Fresh off of their appearance at SXSW, Canadian darkwave duo STRVNGERS are premiering the video for their anthemic track “This Is Not A Phase”.
The song is featured on Maria Joaquin and KC’s forthcoming LP Amor/Noir, has a title and refrain that is possibly reminiscent of a line from the classic Dan O’Bannon zombie flick Return Of The Living Dead.
On the song’s theme, vocalist Maria Joaquin explains:
“We have always felt as outsiders for how they express themselves, and that feeling of being disregarded has followed them their whole lives. Now as adults, they have learned to embrace and cultivate it. There is a line from the song that sums up the mentality of the video “We are the dark, we are the lonely, and we love life this way.” At the end of the day, if you are strange, weird, or queer – trust that you are not alone and this video reflects that.”
Amor/Noir will be released via Negative Gain on April 20th.
Ahead of their scheduled appearance at the 2018 edition of Verboden Festival, Vancouver’s Girlfriends and Boyfriends are premiering with us today their video for the track “Hope Was in the Way”; a song featured on their last LP Our Garden.
The charming Wayne Moreheart directed video—one of 5 collaborations with the band—features hand drawn animation in a studio setting that unapologetically captures the nostalgic sound and aesthetic of mid 80s post-punk and college rock. This feeling soars along with vocals imbued with unwavering sincerity that rise above jangly guitars, driving bass, and dancing percussion that is quite possibly composed with inspiration not taken by the band’s contemporaries, but rather instead their own treasured record collection.
Order Our Garden here, and catch Girlfriends and Boyfriends on Saturday, April 14th at Verboden.
It’s impossible to discuss the post-punk canon without giving the lion’s share of praise to Wire, arguably the very first band to take punk’s bombast in an artier, moodier direction. Never content with staying in one place for too long, the band’s first three records were chock full of short, angular blasts of energy, giving way to atmospheric tension with the inclusion of synthesizers. 1977’s Pink Flag, 1978’s Chairs Missing, and 1979’s 154 are held up to the highest regard, and are forever influential to bands across the musical spectrum. It’s incredible to consider that these records were made in such quick succession and have carried such tremendous weight, spearheading a genre in just a few years of intensely focused experimentation.
With that in mind, the UK band is rolling out a series of reissues to celebrate their most seminal material. First up is a Record Store Day exclusive release, a boxset entitled Nine Sevens, which hit shelves on a first-come, first-served basis on April 21st. As the title suggests, this incorporates the band’s first eight 7” releases and includes one never-before-released single to round out the box. The artwork for the box was created by original guitarist Bruce Gilbert, who was 30 years old when the band first formed in London.
These early singles will also be re-released individually, with the exception of the rare 154 7”, which was originally included with copies of the band’s classic (and this author’s favorite) third album.
Mannequin – Mannequin / Feeling Called Love / 12XU I Am The Fly – I Am The Fly / Ex Lion Tamer Dot Dash– Dot Dash / Options R Outdoor Miner – Outdoor Miner / Practice Makes Perfect A Question Of Degree – A Question Of Degree / Former Airline Map Ref. 41°N 93°W – Map Ref. 41°N 93°W / Go Ahead Our Swimmer– Our Swimmer / Midnight Bahnhof Café 154 EP – Song 1/ Get Down pts 1&2 / Let’s Panic Later / Small Electric Piece 2nd Length – 2nd Length (Our Swimmer) / Catapult 30
Single mix of “Outdoor Miner” to be featured on Nine Sevens.
Next on the slab is a deluxe series of CD reissues of Wire’s first three records, due out on May 18th. Each special edition will come complete with a 7”-sized, 80-page hardback book featuring rare photos from photographer Annette Green‘s archives, full lyrics, and quotes about the recording of each record, complete with introductions by renowned journalist Jon Savage and a narrative by Graham Duff. Most notably, each set will contain an exciting amount of bonus material, including all of the singles and b-sides mentioned above, as well as a handful of never-before-released demos and alternate versions. Preorder information and a full track listing can be found on the links below:
Last, but not least, standard CD and vinyl reissues will roll out on June 22nd, which will aim to be the definitive, “undiluted” editions of these albums, letting the original music speak for itself with great attention to detail and quality. These editions will be perfect for those looking to upgrade their original editions with crystal clear sound, or for those eager to discover the treasure trove of pleasures to be found across Wire’s early discography.
On March 19th, 1990, Depeche Mode released their best selling and critically acclaimed album Violator.
The album was the band’s first to sell over a million copies in the United States, and brought the band into a new echelon of worldwide success and stardom—even greater that that which was experienced during their previous album Music For The Masses’s final gig at the Rose Bowl on on June 18th, 1988, which was performed to a crowd of approximately 65,000 people.
This surge in popularity is infamously highlighted in the March 20th, 1990 signing party for fans at The Wherehouse record store in Los Angeles, which exceeded its capacity by having around 20,000 fans show up,—rather than the few thousand the store was equipped to handle. This caused safety issues where the band had to leave which caused the event to nearly break out into a riot.
Violator was a turning point musically for Depeche Mode, transitioning the band away from their new-wave and synth-pop origins, into something more alternative rock, which stylistically remains with the band to this day, especially live. This is underscored by the use of acoustic guitars in the album’s first single “Personal Jesus”, which along with it’s followup “Enjoy The Silence” are two of the most popular Depeche Mode songs of all time, with the former being famously covered by Marilyn Manson, and Johnny Cash.
Photographer and Director Anton Corbijn worked even closer with the band on the aesthetics of Violator, directed videos for six of the album’s nine tracks, included all four singles: “Personal Jesus”, “Enjoy the Silence”, “Policy of Truth”, and “World In My Eyes”.
Clove Cigarettes, lace gloves, patchouli, and a dog eared copy of Propaganda Magazine are all the things that come to mind with the swirling ephemeral love letter to early 90’s goth that is musician Derek Page’s project The Victoriana.
Featured on his upcoming debut release Fleetingly, but Completely is the gossamer track “Of You”, which is accompanied with a lo-fi VHS styled video directed by Cameron Puleo.
Following the recent premiere of the video for PSY OPS, Chicago post-punk foursome Ganser continue to man the switchboards in their attempt to recalibrate the errors in our collective misunderstanding in their debut LP Odd Talk.
“It’s a sharp pain of miscommunication, the exhaustion of trying to be understood by someone you love but your language is all wrong,” says keyboardist Nadia Garofalo on the latest track “Avoidance”. “Ultimately, the effort is pointless”.
Garofalo’s vocals sigh bitterly her resignation in song’s lyrics, that while flashing the over the 60’s desert drag race setting, are augmented by droning keys, driving bass—and Charlie Landsman’s guitar, which punctuates with sharp flourishes.
Odd Talk—the full length follow-up to 2016’s This Feels Like Living EP, highlights Ganser’s timeless and wide ranging post-punk sound which expresses itself with poignant sincerity.
NIN’s industrial music maestro Trent Reznor has also indicated that we can soon expect the final EP to be released in the trilogy that includes December 2016’s Not the Actual Events and last July’s Add Violence.
Reznor broke the news when he spoke to BBC Radio 6 on Thursday, where he had stated that the forthcoming EP should be released before the band hit Europe this June.
On the delay on the third EP’s release Reznor explained:
“We started out with a rigid concept, having not written them all. As we finished Add Violence we found ourselves… it felt too predictable. It felt like we were forcing things. Musically and storytelling-wise. The reason this has been delayed is because it took us a while for—what has become the third EP—to reveal itself to us.”
Tickets for the Royal Albert Hall show go on sale tomorrow (March 16th) at Noon GMT.
Dublin born and Berlin-based musician Candice Gordon has released a tongue in cheek single mocking the resurgence of the alt-right, that resonates with a sound resurrected from the protesting post-punk that emerged during the Thatcher era—40 years ago in 1978.
The Kids Are Alt-Right was recorded in a basement in Texas soon after Trump’s inauguration in 2017. At first glance given it#s may seem like a high-tension parody, has in fact a serious overtone to the lyrics inspired by profiteering market researchers and corporations and far right politicians whose greed and malice is making inroads in Germany as well as the U.S. and UK.
“I’m aware that the far-right party in Germany is gaining ground in parliament, and I’m aware of far-right (mainly arson) attacks on antifascist and leftist’s property in my neighbourhood in Berlin” – Candice Gordon
‘The Kids are Alt-Right’ follows Gordon’s eclectic and dark debut album Garden of Beasts and her Shane MacGowan produced EP Before the Sunset Ends.
This year’s SXSW music conference and festival is currently underway. In response to lasts year’s controversy over Italian post-punk band Soviet Soviet being detained and deported, the festival has now changed its contract language which had previously stated that the festival will contact immigration authorities if a foreign artist planned to perform at the festival without the proper Visa.
The contract now reads:
“An Artist seeking to enter the United States to perform at SXSW is solely responsible for obtaining any applicable visa(s) and complying with all pertinent immigration rules. To secure Artist’s spot in SXSW Music, Artist agrees to notify SXSW about how Artist intends to enter the U.S. (what type of visa or if using the Visa Waiver Program) by February 5, 2018.”
We filmed a short interview Soviet Soviet after the fiasco, where the band had stated that it is “stupid” that American bands can play in Europe without obtaining a Visa, and they spend the night in prison trying to promote their band in the states.
Indeed, there is no planning or extra paperwork needed for performing in Europe, while in UK you can apply to perform no sooner than three months before your trip, with the processing taking up to three weeks.
Recently post-punk icon and godfather of goth Peter Murphy ran into trouble himself, as he had to postpone (for a second time) his planned 15 night residency in San Francisco due to his visa approval being delayed.
At first, Murphy had been delaying individual nights of the residency in hopes of having visa approval come in last minute, while working its way through a backlog of Turkish applications.
“Due to a brief diplomatic spat last year between the US and Turkey resulting in a temporary mutual ban on visa issuances to each country, a backlog of Turkish applicants has seen Peter’s own caught up in the pile.” states Murphy’s management.
It is true that the US and Turkey recently had a visa crisis due the detainment of a Turkish employee of the US consulate in Istanbul, who had ties to Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based cleric who the Turkish government blames for a coup attempt in 2016.
However, even if Murphy who was born a British national, had his UK original citizenship to apply, that would not have guaranteed him timely entry into the states to perform for his waiting fans.
Many foreign artists and performers begin the process of filing paperwork for US tours up to a year in advance, and yet still do not have their visas granted in time under normal circumstances, resulting in a catch-22 of lost money and time, since a performer can’t be considered for an artist visa unless they book their itinerary first, sinking thousands to tens of thousands of dollars into booking fees, venue rentals, interstate transport, hiring crew, advertisements, and more. The bare minimum time to start the visa process is six months before the first date on the tour. Anything shorter than that up to three months time will require premium processing fees, and most often a lawyer’s assistance.
For some legacy acts, touring in the states is no longer worth it. In 2010, German Industrial music pioneers Einstürzende Neubauten experienced heavy losses when their ten date 30th anniversary tour of the US was held up by bureaucratic red tape.
“While the US Department of Homeland Security did issue approvals for the band’s visas,” the band had to announce on on November 29th of that year, “it was not done in time to secure the appointments at the overseas embassies and consulates that represent the necessary final step in the process.”
The tour was canceled just two days before the Berlin based band were to perform first gig of the tour at The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. The band has not toured the United States since.
In 2016, supergroup Minor Victories, consisting of members of Slowdive, Mogwai, and Editors had to indefinitely delay their North American Tour because of visa issues, and were unable to reschedule given their busy schedules with their full time projects, resulting in fans stateside missing out on this rare collaborative project live.
In some cases the timely booking of a tour concurrent with an artist’s resurgence in popularity can be crucial and devastating if a visa is not acquired. Such was the case last year for Rose McDowall, the polka-dotted pop queen who later transitioned into industrial and neofolk. NIGHT SCHOOL was responsible for a handful of releases by the Strawberry Switchblade singer, including a reissue of Cut With The Cake Knifeand the newly recorded Our Twisted Love EP in 2015. As is the case with our fast-paced media consumption culture, the window to promote these releases is extremely narrow, and McDowall’s US tour was unfortunately canceled in what now feels like a missed opportunity.
For most newer acts, obtaining visas is just not financially feasible. The cost per person ranger from $1,500 to $3,000 with paperwork needing six months advance time, unless you pay extra for a rush, and even then it is not guaranteed.
This has resulted in many bands entering the country as tourists, renting their equipment and touring gear after their arrival. Such was the case for popular goth and coldwave band Lebanon Hanover, who back in 2013 suffered a similar fate to what Soviet Soviet would later experience. While they were able to perform for a few dates on tour, the German band was denied re-entry to the US after performing in Canada. Most other bands avoid the risk, such as popular Turkish goth and post-punk band She Past Away, who have yet to tour the US despite a loyal fanbase.
21st Century PUNX Deconstructors, Trouble Making Agitators, DIY noise insurgents & Manufacturers of Dissident Political Wear.
PUNX.UK was formed by a Manchester anarcho punk collective in 2013 as a webzine sharing info on local gigs and bands.
Originally focusing on creating a DIY gig guide for our city we then expanded to cover the whole of the UK scene in 2014.
Since then we've faithfully tried to promote all the events, blogs, websites and sounds of resistance throughout the country and beyond.
In 2016 we partnered with Sabcat Workers Cooperative to produce dissident political wear providing financial support to the activist causes, benefits, unions, bands, and community groups that we work with.