Album Picks: Cult of Youth, Royksopp, Cool Ghouls, Dream Police, Dirty Beaches

Posted by Billy Gil, November 11, 2014 11:02am | Post a Comment

Cult Of Youth - Final Days (LP, CD, Download)

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.

Royksopp - The Inevitable End (LP out 11/17, CD)

It’s sad to hear that The Inevitable End will be the last Royksopp album. It’s mostly sad because the duo of Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland still obviously have so much to say, judging by their extraordinary last LP. Over gurgling synthesizers, an otherworldly voice claims “we will make you say our names forever,” and it’s tough not to agree when it comes to Royksopp. A reworking of “Monument” featuring Robyn, which was on their collaborative album from earlier this year, ups the alien, pulsating danceability of the original. The Inevitable End is indeed a darker album for Rokysopp Ryan James of Man Without Country helps make “Sordid Affair” beautifully languid and desolate. “You Know I Have to Go” chronicles the end of something—a relationship, a band—and is both elegiac and somehow hopeful. Even banger “I Had This Thing” would bring tears to the dancefloor. But The Inevitable End is also Royksopp’s most song-oriented affair since 2009’s excellent Junior, its most pensive and affecting. As Royksopp has promised this isn’t the end of the band making music, together or separately, but rather the last time they’re making a full LP as Royksopp, The Inevitable End leaves you feeling hopeful for their musical future rather than lamenting the breakup.


Cool Ghouls - A Swirling Fire Burning Through The Rye (LP, CD)

Cool Ghouls dig deep into their native San Francisco on their sophomore album, effortlessly spinning out garage-rock nuggets and laid-back hippie jangle rock that goes down smoothly. Listen to "What a Dream I Had" via Wondering Sound.








Dream PoliceHypnotized (LP, CD, Download)

Two members of The Men team up for an album that funnels that band’s surging post-hardcore riffs into a concoction of gleaming synths and kraut beats. The results are as transfixing as the album’s title would suggest.


Dirty Beaches Stateless (LP, CD)

Dirty Beaches’ final album ruminates on loneliness and displacement with four extended ambient sound pieces. With higher fidelity than his previous releases and without Alex Zhang Hungtai’s drugged up Elvis croon or Suicide-inspired beats, it’s a departure. But it’s still as alluring and evocative as anything he’s done, serving as a fitting end to the Dirty Beaches canon and intriguing starting point for whatever Hungtai’s up to next.

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New Releases (214), New Albums (213), Album Picks (146), Dirty Beaches (8), Dream Police (3), Cool Ghouls (8), Royksopp (3), Cult Of Youth (5)