Guest Writer Guilty Parents
The Haxan Cloak
Under the guise The Haxan Cloak the music of one Mr Bobby Krillic has been blogged and reblogged over the last couple of years. Records appearing on such illustrious labels such as Aurora Borealis and Latitudes, plus his recent signing to hip electronica label Tri-Angle Records makes it look as though The ‘Cloak is continuing be spread further and further across the music scene. The source of all this excitement is an eclectic exploration of occultish soundscapes that takes in everything from modern classical, film score, electronica, drone, free-folk and metal elements and conjures them into a rich canvas that teeters on the edge of a deep deep abyss.
This October sees the release of the debut 7” of London post-punk savages Good Throb on the ever rewarding Superfi Records. Self described as “Speculum rock for suicidal call-centre staff and the sexually dispossessed.” Imagine Mark E Smith reborn a girl and reliving endless bad days at the office and disappointing nights out. Rebuking customer service and hurling that maliciously malfunctioning photocopier out of the damn window. Not to mention her band appear to have found the perfect middle ground between Flipper and the 4-Skins to boot!
Not saying there weren’t isms in punk rock in the beginning, but as a youngster I always had respect for all of the women who were there from day one. From the the United Kingdom to the United States of America, women were making their creative spirit heard. Today I want to focus on The Slits and X-Ray Spex – both bands shared a sense of musical freedom that other bands from their era didn’t have. When you hear Ari UP and crew explain it, they never wanted to make “male-sounding” music. When I play The Slits today, you still can’t hear a band that has come close to manifesting such original songs. As performers, this band was confrontational in their own right. Then there were the X-Ray Spex, fronted by Poly Styrene (her braces bugged me out), who knew how to write perfectly subversive pop songs. When I watched this band on television during the late 70′s, I always felt that it was okay to be different. X-Ray Spex’s use of the sax in their tunes elevated them to another universe of radness. Both of these bands are still influencing new generations of females and males to this very day. I could talk about how they changed the face of fashion, but that is a whole other feature unto itself. Today, CVLT Nation would like to celebrate The Slits & X-Ray Spex with a giant video photo essay…We are all Germfree Adolescents, so after the jump, peep the typical girls!
The Slits & X-Ray Spex after the jump!
Italy’s Dystopian Society, like Germany’s Tanzkommando Untergang, employ imagery and use a name that might make one think they were a political thrash band. But — wait just a minute! Although the band do have a strong sense of political ethics, they’re like New Model Army and Rubella Ballet in that they couple social observations with a compellingly gloomy postpunk sound.
They will be playing along with The Mob and UK Decay at this year’s Drop Dead Fest, on November 3rd, in Berlin, Germany. (Info below.)
Dystopian Society’s new LP, Cages, is much in line with this. It is basically a political deathrock LP — if such a thing could be permitted to exist under the heavens — much like Christ vs Warhol’s excellent Dissent LP married the sounds of postpunk and deathrock with astute political observations, including an anti-Tea Party song in the latter’s case!
Dystopian Society were originally interviewed by Oliver in May, 2012.
The late Kenn Kroosaficks accorded the 2011 self-titled Bellicose Minds EP one of “the top positive punk/deathrock” releases of 2011, here on CVLT Nation. Although Kenn passed away in February of this year — at the premature age of 20 — his taste in music was (and is) spot on. Portland’s Bellicose Minds have announced a new LP, The Spine, due out soon. This interview is dedicated to Kenn.
Bellicose Minds are one of the best dark postpunk bands around today.
Interview conducted by Oliver in August 2012.
CVLT Nation turned me on to Australian duo White Hex when they posted about the band’s debut back in July. I was immediately sold on their musical rendering of icy distance and deep narcotic atmosphere. When Sean & Meghan asked if Ides Of Gemini would be interested in participating in one of CVLT Nation’s “Artist To Artist” interviews, I thought it would be appropriate for me to email some questions to White Hex guitarist Jimi Kritzler. The following exchange took place over a couple of weeks in August 2012.
- J. Bennett
How did you and Tara (Green, vocals) meet?
We have known each other for 8 years but it was only when we both wound up in the same city after years of not seeing each did we form White Hex. That was July last year. We wrote some songs and disappeared to Egypt together to finish writing the record.
Did you really go to Egypt, or are you yanking my chain?
No, I am completely serious. Tara and I disappeared to Egypt for a few weeks to think about the record and finish the songs before we again disappeared to record the album and live in Berlin. I have attached a photo as proof….it is not in front of pyramids so don’t get yr hopes up too much.
by Oliver Sheppard
The best description I’ve heard of Bitter Fruit’s sound is “Andi Sex Gang singing for early Christian Death.” The band’s own Facebook page describes them as “grungey deathrock,” which is not inaccurate, considering the garage-punk vibes given off by the band’s high energy 6-song demo, “It Gets Bitter.” Bitter Fruit claim influences from turn-of-the-century Bay Area deathrockers like The Phantom Limbs, Subtonix, and Black Ice — among some surprising others. (In fact, their demo was mixed by Skot Brown of the Phantom Limbs/Black Ice.) There is an infectious, distortion-drenched, garage punk spin put on this sound, however. Singer Jack Bradley’s sneering, creepy vocals make Bitter Fruit standout.
I really like Internal Autonomy. This dark British punk band began around 1986 as the original wave of anarcho-punk was receding. The band continued to release records into the early 1990s and within the past few years the band’s two core members, Al and Nix, have gotten back together with a host of new material and covers of bands like Rudimentary Peni and Alternative. The band play a mix of anarcho-punk and gothy postpunk that reminds at turns of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Rubella Ballet, and Blood and Roses. Nix’s vocals can vary between sounding like Siouxsie Sioux, Eva O. of the Superheroines, and Anja Huwe of Xmal Deutschland. For all that, however, the band maintains a revolutionary, DIY punk spirit and approach. Internal Autonomy should be much better known than they are, and this interview is one small step towards remedying that.
Below, I got to ask Al and Nix what bands inspired them, what they think about filesharing and how it has impacted DIY/punk culture, as well as the anarchist philosophy that motivates them, and other things. Enjoy.
Internal Autonomy interviewed by Oliver in August, 2012.
Oliver: To get some basic information out of the way, when did you all start, what town was this in, and who was in the band then (1980s) versus now? And also, what instruments do they play?
Nix: IA really arose out of another band Al was part of. Al and I met at a gig in Frimley – where I was selling “Infection” zines with the writer, my other half at the time. Al came up and asked if he’d do a review in the zine. We became friends and one day Al rang and asked if I’d like to sing in the band – so I had a go… still do – lol. We began recording on an old karaoke machine, in Al’s room in Camberley, which swiftly morphed into a recording studio. Who is in the band??? Anyone. That’s always been the objective, which is why there have been so many varied and talented people passing through and leaving their mark. But, for the most part it has been Al and I as the driving forces. Drum and voice – rhythm and harmony?
From the ashes of Ian Curtis arose a new band that the world would know as New Order. Whenever I think of them, the city of San Francisco comes to mind – something about that city represents the band to me. Although they were from the grey skies of Manchester, their music transcended time & space for my generation. By far, New Order’s first two records are my favorites. Movement is an unsung classic album. With New Order, Factory Records really started to find their voice on many different planes of creativity. On November 18th, 1981, the band gave an outstanding performance at the Ukranian National Home in New York, which was captured on film. Today CVLT Nation salutes New Order, so check out this stunning show after the jump!
Ottawa, Canada’s Blue Cross have incredibly just released their second LP, I Am Death — incredible because many bands nowadays wait years between releases, and this is Blue Cross’s second LP in just over 7 months. The LP is out on Noxious Noize! Records, a small label operating out of New Orleans, and it continues the band’s predilection for playing “old school”-sounding (a term I have a problem with) gothy postpunk.
The new LP is an important, flagship example of the newer deathrock being made by dark bands from the punk scene. Along with the recent announcements by Varning Montreal Fest 6 of a lineup that features Belgrado, Bellicose Minds, The Spectres, Crimson Scarlet, and Dekoder, and a European Dropdead Festival that will feature The Mob, UK Decay, Tanzkommando Untergang, and Dystopian Society, I Am Death makes a strong argument for 2012 being the year of goth-punk. I Am Death is extremely well-done; it’l surely be on any serious “best of 2012″ lists.
If you like HIM or the Birthday Massacre, you will love Blue Cross. If you like played-out, passé bands like Madhouse, Part 1, or Rubella Ballet, you won’t.
In this very special interview, during which Blue Cross guitarist Jo recounts his role in the Catholic Church child sex abuse scandal, as well as the band’s involvement in laundering Nazi gold, the tape had to be stopped a few times. Many in the room would get too choked up to continue. I realized there were repressed, Satanic daycare ritual abuse memories coming to the surface. It was intense, and I feel privileged to have been a witness to this special time. Listening to the Blue Cross story I began to understand why people watch the Lifetime Movie Network. Of course, by “tape,” I mean “email.” And by “laundering Nazi gold,” I mean “transporting Asian sex slaves.”
Blue Cross have a new LP coming out, I Am Death, on Noxious Noize. Proceeds from the sale of the LP will go towards the Mitt Romney 2012 Presidential campaign, so please support. I hope they get to tour with Cradle of Filth or Aiden very soon. I would certainly suck off my own grandfather to see that.
Interview below the jump cut. Sensitive trigger warnings abound, so please use caution.