Written by Kenn Kroosaficks
This year was a pretty damn good year for positive punk if you ask me. A shit ton of killer goth and deathrock bands seemingly knee-deep in a dark anarcho-punk perspective have been springing up the last few years and 2011 seems to be the year that they all decided to get in the studio, hell, most of these are only the band’s first or second (official) release. Anyway, I don’t wanna bore you too much up here, so sit down (as if you weren’t already), shut up (if you’re reading this, there’s probably a coin toss that you don’t have anyone to talk to, anyway), and get reading (like you have anything better to do, you broke bum)!
THE BELLICOSE MINDS “The Bellicose Minds” EP
It was a good year for PDX gothpunk, and this EP is a just a teaser of things to come from this band. They hark back to the very early days of UK positive punk and new wave, anarchic, glammy, dark, cold, pained, and rather importantly, dancey. These kids are putting out tracks that can get you pumping anywhere from a packed basement in a punk house to that velvet and lace goth club downtown. From the delayed guitars, hypnotic drums, flourishing keys, and bleak vocal track, everything commands movement.
LOST TRIBE “Lost Tribe” LP
Richmond, Virginia, you struck again. This album perfectly displays their addictive anarcho-goth-crust-deathrock sound, driving baselines settling themselves next to sharp guitar playing, competing with a tribalistic drum that pushes itself up into a d-beat at times, matching vocals that hit with a disheartened tone shooting itself into a mad bark, commanding its own rhythm, but still everything working in harmony, laid on top of a synth foundation that you need to listen for in most cases, but will shine itself through to lend itself to a totally full sound.
DEATHCHARGE “Love Was Born to an Early Death” LP
These long-term PDX D-Beat vets released their first LP not too long ago on Unseen Forces, and sold out seemingly quicker than it was released. Since 2004’s “The Hangman/New Dark Age” 7″, Deathcharge have been incorporating a much heavier deathrock influence into their sound, a chorused bassline on most of the tracks, and vocals on most tracks went from singer A. Void’s typical shouts to an almost bored mumble, leaning towards the bleakness of the tracks, being contrasted by a very live guitar and still D-Beat drum. Both sides of this LP are untitled, but if you listen close, you’ll be able to recognize a song or two in there.
ALARIC “Alaric” LP
I came across Oakland’s kings of goth a while back on last.fm and heard the two tracks off of their previous self-titled 7″ (two tracks which also close their self-titled LP), “Animal” and “Shadow of Life”, and from the first few seconds, I needed more. They finally gave it up with this wonderful LP which keeps their own brand of doomy deathrock throughout with tribal drumbeats and hypnotic guitar laying underneath shouts of betrayal and anguish.
BELGRADO “Belgrado” LP
Coming from Spain is another amazing group of musicians laying down some more of that new glorious anarcho-goth fusion that can cure cancer if listened to enough. This group’s also channelling some poor soul stuck in the early 80s begging you to dance with groovy basslines throughout, stellar driving guitar work, solid drumming, and vocals that are as poppy as they are angry, Very Anne-Marie Hurst. In fact, the whole thing is a little Skeletal Family-esque. If that doesn’t make you want to pick up a copy, I don’t what what will.
A four song demo? On a year’s-end-top six? Sounds crazy, I know… until you listen to it. Mindblowing dancey, anarcho, dreamy positive punk from Montreal, Canada. Very solid tribal drumming and a solid driving basslines carry throughout behind an echoing, dark guitar complementing almost operatic female vocals that aren’t afraid to get all Siouxsie up in this bitch for a verse or two.
CVLT Nation would like to say thanks to Kenn Kroosaficks & DEATHROCK: Not just for 1980s Californian vampires.