September’s EMusic

The September Haul!

One of my favourite bands ever, the incomparable Curve disbanded in 2005. Since then, singer Toni Halliday has been all but absent from the music scene. To my knowledge, she sang on the 2006 Christmas charity single [A Great Big Sled” by The Killers and that was pretty much it. In early 2008 she announced that she’d started work on a new solo project, [Chatelaine]( A little over two years later, we finally have that album. Gone are the huge beats and heavy bass lines of Curve – this is a stripped down album, consisting mostly of piano and vocals. As a result it feels very personal. A couple of years ago I described Sol Seppy’s music as sounding like it’s being sung to you. Take A Line For A Walk doesn’t sound as intimate, but it does sound as honest. Twenty years ago this would have done nothing for me, but the older me loves it.

Atari Teenage Riot may have created Digital Hardcore, but no band deserves the classification more than Cyanotic. Aggressive as Hell, pounding beats, crunching guitars and death-metal vocals. Play it loud, frighten your neighbours.

Fawn is a shoegazer-inspired side-project from Acumen Nation’s Jason Novak. Their first EP, Frozen, was an altogether too short sampling of shoegazer tinged with Acumen’s particular brand of industrial-metal. I’d been eager for another Fawn release since Frozen came out some five years ago, this came out in 2008 and somehow I’d failed to notice. Full of shimmer and reverb, with just enough teeth to draw a tiny drop of blood, it’s excellent stuff.

Way back in 2002 I heard Manual’s Ascend whilst browsing at Penguin Records. Five minutes later I’d bought the album and have been a fan ever since. I’ve said before that the reason I keep buying KMFDM and FLA albums is that they never change – I know what I’m in for and I know what I’m going to get. Manual, of late, has fallen into this pattern too. Every Manual album is a delicate, shimmering butterfly wing held up to the sun. I wouldn’t say it stands out as the best of Manual’s work, but I’m not sure any of them do – they’re consistently excellent albums. Ascend remains my favourite, but I think it’s because it was the first one I’d heard.

I bought this almost entirely because it’s the last thing Paul Raven (Killing Joke, Prong) had finished. The fact that Mark Gemini Thwaite (most famously of The Mission U.K.) plays guitar doesn’t hurt it any. Vocals are by one Kory Clarke, who sang for Warrior Soul. (Honestly, I’d never heard of them – 90s metal wasn’t really my thing.) The album’s a scorcher, meant to be played at horrendous volumes. It’s clearly Raven’s baby, as it’s way more industrial-metal than anything either Thwaite or, judging from a few videos gleaned off YouTube, Clarke has done. I wish I’d had a chance to see these guys live, it’d’ve been a Hell of a show. I’m still sad Raven’s gone, but this was a good final note for him.

Jesu has always been Justin Broadrick exploring his softer side, but as Pale Sketcher he takes that exploration one step further. Pale Sketches Demixed is an apt description – Jesu’s Pale Sketches album deconstructed and remixed to almost gossamer delicacy. It’s a marvellous album.

A faithful cover. It’s a great song, and it really suits Sharin Foo’s voice.

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