A musician, songwriter and producer, Phil Thornalley will be familiar to most for his brief stint with The Cure in 1983. His other credits include production work for Natalie Imbruglia and Bryan Adams. While not one of the music world’s most obvious faces, he’s worked within the industry since the late 70s. Taking the idea to create “a lost seventies classic”, his Astral Drive project is a world away from many of the musicians he’s been associated with previously. The material within is rich and densely layered; a work completely immersed in studio techniques. Its eleven songs draw influence from a lot of great long players released in the decade of brown and orange, and occasionally, influence crosses a line into…loving plagiarism, but the results are guaranteed to thrill fans of the style.
Rhode Island musician Fred Abong will be familiar to most due to his past connections with Throwing Muses and Belly, bands related both by blood and a musical family tree. While Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly have remained reasonably prolific since the 90s, Abong chose to slink back into the shadows. In his own words, he’s “always found songwriting a mystery”, but was encouraged by Hersh to capture a few musical ideas on tape in 2018. The resulting EP is thoughtful, minimalist, sometimes even bleak, but is all the better for it.
On this EP, Israel’s Nihilistic Legion shows how much noise a one-man band can make. Playing absolutely everything, the mysteriously named Tohu fuses classic death metal sounds with a touches of grindcore and other extremities to create something incredibly forceful. The five songs – four originals and one cover – shows off an artist whom has utter conviction in his art, but production wise, these tracks aren’t necessarily shown at their best. In fact, the chosen mix is so claustrophobic and abrasive in places, it can be rather hard to pick out the finer points of the sound. It doesn’t make for especially easy listening…but maybe that’s deliberate.
It’s a Saturday night nearing the end of March 2018. A crowd has gathered outside the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. The night’s star turn is Jim Bob, one time of Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, here to play an acoustic solo set to a sell out crowd. Figures stroll up and down in the cold. A typical Saturday night pre-gig scene, you might think… It’s the norm on these occasions to wander past those with flyers and not make eye contact, but tonight, something is different. A flame haired woman is dishing out glossy pieces of paper and yelling “SALAD IS BACK ON THE MENU!” in a way that’s impossible to merely shrug off.
Taken from their forthcoming album ‘Mournography’, UK goth rockers Her Despair have unleashed a new video for ‘Blaspheme With Me’. The track has a pinch of metal, but the over-riding mood is a very retro one, with the band carrying more influence from Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy than HIM or Type O Negative.
Combining a busy and melodic tune with a slightly darker vocal, mournfulness rarely sounded so good and if you still love gothic music from the 80s, there’s something for you to enjoy.
The full press release and video can be found below.