13 Tombs – Full Custom Haunted Music

Artist: 13 Tombs
EP: Full Custom Haunted Music
Release: 2013
Genre: Gothabilly, deathrock

We picked up a copy of the EP at their recent gig supporting Inca Babies, where we watched the Wilson brothers shred and shriek their 88mph gothabilly tunes in whirlwind of drum machines and phasers set to kill.

Three studio recordings of fast-paced punk rock with b-movie lyrics from Fife’s fineest, topped off with a live version of “Monkey Pus”, sounding like a tape you dug out of your older brother’s ancient leather jacket. Definitely music for playing whilst getting ready for a night out and bouncing around in an Alien Sex Fiend t-shirt.

Rating: 7.5/10
Reviewer: DJ Catnip (original review published in Vanitas #003)

Japan – Adolescent Sex

Artist: Japan
Album: Adolescent Sex
Release: 1978
Genre: Funk rock, glam, New Wave

Japan are instantly recognizable: a smooth baritone, Mick Karn’s fretless bass, and elegant electronic production. Elegant, intelligent pop by experimental gentlemen.
Now listen to “Adolescent Sex”. All-image glam funk, designed to adorn bedroom posters across the land. But is it any good?

Yes. This is a damn fine effort from the word go. Close your eyes, put on the opener “Transmission”, and I defy you to not imagine walking down a deserted street on the wrong side of the railway tracks, eyes on the floor, heading into a dive bar.
Richard Barberi’s subtle layers of keyboards underpin this record, as an as-yet-unrestrained Sylvian snarls his way through layers of effects.
Baby pictures, maybe, but the band are in their element throughout, with the cover of Streisand’s “Don’t Rain On My Parade” a standout.

In short: this is a record for sipping whisky to on a hot, dusty, summer’s evening as you watch disreputable characters stumble by on their sordid way.
David Sylvian hates this album now, but we respectfully disagree.

Rating: 8.5/10
Recommended Tracks: Transmission, Lovers On Main Street, Adolescent Sex, Don’t Rain On My Parade
Reviewer: DJ Catnip (original review published in Vanitas #002)

Daniel Vangarde – Who’s Who

Artist: Daniel Vangarde
Album: Who’s Who
Release: 1979
Genre: Disco

You’ve probably never heard of the artist or the album: he was cool before being unknown and cool was cool.
Daniel Vangarde is actually Daniel Bangalter, father of Daft Punk‘s Thomas Bangalter, and writer and producer of that song “D.I.S.C.O.”
Don’t let that put you off though, this album is nowhere near cheese. It almost feels like an album of b-sides, an album wherein Daft Punk’s dad is telling stories about the good old days. Good old days indeed.
Check out Hypno Dance and Ad Libitum for the sounds of sedated disco floors.

Rating: 8/10
Recommended Tracks: Hypno Dance, Ad Libitum
Reviewer: DJ Pasta (original review published in Vanitas #002)

Terminal Gods – Electric Eyes

Artist: Terminal Gods
Single: Electric Eyes
Release: 25th January 2012
Genre: Goth

A 2012 release, Terminal Gods‘ single “Electric Eyes” sounds great, a merciful release from the same old trotted-out goth tracks elsewhere, with fresh reverb all wrapped up in the comforts of familiar-sounding geetar and vocals.
This track has momentum. Good hustle, guys!
Go grab their black 7″ discs now!

Terminal Gods’s single “Electric Eyes” is out now on Heavy Leather Sex, and can be listened to and purchased on their Bandcamp.

Rating: 7.5/10
Reviewer: DJ Pasta (original review published in Vanitas #002)

Twinmachine – Tomorrow That Never Was

Artist: Twinmachine
Album: Tomorrow That Never Was
Release: 5th April 2013
Genre: Post-punk, goth

This is the debut album by Russian post-punks Twinmachine, but you’d think by the sounds of it that they’ve been going since the 80s!
Sounding like Red Lorry Yellow Lorry with Ian Astbury on vocals, this is goth at its most relentless and upbeat. Tracks like “Paranoia” and “Colder Than Hell” promise to be goth club anthems, but the shining gem is the slower “Nostalgia Dreams”, which would not be out of place in any hairspray-laden 80s film.

This album is a mere half-hour long, but there really isn’t a weak track on it. Even if they never put out another note, Twinmachine can be proud of having made an utterly superb album. They deserve to be huge.

Twinmachine’s album “Tomorrow That Never Was” is out now on afmusic, and can be listened to and purchased on their Bandcamp.

Rating: 9/10
Recommended Tracks: “Nostalgia Dreams”, “Paranoia”, pretty much the entire thing.
Reviewer: DJ Catnip (originally published in Vanitas #002)