This week we talk to Danish doom blues trio Baby in Vain! This was a super fun interview, where we talk American TV in Denmark, Harry Potter sins, the weirdness of opening in Denmark, and racist immigration policies!
Poltergeists is a biweekly feature in which Michael and Wes share tracks that they have had on repeat over the past two weeks.
LOSS - “The (Broken) Promise Ring”
This is the perfect Ant-Zen style experimental industrial track for me. It goes from chaotic and noisy with an oddly syncopated beat to structured and epic in the most emotional way possible. You really don’t get the feel of this track unless it is loud, which I think is pretty magnificent. I am But the Sum of my Conditions, LOSS’ 2013 release on Ant-Zen, sold me on the deeply emotional noise with a track that had a break-up-esque voicemail playing in the background and cut in with Dan Fox, of LOSS, saying in very distorted vocals “It wasn’t that much to get over.” “Sick” follows the same deeply emotional vain and I find it easy to sink my noise-teeth into it and get sad, which is what I think Dan wants.
Avoid The Light - “Godspeed!”
Bandcamp-trolling has led me to my new favorite micro-genre, blackgaze, which, if we are being honest, is just the left hand to Cascadian black metal and bands like Agalloch or Wolves in the Throne Room. Avoid The Light are a mix of neofolk, shoegaze, and black metal, which creates a really interesting atmosphere. I am not a big shoegaze person, but all of my favorite nu-goth bands are heavily influenced by it, so I respect where the genre is coming from. “Godspeed!” is an instrumental but powerful track that starts off nice and melodic. Some clean guitars and crashes. Could be a gothy-shoegaze song. When you hit about the one minute mark it starts to get really good, just a solid rhythm section and a nice riff. Skip ahead to two minutes and twenty seconds and bam! Fast, distorted guitars and the double bass kicks. I am sold.
minimal violence - “Husbands”
I cannot stop listening to this. I have probably listened to it twice a day since it came out. minimal violence is a great take on minimal techno; they maintain the sparseness, repetition, and slow evolutions of the genre, while also managing to inject a certain sort of darkness into it. Clicks and percussive strikes create an unsettling feeling; at times I almost start to get a giallo feel from the percussion elements. I can’t get enough of this release, and I recommend checking the whole album out.
Baby In Vain - “Muscles”
This band is really impressing me. Michael and I just went to see them, and they blew us away. Their music is pretty fun; it mixes a kind of bluesy sensibility with an almost doomy sort of heaviness. Slow, hammering riffs marry with a back and forth between the two vocalists/guitarists; absent is any bassist, which is interesting. Normally I would be suspicious of a lack of bass in any music but Baby In Vain manages to achieve a fullness of sound that I wouldn’t have expected without bass.
As good as their recordings are, their live performances are even more on point. They have an amazing stage presence; they didn’t talk to the crowd much, but the interactions between band members mixed with the sheer technical skill gave you everything you could want from a live performance. If they’re coming through your town anytime soon, be sure to check them out.