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Artist of the Month
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March 2015
Blood Sound
"Nightclub
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Blood Sound’s post-punk tracks are informed by an audible nostalgia for the dance floors and goth clubs of the latter ‘80s. Their latest LP Nightclub is a hybrid of dark wave and dream pop. Marrying synth-drenched harmonies with emotively vibrant lyricism, the subtle romantics of the band’s debut full-length fit seamlessly with the buzzing percussive backbeats of earlier cuts by Cold Cave (circa Love Comes Close) or The Cure’s “Primary” stripped bare to its core.
 
“TV Synth 1” sets the tone for Nightclub’s narrative with a brief yet textured prelude to “I Don’t Want.” Relatable like an antithesis of The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out,” Blood Sound’s “I Don’t Want” personifies the complexities of yearning, desire, and loneliness. As frontman Chris Jordan croons “I don’t want the city’s lights to go down/I don’t want to find home,” guitar riffs magnify the weight of his words without casting them melodramatic. The track is a fitting anthem for the passing of youth, failed love, and transition.
 
The buzzing start of “L.A. Punk” explores that thin line between authenticity and commoditization, the song’s instrumentation paying homage in its own way to the early underground and its subsequent subcultures. As if channeling a sedated rendition of Peter Murphy’s tone and diction, “L.A. Punk” is as memorable as it is brooding. “Acid Summer” gives an inward glimpse at the intimate nature of grief, mortality, and memory. When Jordan sings, “The 1980s died that day,” the listener feels it in their gut. It’s undeniable. The connection between what is experienced and how that experience is remembered is amplified by the track’s thumping tempo.
 
“Empty” plays out like the perfect soundtrack to an inevitable breakup, coupling affection with exhaustion, with the synth framing the heart-wrenching truth of lines like “I was too in love to say/that your story was a bore/Now I gave up on bad dreams and endings/beginnings and beginnings.” It offers a viable catharsis for jilted lovers with a penchant for fuzzed-out refrains.
 
“TV Synth 2” precedes the lyrically minimal yet heavy “Embrace” which serves as Nightclub’s melodic memento mori. “Almost” is subdued yet gripping, slowing the momentum of the record in advanced of “TV Synth 3,” which unfolds like a VHS fever dream. “Fake Blood” is evocative, with reverb and a pulsating backbeat that swells as the song progresses. Arguably the darkest track on the album, Jordan’s diction is hypnotic, “Kill your dreams and wait for/the fake blood to pour out.”
 
Ending with the well-placed “Catacombs,” Nightclub’s final track encapsulates the thrill of beginnings and the way one remembers them. Set to a beat reminiscent of Joy Division’s quintessential single “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” “Catacombs,” much like the songs that precede it, is reason alone to return to Nightclub. - Dianca London Potts

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Montreal vs. Philly w/Streetwalkers and More at House Show April 27

Montreal vs. Philly w/Streetwalkers and More at House Show April 27

Some bands attempt to play up their sound by adding pieces that just don’t fit, in a word overproducing. Philly’s Streetwalkers don’t over dress for the occasion. It’s simply jeans and t-shirt indie rock. The guitar riffs are simple and slightly raw, but that rawness is a technique meant to demonstrate the band’s style. Streetwalkers are comfortable in their own skin and the slightly worn appearance. The straightforward “we are what we are” approach gives an air of natural authenticity. The bass guitar thumps along in a slightly irritated manner that matches the six-string while the drums come along for the trip.  When the guitar decides to step to the front, the sound is heavy yet controlled pushing up to the edge, but not over it. They’re a band that can play the clean-cut rock ‘n’ roll. But they prefer to be themselves rather than dressing the part - frayed edges and worn boots take it or leave it. Tonight Streetwalkers will be performing in South Philly at a DIY house show as part of a Montreal vs. Philly showcase with Satellite Hearts, Alpha Wavez, Crabe and Leamers. House Show, (Please contact one of the acts for more details.), 7pm, $6, All Ages - Michael Colavita

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