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New Model Army (live)

The Forum, London 17 December 2009

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the Forum, not a creature was stirring apart from that seething, thronging mass of goths, punks, crusties and beardy CAMRA-men that only New Model Army seem to be able to unite into one celebratory whole. And they’ve been doing it for a while now. Next year sees their thirtieth anniversary tour… this year makes it two whole decades since I first became a fan, with a storming set at Reading Festival while touring Thunder And Consolation.

I have to admit, I’ve been living under a rock for a while and had somehow missed the release of the new album, though on the strength of tonight’s airing of most of it, it’s gonna be bloody good when I get round to hearing it. They’re certainly not resting on their laurels, even though they’ve earned them

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Trans Am – What Day Is It Tonight?

Thrill Jockey

Trans Am‘s blend of rock/electro comes to the stage with live album What Day Is It Tonight? Many lesser bands wouldn’t be able to pull this kind of fusion off. Synthpop and hard driving rock are seemingly chalk and cheese. Lesser bands might have troubles, but this is what Trans Am do and they do it like fucking champs (and indeed sometimes alongside The Fucking Champs).

The world Trans Am conjures up has the same kind of split personality as their music. Their vision lurches from tongue in cheek Kraftwerk future world of kitsch to a dark scifi dystopia; sometimes within the same song. For all the cuteness of “Futureworld” ‘s vocoder

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Obliteration – Necropsalms

Fysisk Format

There’s a lot to Obliteration - Necropsalmslike about Necropsalms, Obliteration‘s second album, unless you don’t like doomy death metal that is. But, of course, everyone likes death metal. Obliteration hail from Kolbotn in Norway, that’s the home of Darkthrone amongst other bands. Their first album was released on Tyrant Syndicate, the sub-label of Peaceville run by Darkthrone’s Nocturno Culto. So you’d be forgiven for thinking Necropsalms was a good orthodox piece of Norwegian black metal under the evil shadow of Darkthrone; but you’d be wrong.

With Necropsalms Obliteration have really found their own style: a form of old-school death metal that harks back to the likes of Celtic Frost or early Death (before the late great Chuck Schuldiner

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Boredoms – Super Roots 10

Thrill Jockey

Boredoms – Super Roots 10I wasn’t expecting Super Roots 10 to sound like this, which is what I have come to expect from the Boredoms and the Super Roots series. Super Roots 10 contains “Ant 10” and three remixes of it, and lives up to the impressive legacy Super Roots lays down. “Ant 10” itself continues the Boredoms’ recent love of tribal druming. Beginning with chanting, it then moves into a massive wall of tribalisms. Floating on top of this are silky synth arpeggios and psychedelic guitars, all of which create an intense trancey wall sound. Its very psychedelic in a very Japanese way. The synths have been compared to early Nintendo games. There is certainly that.

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