Alex Rafael Rose – Breathe, please
It is honestly strange to see the way computer-assisted, post-industrial music has evolved. While in the beginning, it was a way to seemingly make factory compactors harmonize, it then became the most terrifying sound to make it on to the radio waves back in the 1990s.
The computer assistance, the equipment accessories, the DAWs have all, of course, evolved. But, rather than remaining as fear-inducing as it once was, these types of sounds now accompany well-groomed, conventional pop hits.
Alex Rafael Rose is not having it. Breathe, please is as shockingly sparse, and malignantly violent as The Downward Spiral must have sounded on its first listen. Sure, Rose draws inspiration from trip-hop and alternative-rock. But, he is not very concerned with creating an alluring atmosphere. Rather, the click and cracks engulf the listener, like walking aimlessly through an unknown house where the lights have been turned off.
Alex Rafael Rose has fought against making people-pleasing decisions and it has paid off.
The SchytëHawkës – Phoned In Excuses
The intro to the SchytëHawkës’ new single “Phoned In Excuses” sounds like you’ve just ended up in a cement mixer by mistake. It bloody well hurts and it bloody well should. The band really wants to make sure you hear what they have to say. And, serious messages, as we know, unless they have the backing of big corporations or political parties, tend to get lost in the cacophony of modern living.
Sure, the SchytëHawkës bring to mind politically-minded thrash bands like Sodom or Kreator. You may even draw some parallels with modern metal bands with a message, groups like Fever 333. But, frankly, on “Phoned in Excuses”, the group is not concerned with fitting in, or with outplaying anyone.
Things are messed up in 2020, largely because of the powers that be, and this is unlikely ever to change. The chaotic, pummelling sound created by The SchytëHawkës is a perfect reflection of this rage and accompanying hopelessness.