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Nov 20, 2018







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Birthday Massacre, Under Your Spell (Metropolis Records)




Birthday Massacre, Under Your Spell (Metropolis Records)

Frankly I’d forgotten about my Metropolis feed, but after getting the house (slightly) in order for 2018, I realized there was something missing, namely the fascination I’d had with the goth-rock genre I wouldn’t shut up about back in the mid-Aughts. This girl-fronted Toronto outfit had a great start back then, fixated equally on purple-and-black art, 1980s synthpop and Gary Numan-style swirl-and-fog, but their relative (and under-noticed) success prompted them to try competing with the jackboot types, your Lacuna Coils and whatnot. I lost interest then, but with this LP they do seem to be back on the right path. Singer Chibi obviously just went through — well, something; her lyrics speaking of wasted time and heartbreak, and if that’s what the deal is, there’s no better time to make a record. The slow-booming synths and hooks are slightly downcast but a huge improvement over previous releases, starting with the title track, evoking Ace of Base with a grenade launcher. Wistful (but creepy) track like “Without You” hark back to 2004’s Violet (easily their best), and there’s plenty of that here. Good to see them doing the right thing. A+ 
— Eric W. Saeger




Meat Beat Manifesto, Impossible Star (Flexidisc via Virtual Label)
CD Reviews: February 15, 2018

02/15/18
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Meat Beat Manifesto, Impossible Star (Flexidisc via Virtual Label)

Wow, you have to go way back with this U.K. duo led by Jack Dangers; their mashed-up, muddled-up, near-train-wreck tuneage from back in 1989 brought us things like “We Got the Fear,” a masterpiece of scratching and sample-terrorism, one of the things they tossed into early electro-rock-trip-hop culture. That stuff inspired Chemical Brothers and Prodigy for two, and was on the boombox tapes of anyone whose coolness was a liability in life. I missed out on their 2010 glitch-dubstep opus Answers Come in Dreams, why I don’t know, but they’re back after eight years looking for more edge to cut. Toss-away track “One” is a reminder that they don’t care what anyone thinks, but when the grooves come in, it’s a take-no-prisoners affair. “We Are Surrounded” welds space-shot bloop to velvet-rope chill; “Lurker” turns prog-house on its ear; “Nereus Rov” gives us a new-jack form of dubstep Ed Sheeran could learn from. Get this, just get it. A+ Eric W. Saeger





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