Cult of Youth’s self-described “post-industrial Pet Sounds” begins with the instrumental “Todestrieb,” its eerie synths and tribal drums setting a foreboding tone for the album. “Dragon Rouge’s” acoustic strums and Sean Ragon’s intoning vocals give the track the feel of a classic Church song or stripped-down Sisters of Mercy track, while additional touches like cello and orchestral percussion pump up the grandiosity. Elsewhere, the band plugs in and goes full-tilt, with B-52’s riffs and post-punk rhythms on “Empty Faction” and goth-jangle on “Gods Garden.” Ragon’s voice is used terrifically throughout, judiciously given echo to resonate or often without effect to let his throaty post-industrial growl run free without trampling over the gorgeousness of these tracks. He’s at his best screaming through the nocturnal desert scene set by “Down the Moon” or kicking up dust on the rollicking “No Regression.” Like Iceage’s recent Plowing Into the Field of Love, Cult of Youth’s Final Days successfully marries Americana to post-punk rooted in traditions of hardcore and industrial music. It’s an unholy union, and it’s awesome. Check out "Empty Faction" via Stereogum.
Screenshots via YouTube
Robyn & Royksopp absolutely tore it up for a sold-out, double-headliner bill at the Hollywood Bowl last night. The pair were promoting their new collaborative mini-album, Do It Again, and while that album is plenty terrific and they did play songs from it, both acts also made good with the hits, and Robyn played a couple of rare and/or new songs.
Royksopp played a set healthy with songs from their earlier albums (such as A.M.’s “Eple” and “Poor Leno”) and perhaps understandably with fewer tracks from their most recent album, Senior, a darker and instrumental affair compared with the flashing lights and high-profile guest spots of 2009’s companion album, Junior. The songs from that album sounded fantastic here, with a guest singer standing in nicely for The Knife/Fever Ray’s Karin Dreijer Andersson (no terrifying mask, though) on Junior highlight “This Must Be It.” It sounded fantastic, though perhaps a bit subdued, but that may have been due to me having nosebleed seats.
I seriously don't know where the month went. I thought it was still March. I have so very many new albums to talk about. It may have seemed like there was just nothing for me to talk about since I have not updated this blog in so long, but that is so far from the truth. I was off on a little vacation and then I had some visitors from out of town and then there was Record Store Day craziness! I am now officially back on the blog to tell you about all the amazing and exciting things that I have been listening to. There is always that horrible dry spell of music at the end of the year and the very beginning of the new, but all the new releases that you could ever want were saved up for March, April, and May. I am going to get finished up with March right now and just talk about the 3/24 and 3/31 new releaes. I will save the April stuff for the next couple of blogs. I highly recommend the new Decemberists album. I have been a fan of theirs for a couple years now. I suggest you go back and discover some of their older albums if you have not yet done that. I still need to spend some quality time with the new one. I also usually end up liking their albums more after I see them live. My favorite ladies from Azure Ray both had new albums in the last couple of weeks. Ladyluck by Maria Taylor is for sure good stuff but it has not yet grown on me like that second Maria Taylor solo album did. Lynn Teeter Flower from 2007 remains one of my favorites. I find myself going back to it whenever I feel a bit sad -- it has the perfect combination of pop and sadness. Orenda Fink, the other part of Azure Ray, also has a new album out. The band is called O+S and the new album is fantastic. O+S is Orenda and Cedric Lemoyne who was the bassist in Remy Zero. So far this O+S album is beating out Maria Taylor's as one of my favorites. I love them both and they both have fantastic voices, I have just been listening to the O+S more often.