HORROR VACUI – ‘Return of the Empire’ LP
Bologna (Italy) goth peace-punk 5-piece strikes back! Since 2013 debut In Darkness You Will Feel Alright, the band has been touring both the Old and the New Continent and is now ready to deliver eight new tracks filled with disenchantment, scorn and a proper share of irreverence in leather. So this Return operates on two levels. First of all and most intuitive, being this their second album, it is their own return. Second meaning relates to the current state of asphyxiating climate of restoration in national politics. A few governments fell in the last few years and after a brief time of confusion, a new clean face in a white shirt is leading (but is he actually?) the country. By the looks of facts so far thou, one might be wondering if these government fools have a clue of what they’re doing. Lucky for us, Horror Vacui surely do!European press by Avant! & band’s own imprint Legion Of The Dead. Limited edition of 300 on marbled white wax with silkscreened extra artwork on thick cardboard. Standard edition of 700 on black vinyl. Both come in printed innersleeve featuring lyrics and band pics.
PURE GROUND – ‘Standard of Living’ LP
Standard Of Living, the new LP by Los Angeles’s Pure Ground, finds the duo moving further into the whirring electrical storm only suggested at by their more minimalist previous recordings, creating a soundtrack to a crumbling culture full of provisional one-two rhythms and syncopated bursts of white noise, complimented by grim arpeggiated melodies. Pure Ground have created a niche in the LA hard electronics underground making exclusive use of analog hardware to arrive at their sound, which straddles a fine line between early EBM on tracks like Poison and Second Skin, owing inspiration to Belgium’s Klinik and Front 242, and more melancholy minimal synth on downers In Silence and Tides. The one element that binds the new LP is the undercurrent of experimentalism pervasive in every song, which at times comes to surface on tracks like The Glory Of Absence, which merges the convoluted rhythms of In Phaze era Portion Control with an industrial din and vocal delivery reminiscent of European power electronics groups like Genocide Organ. Lyrical themes focus on the disharmony between the natural, even spiritual, world, with the human dystopia of the post-industrial wastes, and the contradictory sensations of bliss and desperation, ecstasy and fear, bred in this climate. This is music for the end of days. The duo just came back from their second European tour in support of Standard Of Living where they performed alongside vintage electronics masters like Nine Circles, No More and KaS Product. Standard of Living is available in Europe on LP from Avant! Records and in the USA on cassette and LP from Chondritic Sound. CD edition courtesy of Eric Van Wonterghem’s Sleepless Berlin.