This week’s Picks comes with a strongly recommended fourth selection, the very wonderful new Revolt EP from Swiss cold wave outfit Future Faces. If you like your post-punk gothy – and let’s face it, you should – these four songs will be right up your alley. Now, on to business. (No, we haven’t forgotten Malevolence. Listen to Malevolence.)
Two Parts Viper
Chariot Music, Inc.
For at least one half of This Decay this album has been highly anticipated for many weeks now and, not that there was any doubt, the second full-length from Atlanta duo ’68 ticks all the right boxes. This is a record of low-fi wonders packed full of distorted guitars, tonnes of swing, slices of aggression and some of the best drumming you’ll hear all year. It shows a band finding its true identity, it sounds refined and well-oiled, and it revels in its swaggering, punk-fuelled fuzzy glory. It starts by bringing the quiet/loud secret sauce of grunge up to date for 2017 and then turns into a challenging and rewarding piece of art. Marvellous.
The Future In Whose Eyes?
We go way, way back with SikTh. They might not be the frantic fruitcakes they were in the early days but they’re quite a band. The Future In Whose Eyes? is their third album, the first in forever, and it translates the spirit of the Opacities EP into a full-length beautifully. Opener ‘Vivid’ rips, and the second and third songs complete a thumping start. In the songs that follow, the blend of spoken-word quirk, massive hooks and tech-metal mayhem is a total bullseye. This is a record of edges and angles, expansiveness and claustrophobic mania. SikTh are just different. They see the world differently. They create music differently. And the metal world is a better place for their return.
It’s fair to say that this one is a bit of a surprise. Unlike some reviewers I’ve no real animosity towards the Eighteen Visions of old. Vanity and Obsession both had at least something I liked about them but there’s no denying they were of their moment. The same might be said of XVIII, but it just seems more durable than that. It’s a big step back in the direction of hardcore for the returning band, and it’s modern hardcore of the kind dished out by more highly acclaimed bands of late. But it’s also distinctively 18V, with polished production and vocals that could only have been delivered by James Hart. Gigantic riffs and satisfying breakdowns abound. Nice one.
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