Rhythm of Cruelty, the mysterious Edmonton duo of Ian Rowley and Brandi Strauss, released their follow up to last year’s Dysphoria with Saturated, a bleak as hell 7-track banger with catchy post-punk tunes for the post-apocalypse.
The LP opens with the eerie audio-collage “Knowing Your Future,” that sounds like a cut from an ’80s neo-futurist soundtrack to a film full of punk mutants hiding out from the sun’s radiation in decayed cities waking from a nuclear winter. Sweeping LFOs, guitar feedback and creepy squeals of a sax open the LP until the militaristic industrial rapping of the drum machine kicks in high-gear on “Day In, Day Out” and continues to pound out over the next six tracks.
There is a sinister union of man vs. machine going on here, with the crashing punk howl of Rowley’s guitar, Strauss’ high-played Peter Hookesque basslines, and her dejected vocals caught between the dripping cave echo and the glossy wool of reverb – all in time to an up-tempo distorted machine march.
Undergoing a pretty massive change in style, Toronto’s Ben Gunning (originally of the legendary Local Rabbits) has taken his experimental singer-songwriter approach to a very electropop place with his newest single “Massive Love”. Aided no doubt by his ridiculously talented new band (Kieran and Joseph from Diana, Thom Gill of OG Melody, Robin Dann, Michael Davidson, Alanna Stuart of Bonjay, Felicity Williams, and Bram Gielen), it’s a total summer jam. Such an amazing instrumental refrain! So much groove! Can’t wait to hear the rest of this album!
Two amazing musician buds making tunes together, giving it a hilarious but still appropriate name and jamming out on some sweet synth vibes: is there anything cuter than that? Sean Paul is Sean Dunal (Sexy Merlin) and Paul Erlichman (Elrichman, Gay, Germaphobes), two consummate musicians who have honed their skills through thousands of hours with their various projects. The results show here with “Always Be True,” which is a weird, breezily funky slow-jam to waste away the summer hours to. This is the first we’ve heard recorded from the project, but more in the future would certainly be welcomed!
Our bloggy brethren Quick Before it Melts are becoming well-known for their annual Canada day Cancon covers compilation Dominionated, and this year’s edition featured a ton of artists we love, including Kashka and Matt LeGroulx (of Galaxius Mons). But our two very favourite covers were Toronto’s VIRE taking on Nash the Slash’s stone-cold classic “Swing Shift” and Winnipeg bedroom pop maestro Camp David‘s version of another synth-pop-pantheon cut, Spoons’ “Nova Heart”.
Download the compilation for free from Quick Before it Melts. Canadian music! What can we say, we like it!
London’s West Nile has been on a huge roll this year with single after single of top-notch production, proving again and again to be the pinnacle of catchiness. We love that each subsequent release goes in a completely different direction in style from the last. The funky disco of WHAAAT I CAN GETT was a perfect introduction to the project, then there was sonic journey semi-ballad of #1FNDR, released last month, and now LOTTA PPL, which is a straight-up electro-pop BANGER, with an awesome synth-solo and killer chorus hook. It sounds retro and futuristic at the same time.
All these songs on a album would be a wonderful thing. No word on anything like that forthcoming, but we can hope and dream. For now, we have these singles (and hopefully more to come) on her Bandcamp. Hitting repeat is a necessity.