Automatic: I came home from this show and said to my wife; “I just photographed a band you’d probably dig” and she went “what were they like” and I got to say “oh, they’re a three piece female lead gothic retrowave rock band with elements of punk, funk and industrial R&B but they’re also experimental, but not experimental enough to not be contemporary ” and then she got to say “…what?”
Dark Thoughts: Where “Automatic” seamlessly blends decades of polarizing aesthetics, “Dark Thoughts” embraces its Ramones punk rock inspirations with the grace of dump truck. Unapologetically punk, their instrumental precision and clarity of lyrics are a welcome addition to the potentially illegible genre. On the spectrum of punk, “Dark Thoughts” leans closer to ‘fun’ than ‘riot,’ but that doesn’t mean their intensity is diluted. They’ll box your ears with sound with the best of them.
ExMiranda: Bogged down by the tedium of life? Well, a possible prescription for your prefrontal prosthesis may be “ExMiranda.” Straight up rap and hip hop tracks with a flare for optimistic pageantry, ExMiranda is a hell of a live show. She commands your attention with a kinetic stage presence that never waivers from beginning to end.
Processor: With layers upon layers of echoing harmonies, you could easily become entranced by the symphonic fractal that is Processor. Elastic enough to be considered post-eletronic-punk, I’d prefer to keep Processor’s sound undefined. There are melodies that breach the ambiguity. Those brief flickers of precision act as an adhesive to their overall sound and that makes the experience a complete package instead of an amorphous soak in noise. Let’s just say they know how to organize chaos. Or unravel order. Either way, they’re pleasant to the ears.
Black Marble: Utilizing a seemingly endless toolbox, but minimalist in their execution, “Black Marble” can evoke a melancholy that yearns for star gazing. Harkening back to the ghostly synth of the 70’s “cold wave” era, Black Marble cradles you into a welcomed blanket of wistful sentimentality. It’s an easy genre that can bleed into the intangible, but Black Marble displays enough precision to make each song distinct with their own reason for being.
DeafKids: Dark psychedelic cords are the canvas for a hypnotic mural of echoing chants, polyrhythmic percussion, and distortion birthed from the netherworld. There’s almost too much to digest as they’re relentless in their methods, but there are enough time changes and shifts in sound that they never become stale. They’re a night terror you can enjoy is what I’m trying to say.
Wayfarer: The scorched and corpse enriched deserts of the American West can inspire metal just as black as any cosmic abyss. Wayfarer answers the call for western black metal by incorporating a familiar twang into their grinding cacophony. Wayfarer is one of my favorite discoveries this year and I hope they score a nihilistic western in the near future.