Belgrado – Siglo XXI

 

The first time I saw Belgrado, they were opening for The Bellicose Minds in Vancouver. I was blown away by their frantic energy, and their songs have a classic dark post punk vibe that carries a lot of power. While the show at the official venue was fantastic, the house show they played the next night unleashed a chaotic energy that I’ll fondly remember for years to come. They managed to get through most of their set before the party was shut down by the cops. If you ever have the chance to see Belgrado perform live, please don’t miss it!

 

Belgrado is from Italy, so there aren’t normally a ton of chances for us North Americans to catch them. But they’ll be playing here again this August, and the only concrete date I know is August 25th at the Star Theatre in Portland (they’ll be playing with Cemetery, Soft Kill, Body of Light, Spectres, and Clan of Xymox!)

Chandra

Chandra Oppenheim was 12 years old when she released her only EP, Transportation. Due to her talent and her young age she became a hit in the underground 80s new wave scene, and also collaborated with The Dance. One commenter online says, “I saw her perform either in 1980 or 1981 at a small club in Philly called Omin’s. She had a chaperone with her, and she had to finish her performance before 11 pm because of a curfew. Also, for someone so young she had terrific stage presence.” Add this to the list of things that make me wish time machines existed.

Chandra’s music is synthy, punky, and definitely worth a listen. Fortunately, her original 4 track EP was recently uploaded to Bandcamp with an added 4 previously unreleased tracks! Check out the album here.

Double Echo – La Danza

Double Echo, that fantastic dark post-punk band from Liverpool, is back with another full-length release. Gloomy bass and guitars pair with vocals that feel straight out of the 80s goth scene to create some spookily delicious soundscapes. La Danza feels like a culmination of the best of their frosty sounds all on one album. Definitely recommend hearing this release, makes for perfect autumn listening! You can find their album at their Bandcamp or on Spotify.

BXOPE

I discovered this fun band thanks to Pornograffity on last.fm. BXOPE (romanized to VHORE) is a new-ish band from Tomsk, Russia. BXOPE has a lot going for them – post punk style female vocals and guitars, drum machine and great synth work. Their songs are sometimes dreamy, sometimes frantic, always beautiful. The above track, Кафка (Kafka), is filled with absurdist poetry lyrics and a carefree attitude.

Unfortunately there’s only a few songs up on their Bandcamp as of now. I was lucky enough to receive a full album of theirs, and after a listen I think you’ll want to keep an eye on this band if Russian style post punk/synth wave bands are your thing. Also very tough to find any info on this band online (in my case, because my Russian comprehension is zero), however here’s what appears to be their official webpage.

Shadow Age – Silaluk

If you’re a fan of gloomy post-punk, Shadow Age is definitely a band to add to your library. Cold, melodic, drum beats that will squeeze your heart – this is music that hits all the right buttons. Hailing from Richmond, VA, Shadow Age is currently on tour. While they’re not making it to Vancouver this time, my fingers are crossed that I’ll get to see them perform someday!

Check Shadow Age out on Facebook, or support them on Bandcamp if you like what you hear.

Flowers & Fire

I shouldn’t be surprised to hear of yet another amazing Vancouver post-punk band – after all, this is the city that brings us Spectres, Mode Moderne, and about a hundred other bands I’m kicking myself for forgetting to mention. However, Flowers & Fire (who just released their demo on Bandcamp here a few days ago) have a completely old school sound that is making me VERY excited to see them play live tonight. Definitely check them out if you’re feeling nostalgic for great 80s post-punk.

Kokushoku Elegy

I’ve recently started focusing on freelance Japanese-English translation as a career. I love it – I get to work from home next to my cats and dog, go by my own schedule, and listen to whatever music I like. However, one thing I’ve begun to notice is that some music can be distracting in my more focused moments. When my brain is working through some tricky Japanese grammar, suddenly tuning in to an awesome French song and subconsciously trying to figure out what the lyrics mean doesn’t help my concentration much. I lived in Kyoto for part of my high school and university career, and though I managed to listen to a bit of Japanese language goth rock (Malice Mizer circa Gackt, the depth of my love for you can never truly be conveyed), I mostly filled my ears with J-pop as that’s what my friends were listening to.

Now that I’m looking for some fun Japanese music to listen to while working, I’m getting the chance to discover fantastic bands I’d never heard of before. One of those is Kokushoku Elegy, a female fronted 80s goth/post-punk band.

Seriously great tunes – check out some of their songs on YouTube if you like the classic dark post-punk sound of the 80s. Unfortunately as they’re a bit older I don’t have many leads for obtaining their music directly, but there are some decently priced copies of their albums on Discogs here.

Any other post-punk, synthy, or goth Japanese bands that I should be checking out? Please leave me a comment 🙂

Frank (Just Frank)

It’s a few years old, but I can’t get enough of Frank (Just Frank)’s album The Brutal Wave. Synthpop, post-punk, and coldwave combine to create a fantastic aural landscape that has been making me hit the Repeat button quite a bit these past few days. ‘Beneath’ in particular is steadily earworming its way into my dreams, and I have no complaints.

With a touch of dark 80s inspired synth and vocals, The Brutal Wave is climbing my personal favourites chart. Coming in a close second, their Valerie EP has some great songs as well, including the fantastic dance tune ‘Do The Soviet’.

More band info: Facebook

Pleasure Symbols

 

Just heard this song off of the new two-track release from Pleasure Symbols, and it’s mesmerizing! Dark and droning coldwave with some post-punk flavour thrown in, this Brisbane band is definitely going to be on my radar when it comes to future releases. Ultraviolence is the other track on this release and definitely worth a listen; evokes feelings of a descending, shadowy dystopia. Head on over to their Bandcamp here to check out both excellent songs.