Words by Tim Anderl
Tim Anderl is a Dayton, Ohio-based writer whose work has published in Alternative Press, Strength Skateboarding, Ghettoblaster, New Noise Magazine among other alternative weekly newspapers, magazines and online publications/blogs. He’s the former host of the Sound Check Chat podcast and runs a boutique PR firm, Sweet Cheetah Publicity. Growing up in the rich culture of the ’80s lead Tim to a life-long love of music, including post-punk, new wave, darkwave, goth, dream pop.
While I’d originally intended to begin this month’s column with a treasured LP I recently procured at Dayton’s self-proclaimed “Third Best Record Store,” my thoughts on Anything Box’s Peace (1990, Epic) – an album I’ve legitimately loved over the last 30 years – will have to wait until another column while we address this…
According to Rolling Stone, Brooklyn Vegan and the like, longtime The Cure bassist Simon Gallup and the band have parted ways. He broke the news on his Facebook Saturday, and when questioned in the comments he says, just got “fed up of betrayal.” This news is most assuredly a nut punch to fans of the band and Gallup, who has been the longest standing member of The Cure other than Robert Smith, and although leaving the band briefly in 1982 during the Pornography tour, has been a staple of the lineup since 1994. For those following along, The Cure have been promising three new albums, although no release date has been announced to date. To be honest, I’m not sure I need a new album (or three) from the band sans Gallup.
Anyway, while I have a respite from crying into my pillowcase over a Gallup-less The Cure, I’ve managed to collect a bit of good news, and that’s as follows…
Vancouver, Canada’s ACTORS are set to release their forthcoming Artoffact Records LP, Acts of Worship, on October 1 and have already offered up a Natural Born Killers-inspired music video for “Only Lonely.” The new LP follows 2018’s It Will Come To You, a moody, anthemic release that set fire to dance floors and put the band on the map. Vocalist Jason Corbett’s predominant influences clearly come by-way-of David Bowie, Roxy Music, Duran Duran and the like, although his sonic sculpting is clearly nothing to be overlooked as he’s worked with Bootblacks and SPECTRES at his own Jackknife Studio. Acts of Worship also ushers in the debut of new bassist Kendall Wooding and Corbett notes that the current lineup, completed by synth player Shannon Hemmett and drummer Adam Fink, reflects the balance of masculine and feminine energy contained within the songs. ACTORS have North American tour dates scheduled beginning September 9 and continuing throughout the fall.
Sacred Bones Records will release Fast Idol, a new album from Black Marble, aka Chris Stewart, on October 22. Fast Idol follows last year’s affectionate take on Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and an EP of covers, I Must Be Living Twice, Black Marble recorded on the heels of 2019’s celebrated Bigger Than Life LP. Fast Idol is Stewart’s fourth full-length album and his second for Sacred Bones. Stewart has shared the Theo Sixou-directed video for “Somewhere,” which he says, “represents a place of disinhibition where if it could only be remembered, or found, the people we aim to be could for a moment be fully realized. Although its dreamlike clarity and feeling of connection may seem like an empty promise, it serves as an aspirational reminder for what might be.” Heavy. Black Marble has confirmed a run of live dates in October, just after the album’s release in the UK, with U.S. dates to follow in November.
Broke Bldgs, the collaboration between musician Rick Mitchell, formerly of SPRCSS and The YMD, and current bassist for Amanda Blank and the creative mind behind 12 Letter Alphabet, and visual artist Lauren Medsker, are set to release Resurrect Dead via PurpleGator Records on October 8. Named after Philadelphia’s Toynbee tiles, the duo pulls inspiration from various elements of electro, post-punk and minimalist composition; the vocals are blurry, distorted, fucked-with and the synthesizers are dark and dizzying. The percussion is somewhere between a party and a gut punch. In other words, prepare to get uncomfortable.
Portland’s Cercle Social (ChameleonsVox, Sculpture Club, etc.) announced a pair of reissues last week. For Against’s criminally underrated 2001 masterpiece, Coalesced, which has been resequenced by the band and cut by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Mastering, is the first, while Asylum Party’s Grey Mornings Volume 1 collects rare demos and compilation tracks from the French cold wave masters formed in 1985 by Thierry Sobezk and Philippe Planchon, on vinyl for the very first time. Pre-order these heavy-hitters before they hit the streets on October 31. [disclosure: Cercle Social is a client of Sweet Cheetah Publicity]
Fotocrime, aka Louisville-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Ryan Patterson, is set to deliver his third LP, Heart of Crime, on August 27 via Profound Lore Records. Fotocrime finds Patterson continuing to tap into the sounds of classic EBM and post-punk artists as he continues to explore what he refers to as “electric Southern romanticism.” For the unindoctrinated, this sums it up: “DAF meets Roy Orbison, Portishead meets Ricky Nelson. Raymond Chandler and Paul Bowles go to see a Douglas Sirk and Carol Reed double feature.” Fotocrime will tour the U.S. throughout September, October, November and December.
Berlin’s PINK TURNS BLUE, who are rightly regarded as one of darkwave’s founding acts, recently unveiled the video for “You Still Mean Too Much To Me’ ahead of their forthcoming Tainted LP for Orden Records and seeing release on September 24. Tainted showcases the addition of electronic elements to their well established sound, which the band has been honing as a first generation German gothic rock artist since forming in 1985. To date, the band has released a dozen full-length LPs, the latest being The AERDT – Untold Stories in 2016.
Belgian shoegaze act SLOW CRUSH release their sophomore album, Hush, via Quiet Panic, on October 22. The album’s title track has been making the rounds online and showcases the soul soothing vocals of Isa Holliday as it radiates amidst a haze of whirling guitars. If the single is any indication, the band have surpassed the songwriting and musicianship of their debut album Aurora by at least a moderate margin, and the promises that the rest of the album will offer some of their darkest, but most hopeful output to date. The band will be making the rounds in Europe from August to March before embarking on a two-month North American tour in April 2022.
Following their debut, Exposure Therapy, released in 2019 on Artoffact Records goth-pop duo Wingtips are set to deliver their sophomore album, Cutting Room Floor, on September 3. Cutting Room Floor maintains a base in ’80s sounds, but with brighter melodies, deeper emotions, and a stripped-down approach that lets the songs shine. Think of it as “new romantic for post-millennial end times” (the band’s own words). Catch them on tour in North America in 2021 and 2022, especially if you’re a fan of their contemporaries like HEALTH and CHVRCHES.