Type O Negative is not only a universal blood type, but they are a Goth-rock band that formed in New York with a focus of sexual, vampiric ecstasy. The band is a walking display of Halloween, the dark themes and overall sound is off-putting at times, but engages the listener and attempts to move closer to the heartstrings. It is simply beautiful in moments of Bloody Kisses, the third installment from Type O Negative that would touch into genres of something that feels like the Cure with a bite.
Led by Peter Steele, both lead vocalist, bassist, and playgirl model, Josh Silver on the keyboards and backing vocals. Sal Abruscato handles the percussion and does an excellent job with the spacious style, while Kenny Hickey directs the guitars and backing vocals. The band would tap into the funeral style and the scenery of a Hammer Film. It was these movements that made the first musical track, “Christian Woman” an anthem that reigns eight-minutes in length.
“She Needs… Corpus Christi” Steele explains, behind the growls and choir heavy influenced backing vocalization. Type O Negative manages to be painted black, but has a beautiful sense of direction behind them that glimmers with higher pinned keys and synths. With the sudden acoustic guitar that cuts halfway through, “Christian Woman” becomes graceful with a slight interlude before leaping back at the throat of the listener. Steele moves to explain, “Jesus Christ looks like me” before having a revving guitar from Hickey form with a church organ that cascades throughout the mix. Type O Negative keeps an interesting perspective on the outlook of their music and appearance of the band. With a 6’7” Steele guiding the band through the satirical lyrics and the band containing a 90’s Goth overcoat, Type O Negative was able to back their stage presence with a full sound.
Displayed through “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare –All)” Type O Negative contains this vibrancy that becomes a conductor behind the crowd. While immensely stylish, the band is actually approachable and radio-friendly with “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare –All)”. It is not until the halfway mark where Steele explains “Loving you is like loving the dead” as Type O Negative suddenly becomes a symphony of sound that overpowers and becomes driving. It is short lived as the mood changes again and becomes less of a drive and more of a laid back grind of a guitar and keyboard solo. The harpsichord sound that suddenly erupts takes the band through a nose dive, keeping the action of the track feeling more alive than ever with different stages to a final end of percussion and atmospheric sound to fade the band into much shorter cuts than previously shown.
With the rugged jump, “Kill All The White People” is aggressive and becomes a feedback ridden piece of anthem punching. The death growls and samples of “Kill them all” that crashes through the music with thunderous crashes strikes a different sense of fear than previously displayed. Focusing more on the horrors of war, Type O Negative clashes into a hardcore-esque percussive beats and attacks that finishes with a barrage of sampling until “By any means necessary” floods the frame.
Other tracks like “Dark Side Of The Womb,” “Machine Screw,” and “3.O.I.F.” are strictly atmospheric and feature no instruments or singing. They are breaks in the action that actually become disturbed and act more as separate entities within Bloody Kisses.The album that stretches well over an hour comes to a final close with “Can’t Lose You”.
A final touch from the black beauty that is Type O Negative, “Can’t Lose You” is a final beg and plead that taps into the strange instrumentation and style that the band had. Bloody Kissesis an example of experimentation that works and still has that fine balance of being able to move between atmospheric and glorious, the strange with the desirable. It is a gothic dream that launches well and showed success in the final stages, just as the album began.
It is something your girlfriend will hate and your parents will not understand, it is Pittsburgh’s own Drug Lust with their 2013 release, Dusted 7”.The small, but filling EP contains just about everything that would be needed from a hardcore punk release. The overdriven guitars, the crashing percussion, bass that brings a backbone, and a vocalist that is not understood unless the lyric sheet is nearby.
The EP begins with a fuzzy, low strumming string combination that soon takes form as a low quality push into the unknown and angry. “Norway ‘92” is a fairly calm track until the vocals begin to flood into the frame and mix the equation up into a complete nosedive into the gasoline filled turnstiles. The 7-and-a-half-minute EP takes a consistent course after the first dive through the rage-filled attack of clamoring noise and persistent aggression.
Dusted 7” becomes a match made in hell with the second track being a frantic mess of sound between the blasting percussion that uses the one and two for snare and cymbal smashes, the guitar that sounds ripped straight from a higher-pitched noise installment, and the vocals that echo over the whole mix. Drug Lust has this sense of primal instinct behind their music and gives that off with the very rough, almost unpolished instrumentation and style. It is a draw to their sound though, making them stand out in hardcore for being able to move into a sound and instill new life to it.
The short, but capturing tracks make Drug Lust a circle-pit inducing jam-session that takes elements to form something catastrophic and unpredictable. The way the drums have this ring behind them, the guitars that follow suite and combine to create this dual attack develops an atmosphere and then relies on the bass and vocals to fill the gaps where the sound lingers.
This is shown well on “Zip Gun” which has a sense of a breakdown near the third quarter of the track. It alleviates the stress put on with the hardcore influence in the beginning and allows the build-up to become the true rising action. Amazingly, there is no lack of emotion through Dusted 7”where Drug Lust makes up most of the downtime in a still chaotic fashion.
Drug Lust has been on the radar for Pittsburgh hardcore, but their sound stays immortalized because of unrelenting force. They can capture and destroy, but it is more exciting to see them burn up the things around them in a fury with no real motivation to stop.
The debut album from Kali Uchis is finally here after her beloved mix, Por Vida. Uchis now stands among some of the monuments in music with a surprisingly, tall first studio record on her own accord. Keeping a balance of Columbian styled swing that teeters into areas of hip-hop, funk, lo-fi pop, and an overarching theme of growth on Isolation.
Uchis has a voice that can turn human to puddles of emotion with this graceful, but still self-proclaimed style. She is an intriguing figure in music that has a unique personality behind the sound that is displayed throughout Isolation. With the introduction of “Body Language”, Uchis moves with the help of Thundercat to create a jazz-funk fusion with a voice that resembles silk making the foreground of the production. Handled by Keith Parry, there is a sense of distance through time on Isolation. The album touches so many different eras and genres of sound that the album itself feels it could have been released in the 70’s, but has some modern elements that make it feel futuristic too.
Shown on the instrumentation of the following “Miami”, Uchis paints the sunshine through the lively instrumentation of bouncing percussion that follows with the slick guitars. There is a movement behind Uchis that digs deeper with her self-motivation of “But why would I be Kim? I could be Kanye in the land of opportunity and palm trees. Live fast and never die, I’m moving at the speed of light. I’ll take your money, raise the price, blow up the spot like dynamite.” The track “Miami” also features BIA who delivers a quick verse that closes out the track as she describes, “Vamo pa Miami, how we live la vida loca. Me llamo perico pero no me gusta coca. New vice now I need a blunt with my mimosa, never get it twisted…” Uchis does a similar fashion of mixing language into her music and does so a little later into Isolation.
As she moves into “Flight 22” however, there is this dream-scape that Uchis paints and delivers on the very light and graceful movement. The string sections that coincide within the wind chimes and the dipping of the instrumentation takes the listener through these tunnels of sound that move the horns into the background. It is truly a beautiful instrumental, but feels complete with Uchis delivering “So pack all your bags, don’t gotta ask where we’re going to. Don’t wanna be anywhere if it ain’t with you. Nowhere in this world can compare, boy that’s the truth, to wherever we’re going on Flight 22.”
In the lo-fi pop standout, “In My Dreams”, Uchis takes a totally different stance on Isolationthat adapts to her sound fairly well. It was the first track that questioned if Isolation was still the album that was being played, it stands out and feels so different than the rest of the album. With production from Damon Albarn who is best known for his work with the Gorillaz, the pumping snare and bass combo moves as a leap from the standard Uchis sound. It works incredibly well and actually feels clouded and uplifting with the light-hearted synth that carries on into the final pieces ofIsolation.
“After The Storm” is one of the last three tracks on the record.Most notable because of the Bootsy Collins and Tyler The Creator features, Uchis stands on her own as a graceful, but strong pillar in the track. “The sun’ll come out, nothing good ever comes easy. I know times are rough, but winners don’t quit.” With the production coming from Canadian-jazz superstars BADBADNOTGOOD, it is a match made in heaven that long time fans have been waiting for since “Rush” on Uchis’s last EP, Por Vida.
The final moments with “Killer” send Uchis off properly with a 50’s inspired doo-wop movement. She explains, “Forever is for dreamers and it’s foolish to not know you’re a schemer… and if you loved me, you would never do this. Our future’s battered and bloody, you’re so fucking ruthless.” Uchis uses the horns and pianos to paint a final look at the Columbian daydream that is Isolation.
The album is not only incredibly beautiful, but strikes a personal chord to Uchis and delivers an insight into her own sound. She moves like a star from the 70’s, but lives in a modern age with a revitalization of a sound that never goes out of style. Uchis is a monument in a genre that has no defining sound, a genre that never stays on one side of the field, and is an artist that can adapt to any situation and do a great job within it.
Prod. : Yung Milkcrate // Listen Here – Soundcloud
Featuring Joey Bada$$
“Style Wars” produced by Chuck Strangers Co-produced by Shepard Sounds
Listen/Watch Here – Youtube
“3 Faces” // Listen/Watch Here – Youtube
Christian “MULU” Holt | Vox
Allen Bell | Drums
Aidan Epstein | Bass
Caleb Lombardi | Keyboard
John O’Brien | Guitar
Roger Romero | Sax
Drew Bayura | Engineer
Hansel Romero | Mixing & Mastering
Sam Suter | Video