Album Of January 2023 – Imperishable JOHN CALE With His Spellbinding 17th Longplayer ‘MERCY’

30 January 2023

No retirement for the 80-year-old JOHN CALE. He’s one of
the many musicians that will go on until their last breath.

The Welsh icon released his 17th solo longplayer,
called MERCY this month via Double Six/Domino.

The album features a cool club of guests. Animal Collective, Sylvan
Esso, Laurel Halo, Tei Shi, Actress
, and yes, Fat White Family too.

Press info: “Cale’s first full album in a decade, moves through true dark-night-of-the-soul electronic torment toward vulnerable love songs and hopeful considerations for the future with the help of some of music’s most curious young minds. Cale has always searched for new ways to explore old ideas of alienation, hurt, and joy; Mercy is the latest transfixing find of this unsatisfied mind.”

Rolling Stone said: “Even as Mercy glares into the void, Cale demonstrates his optimism
by hanging out with younger musicians and often centering the album around contemporary rhythms, like the hip-hop he’s long considered to be a modern avant-garde.Like his Welsh brother and hero Dylan Thomas, Cale is going to fight against the dying of the light until the light is no more, but the ghosts of his past will be with him until the end.”

TUTV: No earworms, no feel good tunes, no pop hits. At 80 Cale still explores his mind and soul and he does it with shadowy introspections and chilling musings. Gloomy electronics create an obscure atmosphere and sometimes it feels like Cale is trapped in the labyrinth of his own psyche. You need several spins to get into the former VU legend’s world, but once you’re there the experience is spellbinding.

SINGLES: Night Crawling / Story Of Blood / Noise Of You

– NIGHT CRAWLING –

– STORY OF BLOOD –

– NOISE OF YOU –

FULL ALBUM

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TOUR

JOHN CALE: Bio – Discography – Instagram

Album Of October 2022 – Dark Goth-Wave Hero PIG With ‘THE MERCILESS LIGHT’

28 October 2022

Artist: PIG (London, UK)

Who: Raymond Watts aka PIG has enjoyed a varied career since starting out
as a pioneer member of the mid-1980s industrial rock scene. He toured with
big names such as NIN and Einstürzende Neubauten. He wrote music for
fashion and film artists, exhibitions and so many more artistic collaborations.

New album: THE MERCILESS LIGHT

Info: “What does worldwide quarantine do to our favourite porcine libertine?
Raymond Watts holed up in his sty and created ‘The Merciless Light’, the new album
by PIG. Ably aided and abetted by long time accomplices En Esch and Steve White, Watts also welcomes a new swine to the trough as Jim Davies (Pitchshifter/The Prodigy) adds another new level of impeccable (in)credibility and talent. ‘The Merciless Light’ seethes, swings, seduces and snarls. Extraordinary electronics and a glut of glitz, glam, guitars and grooves create a masterful mélange of mirth from our very own venerable Vicar of Vice.”

Turn Up The Volume wrote: The PIG of darkwaveness hits hard again following his
ace 2020 longplayer Pain Is God. With the new record, he reveals his lockdown blues experiences with 12 doom-and-gloom sledgehammers to crush concrete with.

Prepare your ears for brawny industrial bombast (No Yes More less / Veni Vidi Vici / Feed
The Wound / Taranatula
), nightmares in slow-motion (Limbo / Sugar My Pill / The Judas Chair), wham-bam-glam drones (Glitz Krieg / The Dark Room) and the fantastic slow-burning gospel chant of the title track. It’s all there to have yourself a merciless head-banging pig trip. File next to Rammstein’s new opus Zeit.

Singles/clips: The Dark Room / Tarantula

– TARANTULA –

– THE DARK ROOM –

Buy/stream
THE MERCILESS LIGHT
here via Bandcamp


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PIG: Facebook – Instagram – Spotify

Photography by E Gabriel Edvy

Album Of August 2022 – ‘GOD’S COUNTRY’ By Barbed Wire Noise Turbo CHAT PILE

2 September 2022

Band: CHAT PILE
Who: Noize junks from Oklahoma City


Photo credit: Bayley Hanes.

Debut album: GOD’S COUNTRY
Released: 29 July 2022 – order info here

“There’s a sick irony to how a country that extols rhetoric of individual freedom, in the same gasp, has no problem commodifying human life as if it were meat to feed the insatiable hunger of capitalism. If this is American nihilism taken to its absolute zenith, then God’s Country, the first full length record from Oklahoma City noise rock quartet Chat Pile is the aural embodiment of such a concept.

TUTV says: This volcanic beast of a record predicts Doomsday as we know it with destructive cannonballs accompanied by horrific primal screams (actually, last screams)
to soundtrack the end-of-times exorcism at work here. The flabbergasting closing track grimace_smoking-weed tells you all about the album’s agony. It’s about going-totally-out-of-your-fucking-mind and not knowing if living or not living is the answer. God’s country? Are you kidding me? It’s Satan’s country now. Contender for album of the year! FACT! Let’s rock!

Singles/clips: Wicked Puppet Dance / Slaughterhouse

– WICKED PUPPET DANCE –

SLAUGHTERHOUSE –

Stream/buy God’s country here…


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CHAT PILE: Facebook

Album Of July 2022 – ‘MOON REFLECTIONS’ By EX-HYENA

2 August 2022

Band: EX-HYENA (Boston, MA)
Who: The musical project of Bo Barringer and Reuben Bettsak
crafting the sound of an emerging dystopia, a sort of fantasy
land that existed along the margins of reality and within the
confines of the imagination.

MOON REFLECTIONS – the duo’s 2nd LP

Reuben Bettsak: “Moon Reflections brings forth cinematic landscapes from the Ex-Hyena world,” says Bettsak. “This futuristic world is created to build imagination sparks, to grasp memories, and to delve into understanding our fragile minds. It’s interesting. I think our last album was maybe built a bit more on stories, and characters from a dystopian future world, and of course aspects of that world touched upon the realities of our world. But in building imaginary worlds, one can tap into the subjects of the mind. Moon Reflections dives into the deep, murky waters of memories, it falls down a void of nightmares, it experiences extreme loneliness, and it also highlights a few characters via cinematic scenes from the Ex-Hyena
future world. And it all meshes together because imagination is a great magnifying glass.”

Turn Up The Volume: Ex-Hyena conduct orchestral manoeuvres at the dark side of the moon with a variety of vibrant vibes. A mix of ambient spheres (At The Moondial / Sight Unseen / Dark Passage), idiosyncratic electronics à la Aphex Twin (Tremors / Magnification) and dark-colored-waves (Nightmare Pills / Capture The Stills / While Curtains Burn). Throw in some special Pink Floyd effects in here and there and you know what will be on your headphones when the lights go out at night.

Singles/clips: Capture The Stills / Nightmare Pills

– NIGHTMARE PILLS –

Ladies we’re floating in space.
Buy/stream the album here…


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EX-HYENA: Facebook – Instagram

Poignant Heart And Soul Intimacy With Midnight Hour Crooner OLI SPLEEN

Best longplayer of April 2022

30 April 2022

Artist: OLI SPLEEN
Who: Singer-songwriter
from Brighton, UK

New album: STILL LIFE

Oli Spleen: Ten years ago when I was in Paris finalising my debut solo album
“Fag Machine”, I would not have believed that ten years on I’d be five albums in.”

Cover artwork: The cover art is a painting by Sara Abbott of a baby albatross,
dead from plastic consumption. Based on a photograph by Clare Fackler (NOAA
Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
). In seafaring folklore, it is thought that he
who kills the albatross will be cursed. This image reflects how we as a species are
dooming ourselves and future generations in our relationship to the environment.

Turn Up the Volume: Oftenly, hard times can be an artistic inspiration for
musicians (for all sorts of artists, actually). It can work or not for the psyche
of the listener. Here it works magnificently.

Spleen constructed 10 sonic paintings about his struggle for life, about
soul-destroying and physical pain, and doubts about the present and
the future.

10 heartfelt, tender, and very intimate ballads, at times distressing, at times mournful,
but in the end, there’s hope, redemption, and lust for life. Spleen‘s voice is both doleful
and warm, just like star crooners such as Nick Cave, Father John Misty, The National‘s maestro Matt Berninger and most of all the midnight hour voice of Tindersticks maestro Stuart Staples sound.

Ten pearls about suffering and surviving.
A poignant and riveting work. Don’t miss it.

Stream/buy Still Life here…


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OLI SPLEEN: Facebook – All Albums on Bandcamp

ALBUM OF MARCH 2022 – Canadian Pop Romantics BASEMENT REVOLVER With ‘EMBODY’

1 April 2022

Band: BASEMENT REVOLVER
Who: Indie outfit producing noisy and graceful shoegaze-esque
music out of their hometown of Hamilton, Ontario since 2016

New album: EMBODY – the band’s 2nd one.
Order the digital version here .

“Their sophomore LP, Embody, is explicit about these new ideas and new thoughts,
addressing them with a deeper sound and crisper production to adroitly express the
complexity of the world.

It is an album of friendship, of working out identity together and making deeply personal
art. This record, with its complex sonic landscape, sometimes lush and sometimes stark,
is of a piece with their earlier work, but it’s deeper and more self-aware. Embody is the
sound of freedom, especially in the midst of such pain, both locally and globally.”

Turn Up The Volume: The most striking instrument on the album is the angelic voice of songwriter Chrisy Hurn. Just phenomenal. To my avid ears, she may join the female vocal likes of stars such as Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, The Sundays Harriet Wheeler, Belly‘s Tanya Donelly, and Mazzy Star‘s Hope Sandoval.

Yes that good, that special. Check ballad beauties Slow / Blackhole / Storm / Tired and my two favorites Skin and Long Way and you’ll hear why Chrisy’s voice is the band’s shining star. And when they rock out (Be Okay / Dissolve / Tunnel Vision) multi-layered shoegaze guitars take over and create a burning wall-of-sound that blows you away.

Overall this high-quality second LP encourages young people to be confident to be themselves, to be proud of who they are, and proud of how they look. It’s a vulnerable
and heartwarming, a passional and human, a tender and longing piece of work for heart and soul. Album of the month!

Singles/clips: Circles / Skin / Transatlantic / Tunnel Vision

– SKIN –

– TRANSATLANTIC –

– TUNNEL VISION –

Buy/stream Embody here…


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BASEMENT REVOLVER: Facebook

(Images via Auteur Research PR)

Album Of The Month – NOVEMBER 2021

1 December 2021

Band: CONVERGE feat. CHELSEA WOLFE and also
contributions from Cave In man Stephen Brodsky
Who: Longtime metalcore noiseniks from Boston
featuring the Goth heroine
Active: Since 1990 / 10 studio LPs

New album: BLOODMOON: I
Released: 19 November 2021

Kerrang! said: “Converge have long been rightfully revered as hardcore trailblazers, expanding the scene’s vocabulary through a questing spirit and willingness to experiment. Even within this ever-evolving context, however, Bloodmoon: I is so different to the rest of the Salem slammers’ oeuvre that it feels like a glimpse of an alternative timeline… You’ve never previously been able to describe a Converge record as mystical, but such is the arcane allure that defines this unique album, especially on Coil and the title track. Chelsea’s distinctively haunting contributions are inevitably a major factor here, but Stephen also makes his melodic presence felt throughout, with Jacob Bannon’s harsher throat completing a vocal triptych that never fails to thrill, their very different but complementary styles weaving together as if they were always supposed to co-exist.” Full review here. Score: 5/5.

Turn Up The Volume: Don’t expect that his album turned into something totally
surprising because Wolfe and Brodsky were invited by Converge to their sacred
studio.

But the colluding collaboration generates even more darkness to Boston‘s noise
freaks’ trademark pitch-black darkness with Chelsea‘s spellbinding vox adding an
obscure sensuality. The ghostly gathering is a grueling marathon of almost one
hour. It’s a celebration of all things gloomy and doomy with prog-rock textures.

A quiet-loud-quiet-very-loud rollercoaster of clashing, slashing and trashing
with a satanic sound as towering as the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.

A Metal-Goth-Core Highmass!

Singles: Blood Moon / Coil

– BLOOD MOON –

– COIL –

Stream album here…

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CONVERGE: Facebook

Album Of The Month – London Singer-Songwriter GLASS SANDS With Sparkling Debut ‘BETTER THAN LIFE’

Best album of October 2021 according to Turn Up The Volume’s ears

29 October 2021

Artist: GLASS SANDS
Who: Musical moniker of indie singer/songwriter
Christopher Laurence Shackleton based in London.

Album: BETTER THAN LIFE

Info: Written and recorded over a five-year period, “Better Than Life” features some of Chris Shackleton’s most mature and versatile songwriting yet featuring ambitious sonics that take influence from alternative rock, post-punk, post-rock, krautrock and shoegaze. Lyrically, “Better Than Life” broaches on both the personal and the political with songs that focus on themes such as loneliness, populism, gentrification and just how far one is willing to go to find satisfaction in life.

Turn Up The Volume says: Expect an intriguing mix of moody moments (Coming Home /
In Your Hands / Ballad Of The Byford Dolphin / Hammerfest
), guitar-driven riff-hook-and-lick knockouts that cut like a Swiss knife (Better Than Life / She Hangs On The Western Wall / Phantom Pains / Cigarette Machine) and a slo-mo closer (Basilisk) that could feature on
the soundtrack of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks TV series.

An overall versatile accomplishment that grows on you with every spin. A twists and turns record swinging from dreamy pop to fuzzing and buzzing rock and back. Don’t miss this! You don’t need a pool to throw a party with Better Than Life on the stereo. Best album October 2021!

Stream/buy ‘Better Than Life’ here…


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GLASS SANDS: Facebook

Psychedelic Shoegaze Trip – London’s GHOST PATTERNS Score With Debut Album ‘INFINITE’

Best longplayer of September 2021

1 October 2021

Band: GHOST PATTERNS
Who: London based quartet formed in 2019 blending
psychedelic, shoegaze and post-punk influences
into their music.

Debut album: INFINITE
Released: 3 September 2021
You can purchase the record via Bandcamp

Turn Up The Volume: The amplified haziness of Slowdive, the mystifying nightmares
of Spacemen 3, the multi-layer-constructing skills of My Bloody Valentine. Hallucinating soundscapes, sonic shadowplays, synths and guitars dueling with each other while
tireless drums dauntlessly beat, and wailing voices wander in an enigmatic fog of reverberation.

This and much more is what the (sur)real world of Ghost Patterns has to offer. Put your headphones on, open your mind and ears and you’ll experience a wondrous, psychedelic shoegaze trip. Strongly intense debut! Don’t miss it!

Single: House Of Lies

Stream/buy full album here…


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GHOST PATTERNS: Facebook

Vocals/guitars/keys- Terry Hale
Vocals- Somrata Sarkar
Bass- Letitia Austin
Drums & Percussion- James Walker

Lyrics/music
Tracks 3,4,6,8,9 – Somrata Sarkar/ Ghost Patterns
Tracks 1,2,5,7 – Terry Hale/ Ghost Patterns

Recorded by Ghost Patterns
Produced & mixed by Terry Hale & James Walker

Pic credit: Serge Kutuzov

ALBUM OF THE MONTH – Power Trio METZ With ‘LIVE AT THE OPERA HOUSE’

30 August 2021

Band: METZ (Toronto, Canada)
Who: Titan noise junks based in Toronto, Canada.
Active: Since 2008 / 4 studio albums so far

New album: LIVE AT THE OPERA HOUSE
Released: 4 August 2021
Order info: here

The band: “We were determined to find a way within the confines of the pandemic
to create a live experience that felt dynamic and let us connect with you all. So we
took to the stage in October 2020 at the Opera House in Toronto, a hometown favorite
independent venue, to livestream a performance of Atlas Vending in its entirety.”

The live performance (2020 album Atlas Vending and two older tracks) is available on all digital service providers, with bundles at Bandcamp and Sub Pop that include also a film of the of the full concert.

Turn Up The Volume: To be honest, most live albums do not reflect what artists accomplish on a podium. Its hard to capture the live sound on a record. But this one is remarkably different. As I saw these wall-of-havoc crusaders multiple times, I know what they’re capable of. From the first chord on, the trio explodes as if they’re on a kamikaze mission.

They develop a slash and trash amount of illegal decibels. You actually feel the noise physically. Fact! Several times I really thought that frontman Alex Edkins would run out of oxygen. This live record is what you can expect from these noise titans when they hit the stage. Their sound is bigger than the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (before the fire).

ALBUM OF AUGUST 2021

Alert your neighbors before you press play…


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METZ: FacebookAll Tour Dates 2021-2022

(Live photos by Turn Up The Volume)