Christopher Owens 🎵 with the 30th in his Predominance series.

“Bottle, bottle, on the wall, who's the drunkest of us all/Set yourself up for the fall, who's a slave to alcohol/I know a place where you can go, you'll probably see no one that you know”. - Poison Idea

Horns Up


New Horizons 

Swans – The Beggar

The 16th record from Michael Gira and his long-suffering band of merrymen, this album carries on the more melodic flourishes of 2019’s ‘Leaving Meaning’ but the experimental edge is much more pronounced this time around, such as in ‘The Beggar Lover (Three)’ which is the longest single track the band have recorded. Elsewhere, Gira demonstrates that his creative fire will never desert him.

The album can be streamed and purchased here.

Boris & Uniform – Bright New Disease

With both groups no strangers to collaborating with likeminded acts, it’s a thrill to hear the results. Combining crusty hardcore, crossover thrash, atmospheric doom, synth pop and industrial is some achievement, especially when you consider how effortless it sounds. Also, unlike a lot of other collaborations, it’s difficult to pick out which band dominates. Oh, and the songs are killer as well.

The album can be streamed and purchased here.

Rise Above – For Better For Worse

Described as being “…centered around the theme of perseverance, urging listeners to have faith in their choices and rely on the support of loved ones even when faced with setbacks and mistakes”, this mini album from the Dutch hardcore band exudes righteous anger and frustration at the world, thanks to the riffage being direct, chunky and meaty while the rhythm section add extra attack.

The album can be streamed and purchased here.

JAAW - Supercluster

Made up of members of Therapy?, Sex Swing, Petbrick and Squarepusher, JAAW deliver a record that is akin to Am Rep era Helios Creed jamming with Converge. The vocals are buried in the mix, making the listener notice just how pulverising the bass is and how the sparse electronics, coupled with certain guitar lines, embody an atmosphere of despair without ever being bleak. Life affirming.

The album can be streamed and purchased here.

Tunnels Of Āh – The Smeared Cloth (2012 - 2018 Unearthed)

Formerly of noise merchants Head of David, Stephen Āh Burroughs has been operating under the Tunnels Of Āh banner for the last decade and so it’s nice to see unsurfaced tracks being issued to celebrate one of the most underrated acts in dark ambient. The perfect soundtrack to that dark night when you’re afraid to get out of bed in case there’s an intruder waiting for you in the hall.

The album can be streamed and purchased here.

Golden Oldies


Kraftwerk – Trans Europe Express

Regarded, quite rightly, as one of the most influential albums of all time due to its influence on hip hop and electronic music, this 1977 album from the Dusseldorf quartet saw them create a paean to the modernity of Europe through its train network, while songs such as ‘Hall of Mirrors’ and ‘Showroom Dummies’ hint at an underlying darkness to technology. And the melodies are gorgeous.



The Peter Brötzmann Trio – For Adolphe Sax

Once described by Bill Clinton as one of the greatest saxophonists in the world, the recent death of Brötzmann saw many highlight 1968’s ‘Machine Gun’ as one of his many highlights. And, while they are correct, the previous year’s ‘For Adolphe Sax’ is just as intense, thanks to the interplay between the rhythm section which complement and accentuate Brötzmann’s sax onslaught. Intense.



Manic Street Preachers – Resistance is Futile

For a band who once sang “I laughed when Lennon got shot”, middle age suits the Manics as their widescreen melancholic tinged anthems about lost friends, Welsh poets and the passage of time both invoke the relentless march of age and the determination to fight for what is important. This album from 2018 wrestles with these contradictions and the results are sublime.



Sparks – No 1. in Heaven

Hot off reinvigorating disco with Donna Summer, producer Giorgio Moroder breathed new life into the oddball American pop duo, who had been floundering a bit, commercially speaking. Songs like ‘Tryout for the Human Race’ and ‘Beat the Clock’ demonstrated how perfect the pairing worked out, while ‘The Number One Song in Heaven’s one of the most beautiful songs ever written.


 

⏩ Christopher Owens was a reviewer for Metal Ireland and finds time to study the history and inherent contradictions of Ireland. He is currently the TPQ Friday columnist.

Predominance 30

Christopher Owens 🎵 with the 30th in his Predominance series.

“Bottle, bottle, on the wall, who's the drunkest of us all/Set yourself up for the fall, who's a slave to alcohol/I know a place where you can go, you'll probably see no one that you know”. - Poison Idea

Horns Up


New Horizons 

Swans – The Beggar

The 16th record from Michael Gira and his long-suffering band of merrymen, this album carries on the more melodic flourishes of 2019’s ‘Leaving Meaning’ but the experimental edge is much more pronounced this time around, such as in ‘The Beggar Lover (Three)’ which is the longest single track the band have recorded. Elsewhere, Gira demonstrates that his creative fire will never desert him.

The album can be streamed and purchased here.

Boris & Uniform – Bright New Disease

With both groups no strangers to collaborating with likeminded acts, it’s a thrill to hear the results. Combining crusty hardcore, crossover thrash, atmospheric doom, synth pop and industrial is some achievement, especially when you consider how effortless it sounds. Also, unlike a lot of other collaborations, it’s difficult to pick out which band dominates. Oh, and the songs are killer as well.

The album can be streamed and purchased here.

Rise Above – For Better For Worse

Described as being “…centered around the theme of perseverance, urging listeners to have faith in their choices and rely on the support of loved ones even when faced with setbacks and mistakes”, this mini album from the Dutch hardcore band exudes righteous anger and frustration at the world, thanks to the riffage being direct, chunky and meaty while the rhythm section add extra attack.

The album can be streamed and purchased here.

JAAW - Supercluster

Made up of members of Therapy?, Sex Swing, Petbrick and Squarepusher, JAAW deliver a record that is akin to Am Rep era Helios Creed jamming with Converge. The vocals are buried in the mix, making the listener notice just how pulverising the bass is and how the sparse electronics, coupled with certain guitar lines, embody an atmosphere of despair without ever being bleak. Life affirming.

The album can be streamed and purchased here.

Tunnels Of Āh – The Smeared Cloth (2012 - 2018 Unearthed)

Formerly of noise merchants Head of David, Stephen Āh Burroughs has been operating under the Tunnels Of Āh banner for the last decade and so it’s nice to see unsurfaced tracks being issued to celebrate one of the most underrated acts in dark ambient. The perfect soundtrack to that dark night when you’re afraid to get out of bed in case there’s an intruder waiting for you in the hall.

The album can be streamed and purchased here.

Golden Oldies


Kraftwerk – Trans Europe Express

Regarded, quite rightly, as one of the most influential albums of all time due to its influence on hip hop and electronic music, this 1977 album from the Dusseldorf quartet saw them create a paean to the modernity of Europe through its train network, while songs such as ‘Hall of Mirrors’ and ‘Showroom Dummies’ hint at an underlying darkness to technology. And the melodies are gorgeous.



The Peter Brötzmann Trio – For Adolphe Sax

Once described by Bill Clinton as one of the greatest saxophonists in the world, the recent death of Brötzmann saw many highlight 1968’s ‘Machine Gun’ as one of his many highlights. And, while they are correct, the previous year’s ‘For Adolphe Sax’ is just as intense, thanks to the interplay between the rhythm section which complement and accentuate Brötzmann’s sax onslaught. Intense.



Manic Street Preachers – Resistance is Futile

For a band who once sang “I laughed when Lennon got shot”, middle age suits the Manics as their widescreen melancholic tinged anthems about lost friends, Welsh poets and the passage of time both invoke the relentless march of age and the determination to fight for what is important. This album from 2018 wrestles with these contradictions and the results are sublime.



Sparks – No 1. in Heaven

Hot off reinvigorating disco with Donna Summer, producer Giorgio Moroder breathed new life into the oddball American pop duo, who had been floundering a bit, commercially speaking. Songs like ‘Tryout for the Human Race’ and ‘Beat the Clock’ demonstrated how perfect the pairing worked out, while ‘The Number One Song in Heaven’s one of the most beautiful songs ever written.


 

⏩ Christopher Owens was a reviewer for Metal Ireland and finds time to study the history and inherent contradictions of Ireland. He is currently the TPQ Friday columnist.

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