Written by Matthew Howard
Both inside and outside of Bandcamp, music releases finally picked up a little this month and the slow start to the year gaining some momentum as the evenings get lighter and British Summer Time begins. As always feel free to drop a comment if we missed your favourite Bandcamp release. In the meantime however, let’s take a look at March’s releases.
A one man black metal band from Azerbaijan. Why not? Following up their well-regarded 2015 record Desperate Dreams, Violet Cold again taps into the Blackgaze shoegaze-blackmetal crossover sound. Violet Cold has been one to watch for those in the know for quite some time now, and this 2017 doesn’t disappoint. Rewarding patience with refreshing and emotional music there is little doubt that this is my pick of the month.
FFO: Deafheaven, My Bloody Valentine, Flying Saucer Attack
Independent Label Choice
Picking Gnod as the independent label choice is almost cheating because Gnod have been putting out quality punk records on their own label, Tesla Tapes, since 2006 now. A collective with rotating members rather than a traditional punk band, Gnod are highly political as a cursory glance at the album title will reveal. The band has lo-fi production but incorporates noise, drone and industrial elements on top of their grizzly punk sound.
FFO: Sleaford Mods, Flux of Pink Indians, Subhumans
I’m going to confess to having a bias for experimental music about death. It’s a topic that comes up a lot in art, and I think the way people process it and cope with the presence of it makes for some very interesting ideas. Which is why I’m more favourable towards this three-way split ambient EP than I am with most ambient Bandcamp releases. However that being said the work is genuinely good, with each track having its own identity and take on the subject, my personal favourite being Crugley’s Nocturnal Void. The songs progress fast enough that you don’t get bored whilst never coming to the forefront of your attention without you focusing, which is the balancing act all ambient music must juggle. This recommendation won’t be for everybody but there is a definite niche for this.
FFO: Michel Chion, Haxan Cloak, Lustmord
EP of the Month
I become a cynical man at the words “UK grunge rock band with psych influences”, which is how Leeches most recent EP was introduced to me under a friend’s recommendation. However one listen immediately put me at ease. These songs are tight and genuinely energetic and I find myself having a lot of fun with it despite approaching with heavy reservations. The hooks are tight and the songs find a freshness and fun in what can be quite an exhausted genre. This band has everything it needs in its arsenal to break through, and with releases as high-quality as this, their odds are looking good.