the HVNZ – Young & Wasted Youth
Some depressed goth kids do end up miserable and wasted, as some of their critics might predict, but, for the most part, those that face existential dread at a young age end up well-balanced, crafty adults. Those that end up acquiring some discipline also end up going far, especially in the creative fields.
It’s all fine and good to do your rocking with the amps turned up to 11 and with power chords screeching at every turn. However, once you have played music for a long time, it’s very difficult to avoid getting better or having music spark your creativity. Well, you could always start a 70s-inspired hard-rock group, and that should guarantee being frozen in amber for all of time.
the HVNZ resemble those sort of young adults that have grown up on a diet of goth music, depressing literature, and bad beer. Young & Wasted Youth may recall the group members’ lives, but take one listen, and it is clear to see that they have conquered many of those demons and found a way to add some pop albums into their collection along the way.
Young & Wasted Youth is a great single that mixes facile pop melodies with melodrama and a sense of angst. It is hard to come by ingredients in rock music, but can create a great recipe when used.
NOCKTERN – The Hound
Rock and pop music used to be almost entirely Anglo-American concerns. Sure, the Germans or Japanese got in on the action and created some marvellous, but eccentric art. Italian and French pop were strictly insular affairs. And, for the most part, rock made in Eastern Europe aped its Western influences.
However, modern rock music has had enough time to develop into powerful, brand-new strings in all corners of the world. Much of modern rock isn’t inspired by the classic bands, or by the folklore of the places in which it is made. It is inspired by the times and by a culture that has spent many years developing. Rock is no longer a novelty.
Bulgaria’s NOCKTERN appears to be that kind of group. The Hound is a track that can easily squeeze onto a playlist that might include bands like Nine Inch Nails. But, while it sounds modern and well-produced, it’s a sound created far away from the expectations of mainstream tastes. It shows the way to an exciting new future, one in which big record labels are dead, and internet distribution allows for groups from across the world to thrive.