Music Releases 09-23-22
Omnium Gatherum’s sprawling 16 tracks of gonzoid prog jams, dizzying pop nuggets, rubber-legged hip-hop odysseys and passages of pure thrash-metal abandon offer plenty for Gizzard fans and neophytes alike to chew on. Typically, Gizzard albums pursue a single theme or style – but part of the thrill of O.G. for the group was the opportunity to present new ideas without committing the entire album to just one. It’s both the perfect entry point for newcomers, and a solid treat for the faithful. Indie Exclusive “Lucky Dip” Random Color 2 LP.
“The whole point of this record was to share every emotion that I feel,” says The Soft Moon’s Luis Vasquez.“No two songs are the same. It’s about existing in the world as a human being and experiencing many emotions and experiences throughout life.”
And so hence the title Exister, a record rooted in the ecstatic joys and crippling lows that life can throw up and how just hanging on and existing is sometimes all we have. “Exister is my way of saying ‘I’m here, deal with it.’” Vasquez says.
Sonically, this expression is a vast, expansive and potent one. The opening ‘Sad Song’, which unfurls with a dense brooding atmosphere, Vasquez describes as almost a ballad, while tracks such as ‘The Pit’ capture the opposite end of the musical spectrum, exploding as a thundering piece of industrial techno complete with gut-churning levels of bass. ‘Monster’ - a song that follows a human metamorphosis into an unrecognizable and destructive being - seamlessly combines a deeply melodic, almost electro pop, vocal hook with a slow build atmospherics to create something equally beautiful and unsettling. ‘Become the Lies’ explores the devastating consequences of being lied to by your own family and is a post-punk stomper, merging charging basslines, pummelling drums and snaking guitars, all of which combine explosively. Elsewhere the album runs the gauntlet of everything from ambient to dark wave - features ferocious guest contributions from fish narcand Special Interest’s Alli Logoton ‘Him’ and ‘Unforgiven’ - all while retaining that distinct tone that unmistakably The Soft Moon.
If there was a living, breathing rock’n’roll meme, who else could it possibly be? And this meme won’t stand still.
46 years into his recording career, Billy Idol is still the ever-moving myth, the intellectual/feral internet-age bookworm/caveman of our dreams, finding modern language for the fiery, Eddie Cochran-meets-Ziggy Stardust rip’n’roar that he’s been making since he first stepped on stage. And that’s all on The Cage EP, out September 23rd on Dark Horse Records; four tracks that engage you like classic Idol, yet keep your eyebrows raised like that stuff you heard coming out of that teenagers’ car that just rolled down the street.
It’s funny; maybe the name really did define him. 46 years ago when everyone was sniffing the nihilistic glue and giving themselves snotty little punk rock names, it was supposed to be “Idle” – but someone wrote it wrong, and William Broad became Billy Idol instead. And that’s what he became: An idol. But this idol is not made of stone, and he’s certainly not stuck on a pedestal to be done, dusted, and dusty. Billy Idol insists on being today’s news, not just yesterday’s memory. He fire-breathes dreams and nightmares, he delivers clubland croon and Bolan-blessed cool, and he moves through the desert, sluices through the cities, speeds across oceans, hills, mesas, and time. And if you think Idol is Idle, you haven’t heard The Cage EP.
It’s been exactly one year since Billy Idol released his last EP, also on the George Harrison-founded Dark Horse Records – the rich and diverse Butch Walker-produced The Roadside, which had the effect of being both in your face and full of the uncertainty and darkness of the pandemic. But a lot has happened during that time. First and foremost, Billy Idol and Steve Stevens hit the road again, and that amazing energy infected their new work.
Billy Idol: “The last EP, we were kind of warming up to this. This EP is a lot more coming at you. Loads more guitar. And that’s a lot of fun. We were pretty fired up by the fact that we hadn’t played for a couple of years, and suddenly we were bursting on stage, and it kind of woke us up to what the next EP could be: That it could be a little more strum und drang, a little more coming at you, a little more rock’n’roll, a little more f*ck you! Well, a tiny bit of f*ck you, anyhow. The bottom line is we had a lot of fun doing it.”
“Cage,” the title cut of the EP, may be Billy and Steve’s most ferocious and flat-out punk rocker in decades. In fact, it may even make you think that the spiraling riffs, soaring melodies, and morse-code rhythms of Generation X have been transported into the 21st century.
“Classic is what we were shooting for,” says co-producer Zakk Cervini.. It’s loud guitars and live drums yet treated in such a way that it can live alongside music being made today. I asked myself, ‘If Billy was a brand-new artist today, what would he be making?’ And that’s what we shot for. One of the goals Tommy and I had was to help Billy and Steve make songs that would just go crazy live. This time around, we were all thinking, shows are back, the world is opening up again, this is exciting, we want new material that just goes off live. High energy, kickass great rock songs. That’s what we shot for, and I think that’s what we got.”
From the first bass note within the driving drum beat you can tell something is different about the new record from Nikki Lane. The backbeat feels like a gutsy strut while the lead guitar feels like a revved up engine shifting gears. Denim & Diamonds comes out firing, spit shining the cowboy boots and tossing on a jean jacket. Produced by Joshua Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Denim & Diamonds has the Highway Queen embracing a more rock-oriented sound while still maintaining the heartfelt outlaw country sound she has developed across her previous three releases. Denim & Diamonds still has the fuck-off flare of which Nikki has come to be known. Her stylized, story-telling lyrics are all there as well as her catchy country hooks. The outlaw country sound is now balanced out with a gritty guitar and a machine gun snare that echoes the sound of 70’s rock. Nikki Lane has made a record that sounds new and old. Familiar and surprising. She embraces where she has come from, (“First High”, “Born Tough”) the lessons learned along the way, (“Good Enough”, “Try Harder”) all while doing things her way, (“Denim & Diamonds”, “Black Widow”).