Short Takes on 4 Songs


RxGF - Any Other Way

RxGF – Any Other Way

RxGF – “How To Make It

RxGF is the electro-darkwave industrial project of John Morgan Reilly and he’s found a striking artistic match in frontwoman Angeline Schaff for his third album release.  Like Butch Vig searching high and low and finally discovering Shirley Manson, John has uncovered Angelina and the rewarding result is the thrilling album, Any Other Way, and the chilling single “How To Make It”.  Angeline is a dead ringer for Siouxsie Sioux vocally and her intonation richly drips with distant and icy distain.  A pronounced, but steady tribal drum beat marks the song’s verses as Angelina sing-talks starkly about the subjugation of the individual by the ones who are in power, droning ““We’ll reprogram your mind / ‘til you don’t know who you are”.  While “How To Make It” is about the music business, with found sound clips of a man proclaiming it’s a tough industry where “you have to sell you soul”, it also applies to any situation where the ones in control influence the individual, including the arenas of politics and religion.  The stalking verses swirl out into the chorus sections with Angeline’s dreamy vocal extensions, fluid guitar notes, sporadic cymbal crash, understated industrial noise, and electronic touches.  The regimented pace builds up towards the end, as constant cymbal shimmer and added low-tone vocals from John figure into the mix.  Wiry guitar notes appear and then give way to fluctuating electronic noises by the end of the song.

Winchester Revival - Burden's Landing EP

Winchester Revival – Burden’s Landing EP

Winchester Revival – “Last Night In Tokyo

The indie rock quintet (David Rosenheim: vocals, lyrics; Andrew Lund: guitars, backing vocals; Ron Cruz: bass; Kirk Snedeker: drums; Matt Glick: electronics) from Oakland, California is releasing an EP titled Burden’s Landing on March 3rd on King of Sticks.  Lead-off single “Last Night In Tokyo” paves the way for the band’s post-punk take on the current rock landscape.  Winchester Revival’s members have all posted time in other outfits and each one brings a different musical piece to this band; from a post-punk core to 70s California-pop touches to shoegaze influences.  Cycles of wiry guitar chime, a brushed drum beat, occasional cymbal hit, and subtle electronics form a base for David’s clear and direct vocals as he lightly exclaims about a city that “never ends” and where “Day and night the same / everyone alone”.  Distorted guitar lines build up on the chorus, along with backing vocals from guest singer Amanda Guilbeaux.  David intones with hope to “Step outside love / It’s really not the end”, but the song itself never truly takes that step and remains indoors, so to speak, by the similarly measured pace of the verses and chorus, the repetitive song-ending guitar riff, and its too-clean production quality.

Attik Door - Never In Agreement

Attik Door – Never In Agreement

Attik Door – “Moody

The hard-hitting, but melodic debut, Never In Agreement, from the alt-rock band Attik Door is out now and “Moody” is an anomalous, peppy rock-pop cut from the album.  Attik Door is based in San Francisco, but its members are originally from the former USSR region.  Fronted by the riveting Liana Tovmasyan and founded by guitarist Alex Shrayber (and with Rita Grabarova on bass, Tim Shulepov on rhythm guitar, and Igor Boyko on drums), the band plies an aggressive, but catchy brand of alternative rock that recalls the hard rock heyday of the 70s and 90’s alt-rock.  Standout song “Moody”, however, is an energetic and infectious romp with precise distorted guitar riffs, crisp drum beats, and an expressive Liana melding a Gwen Stefani-like overripe throaty tremor with some steely Pat Benatar-type grit to her vocals.  The chorus breezes by at a cantering clip, with Liana skipping cavalierly through her “la-la-las” and casually dropping the F-bomb (as in, “You’re so f-ing moody, la, la, la”).  Acoustic guitar notes create a gentle comedown by the song’s finish.

i am Love - i am Love

i am Love – i am Love

i am Love – “Pillar Of Salt

i am Love, the brainchild of Joshua Christopher, has been in existence for several years, has undergone major line-up changes, and currently stands as a trio composed of Joshua, Will Whitmire, and Kris Jackson.  Joshua has had to endure a year-long recovery from injuries sustained in a car accident and he ended up creating this self-titled album during his healing process.  The result is an eclectic and experimental set of indie alt-folk/dramatic rock that incorporates cello, woodwinds, banjo, sax, zither, and other non-rock-associated instruments. “Pillar Of Salt”, however, is not an indicative sonic template for the album, but an upbeat one-off that showcases Joshua’s malleable vocals as he hits wistfully sweet falsetto notes amid runs of zither on the verses.  This segues into a brisk, bass-driven chorus replete with a surprising and delightful sweeping saxophone uplift, jangled tambourine, and thumped drums.


  1. Andrew Sparks says:

    RxGF: heaviest electro tune of the year.