Powerviolence, Viking Metal, Deathgrind: metalheads sure do love their ultra-specific labels. When it comes to True Widow, however, the only blanket term that’s safe to use is “heavy.” Haunting melodies and thick, bristling guitars fill in every last cubic inch of sonic space, pressurizing the creepy dirge-pop of bands like Low down to a more rugged, rabid incarnation. Featuring some silken male-female vocals and a steadily-unfurling main riff, “HW R” hits its sulky stride early on, with a hypnotic groove that provides an easy explanation as to why fans have taken to describing the Dallas band as purveyors of “stonergaze.” True Widow’s not about to start any moshpits, but then again, they don’t exactly need to. Songs this rich don’t get the chance to sink in when you’re shoving people around.
“Hello New World”
Warping and chirping in synchromatic portals, Portopia ‘81 has found a way for our human dimension to contact the dream state we all experience in one way or another during REM sleep. Offering a calm “Hello New World” introduction to the processes, Portopia ‘81 eases users into the most pleasurable of pulsed meditative mantras, opening their third, fourth, and fifth eyes upon their inner reality. Within one’s self, the user becomes a sort of bionaut of inner-self travel, evoking their consciousness control cortex and cerebral imaginings. It’s brilliance at its best, bringing mankind closer to individual and mental peace by beholding their deepest desires outside of the confines of social right and wrong, and inside individual insatiable endocrines.
“Hello New World” is off Portopia ‘81’s second release on Ginjoha called Electronic Communication, which dropped earlier this month with three other tapes. Scope!
Also check out Portopia ‘81’s video here from their first release and mini-album Cosmic City Serenade, which came out earlier this year.
• Ginjoha Tapes: http://ginjoha.blogspot.com
Friendzone feat. Mykki Blanco
“Who Wanna Rumble”
You know how they say “Guile’s Theme” goes with everything? Pretty sure the same logic applies to this new collaborative cut by Mykki Blanco and cloud-rap production duo Friendzone. “Who Wanna Rumble” carries on the cheeseball legacy of the Rocky era, with a 16-bit beat that sounds awesome regardless of whatever you’re doing at the time. Whether you’re tailgating that SUV with the annoying stick-family decals, driving to the dentist’s office for a root canal, or just hanging out at the office, the combination of Blanco’s goofy threats (Sharknado’s got nothing on Hurricane Blanco) and Friendzone’s arcade-ready beats proves satisfying in any situation. Best of all, it’s part of the Adult Swim Singles Program, which means it’s FREE! So snag it starting July 8, and enjoy feeling like a Street Fighter character for three and a half minutes.
“Under the Clouded Sky”
Sacrifice comes at an unusual spiritual cost, don’t it? Walk that sheep up to the mount “Under the Clouded Sky.” Sweat out all fear and terror and Micromelancolie. The crying effect comes in shouts and howls rather than tears, and drinking from the creek is less purifying than how it should feel. Hydration sets in and piss clears, as the sheep urinates beside you. The sheathed knife digs into your side, and a bruise has to have formed by way of black-and-blue pain ‘long your hip and waist. As the sheep eats grass before it, your mind rages in heavy confusion between your innocence and its innocence. Marching on through the woodland hills now, closer, yet far from the top, screams in the distant plane fill your ears, and you continue to forge on through the pathless terrain. The bell around the sheep’s neck rings out, and you’ve arrived at the bloodied and chipped slab of stone built for Quiet Listening.
Hitting the sheep turns it completely around, and it hind-kicks three of your front teeth from your skull and bolts back down the mount. Running and jumping, grabbing at its bloodied hind legs, your hands slip from the wet fur, and you’re getting up, as the sheep runs a few more feet of distance from you. Then the sheep disappears as you wipe your brow. Closer to where it left your vision, you see a cliff, assume exactly what happened, and the sheep is burst open below you, half gone, fallen into the abyss. But it won’t work without a carcass. Climbing down proves to be easy; the sheep weighs obviously less than before, and slinging it over your shoulder, onto the clifftop, you bend in a way that unsheathes your knife and punctures your gut, spilling out waves of blood after removing the knife. Forgetting the sheep, you get back to the sacrifice slab, and look at the rest of your life. You then place your knife back into the wound, tare it straight across your gut, and spill out everything you feared to see in something else.
• Rocket Machine Tapes: http://rocketmachinetapes.blogspot.com
“How I Hate You”
Early on in the Aughties, Eternal Tapestry guitarist Nicholas Binderman decided to take periodic breaks from his psych-rock wizardry and venture into the darkness (or darkwave, take your pick). Influenced by the shadowy sounds of early electronica — Throbbing Gristle, Suicide, good ol’ Gary Numan — Tunnels offers up a chillier palette than that of Binderman’s guitar-driven work, laced with just enough pop appeal to get the hips shaking. Tunnels’ most recent effort was 2011’s The Blackout, which sold out quickly upon release; two years later, the fine folks at Thrill Jockey are planning to reissue the album once more, on July 23 (and on white vinyl *insert oohs and aahs here*).
In anticipation of this victory lap, Thrill Jockey has given us a little audio-visual amuse-bouche to share with you, affectionately titled “How I Hate You.” Glitchy visuals and grainy VHS samples combine to raise some tantalizing questions: Are the two combatants at the 1:26 mark wrestling, making out, or both? What hidden scenes are lurking behind the pulsating 8-bit firestorm? Are there any subliminal messages lurking? Binderman directed the clip, so only he knows the answers. In the meantime, enjoy the video!
Pre-orders of The Blackout are available at Thrill Jockey’s website. The reissue ships July 23.
• Tunnels: http://www.thrilljockey.com/thrill/Tunnels/The-Blackout
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com/splash.html
Tropic Of Cancer
“I think that there is just as much fucking going on then as now, only now it has a more perverted quality to it, now it has no love whatsoever included.”
– Henry Miller
I’m sat at the side of the school Disco, stinking of the black nail varnish I’d hastily applied a few minutes earlier, headphones firmly on, blaring a Joy Division best-of CD, my lips stinging with Salt and Vinegar crisps. My classmates dance in front of me, a perfectly synchronized Macarena. Every so often, the beat of the song, my song, will synchronize with their orchestrated moves. One of them will catch my eye, looking suitably disgusted. I can’t decide whether I want to fuck them or fight them.
From “I Feel Nothing” to “More Alone,” Tropic Of Cancer’s synthetic groans take on a pneumatic edge for this new 7-inch, less broodingly minimal. This might have something to do with Karl O’Connor, a.k.a. Regis, moving from simply releasing Tropic Of Cancer records via his Downwards Records imprint — a key home for that particular industrial, bleak techno style that gets called “The Birmingham Sound” — to producing them; while Camella Lobo has otherwise taken full reign, her former musical partner Silent Servant apparently no longer involved.
And though Mr. Miller above seems to miss those ways in which perversion and love can so often blur, “More Alone” has enough enamored synths swelling beneath its mechanistic propulsion to remind us of this fact.
As we’ve already mentioned, you’ll have to wait till September for the full album, while this single for “More Alone” comes out in August, just in time for Summer’s end.