Cyril Secq / Orla Wren – Branches

I’ve previously opined on these pages (in my review of the Vic Mars’ excellent album, The Land And The Garden) that ambient is, by and large, in the doldrums. “There’s way too much of it and it all sounds the same,” goes my old-geezer grump. What once took ingenuity and was the product of well-considered aesthetic  choice has been neutered by the … [Read more...]

Ramsey – “2am”

L.A.-installed electronic-pop artist Ramsey is a rising star, stirring up the blogosphere and racking up a huge number of visits to her SoundCloud profile, amassing critical and fan praise alike.  Her first salvo was the rivetingly raw and mysteriously menacing “See You Bleed” and now Ramsey returns in the same spirit with the potently ominous … [Read more...]

Vic Mars – The Land And The Garden

All the (doubtlessly tiresome) ‘Dad’ stories that you may have heard about how, in the glory years of vinyl, we would recklessly purchase an album based entirely upon the merits of its sleeve art are scandalously true. Band unknown, we heedlessly cast our pennies upon the record shop counter sure in the knowledge that ‘album cover good equals band … [Read more...]

Offthesky – The Serpent Phase

The Denver-based experimental sound artist Jason Corder (AKA Offthesky) has, over the last fifteen years, released no less than fifty albums. This presents any but the most Offthesky dedicated reviewer with something of a conundrum. Whereas any release that is separated from its predecessors by (say) eighteen months can sensibly be regarded as a … [Read more...]

New album from The Unravelling

The Unravelling’s blend of industrial and hard rock reflects the infectious intensity of its creators.  The band were acclaimed for their debut 13 Arcane Hymns until lead vocalist Steve Moore was diagnosed with cancer in 2011. He was forced to spend the next year and a half in surgery and recovery, thus sending his collaborative partnership with … [Read more...]

New song from The Unravelling

Calgary, Canada-based industrial/metal/hard rock project The Unravelling, which consists of Steve Moore and Gustavo DeBeauville, has released a 2nd single titled "Master Drone".  The duo was critically lauded for its 2010 debut album, 13 Arcane Hymns.  The Unravelling is back, having bowed 1st single, "Revolt", and now the menacing, forceful, and … [Read more...]

Spheruleus and Friends – William Barber

Delving into the hermetically-sealed ambient world in pursuit of the reviewable is a mildly contradictory affair. These are not albums designed to compete for attention, works by bands whose very names often celebrate their own sense of obscurity and (presumably) are meant only to be critically assessed in relation to each other, if at all. Life, … [Read more...]

Short Takes on 4 Songs

Monks of Mellonwah – “Never Been Good” Australian alt-rock/pop four-piece Monks of Mellonwah has been going strong since 2009, releasing EPs (Stars are Out (2010), Neurogenesis(2012), and Sky & the Dark Night (2013)) and acclaimed debut album, Turn the People, in 2014.  John de la Hoyde (bass), Joseph de la Hoyde (guitar), Joshua Bassari … [Read more...]

Short Takes on 4 Songs

  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 … [Read more...]

Owls – Two

It’s difficult to write good music that ventures outside the boundaries of traditional popular music.  Popular music, on the other hand, is relatively easy to write. Since popular music deals in chord sets and forms that exert a proven visceral pull on the listener, it has a built-in direction and clarity.  This is part of what makes it popular … [Read more...]