was the cryptic version of Iggy, because he gave it his all when he stepped on stage! What about their bass lines that just rocked & shocked the nation? There in no way to deny that this band was influenced by dub. So what do we have here…CVLT Nation has picked some of our favorite live BAUHAUS videos for your viewing pleasure. After the jump, find the man with the x-ray eyes & see for yourself how BAUHAUS painted their era black!
One voice has been able to pick up my shadows and take off to other planes of reality, where unicorns are the storytellers of our future. That voice belongs to Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins – she & Robin Guthrie have created music that has been a part of my dreams for decades. I will always remember walking through Golden Gate park as a 15-year-old, looking up at the clouds with the Cocteau Twins playing on repeat in my brain, knowing that my imagination could take me around the world! I’m so happy I hung out with rad weirdos who turned me on to killer music as a teenager. Actually, when I was younger, if I met someone who liked the Cocteau Twins, we would automatically become friends; that was the thing about the 80′s, all of the freaks stuck together. The Cocteau Twins are beyond special, I mean, every time you hear Elizabeth’s voice it’s almost like she is singing to you and only you. I have never understood a word she has sung, but then again, I have felt everything she has every sung on so many different levels. One person who does not get the credit he should is Robin Guthrie. He wove an otherworldly sonic tapestry for Elizabeth to do her thing on. When I hear certain songs by them, I just can’t stop thinking about how they brought so many various groups together: hardcore punks, peace punks, goths & positive punks – when it came to this band, there were no boundaries. Just writing about them right now brings a smile to my face, because if any music makes me feel like a better being it’s the Cocteau Twins. I never got the chance to see them live, but never say never, who knows what the future brings. In the meantime, CVLT Nation would like to celebrate the almighty Cocteau Twins with a superdelic video essay. So after the jump, get your sugar hiccup video fix.
I can remember what color the sky was; I can remember where the bus took me; I can remember when the record first touched my hand; I can remember the first time that I heard Joy Division. I was never the same after hearing them, I had this feeling that I had heard everything that this band had ever created. I needed to know everything about them, I wanted to know why Ian had to take his own life. Over the years, no matter where I have been in the world, Joy Division has played a special role in my existence. I know I’m not the only person on this planet that feels this way about them! That is what made them so rad – everything about them speaks to the emotions, desires, insecurities & thoughts that we are all trying to make sense of on the daily. Joy Division is way more than just a band or even a movement, they are a sonic monument for generation after generation to discover. The lyrics that Ian wrote are fucking scripture. There are a select few around the world that got to see this dynamite band live, and I wish I was one of them, but I am not. I have watched many videos of them performing live, and there is one video that I would like to share with you today called Here Are The Young Men. The quality is not the best in the world, but in a way that almost adds to the mystery of these performances. Also I would like to share my favorite Joy Division live recording with you; honestly I dig this more than some of their studio recordings. So after the jump, see & hear how Joy Division can change your atmosphere.
Yes its time for another PUNK mixtape, be it anarcho / gothic / post-punk / wave / whatever. Or should we say, gloomy punk? Well to hell with labelization anyway, this time I featured both old and new bands. Some are well-known, some are obscure, but one thing for sure: THEY ARE RAD! You know the rules, right? Now drag yourself out of the cave, the airwaves will lead you to your own grave!
Now this is extra epic news: Oakland’s ALARIC have signed to killer label 20 Buck Spin & will be releasing their debut album. The album is slated to come out on Oct. 11th, and is said to be 46 minutes of mind-altering dark post punk that will find its way into your black heart. I must say that I have only heard two songs, but I was totally impressed beyond belief. ALARIC’s members have a very strong foundation in underground music, which I’m sure helps them create such original sound. What I find so interesting about this band is that nothing about their sound seems retro. They have been able to take post punk/death rock influences and put their own spin on it. I have a theory about why they are so successful at this – I feel that it’s due to the fact that they grew up with the first wave of death rock, so it’s just embedded in their musical DNA. I don’t know all of the facts, but I also heard through the bloodline that there is an ALARIC & ATRIARCH split in the works, which makes sense. Certain things are better said by the band than by me, so below check out what they have to say about their influences. After the jump check out some epic live footage!