Sonic Area - “it’s about time”
Sonic Area - the solo project of Arco Trauma (Chrysalide) - has always been something that I go to when I want to hear something that is well off the beaten path. Arco has a way of constructing original music that is completely unique. The new album, Eyes in the Sky, put me immediately into a trance. From the opening track (which I highly suggest listening to early in the morning while driving into work) through the more chaotically-tuned tracks like “it’s about time,” to the well named closing track “spacewalk incident,” the album took me to a place like very few albums do. Coupled with the music video for “pale blue dot,” Eyes in the Sky is a great space odyssey of classic 80s synths and crazy atmospheres.
Shizune - “Notes of Decay”
This one is for all of the Aviator fans out there. Shizune is a great emotional hardcore band from Italy that really scratches that Aviator itch for me. The lyrics and the instrumentation are very similar. They manage to capture a kind of frantic aggression with the structure of each song. Something cool about the Le Voyageur Imprudent is that there are at least three different languages on the record and even though I don’t understand all of them, I can feel that the songs are very emotionally driven.
Fun fact: Le Voyageur Imprudent was a novel by French writer René Barjavel about time travel. That kind of puts a different spin on the album for me, which is kind of cool.
Youth Code - “Doghead”
Listening to Commitment to Complications, I had an incredibly hard time deciding what I’d like to write about; from the d-beat of “Transitions” to the heavy “Glass Spitter”, every track on the album is worth writing about. Eventually, though, I really was drawn to “Doghead”. I love the funky feel of the track. During the verses, the way the bass pops along, accented by the bum chsh, bum-bum bum chsh of the drums, created a flow that was really easy to fall into. When the chorus hits, that flow morphs smoothly, breaking into a new emotional space without feeling disjointed.
Also, just gotta say, that little funky synth hit near the front of the verses is wonderful. It’s probably better that it’s used as sparingly as it is, but I can’t get enough of it.
Soft Riot - “Attrition's One Horse Rider (Soft Riot's Sunday Driver Version)”
I wasn’t familiar with the original version of the Attrition’s “One Horse Rider” when I found this track; I checked it out for some context after falling in love with this track. I gotta say, as good as I found the original to be, this track treats it in a really interesting way. While the original is dark and brooding, the instrumentation of this track brightens the tone of the track significantly. The punchy drums kick along nicely; it’s easy to imagine dancing to it. The little plucky synth mixed with the kind of morphing saw bass hits consistently through the song, but with the little additions of kind of electric piano sounding chords and choir and vocal samples popping in and out, it never really feels like it drags. This song is continually fun to listen to, front to back.