1st Base Runner – Break Even
Contrary to what you might expect, I do not dislike people based on their preferences in music. However, I am not too crazy about people that like all kinds of music. That smacks of a lack of discerning taste. Plus, I find it hard you can really, really like something without being bothered by something with which it stands in contrast.
If your introduction into modern music was by means of goth, post-punk, or industrial, there’s a high likelihood that your tendency to discriminate against other genres is quite high. These types of genres aren’t only defined by sounds but also by an aesthetic and a mood. It’s sick music for sick people, as Lux Interior might say.
1st Base Runner’s Break Even sounds like an attempt at a pop song made by someone that has spent much of their years of musical development with their years glued to Trent Reznor’s musical inventions. The result is a potent mixture of moody soundscapes, a misanthropic worldview, and good pop sensibilities. Here’s something to add to your “nearly goth” playlist.
Occult Stereo – Free Roam Syndrome
Few made as big an impact on modern music or played the punk card of a charming charlatan as convincingly as Genesis P-Orridge. As impactful Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar on stage, the Sex Pistols deceiving their way into one of the greatest debuts of all time, or Genesis’ own hero, Brian Jones, turning the world on to British blues, Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, now more than ever, cast a long shadow.
Of course, it is also worth mentioning the price paid. Genesis was once kicked out of Great Britain. There was little fondness from the general public for the performance art pieces, the strange humour, and the genuine interest in magic and the occult.
In 2021, pop music, of all things, seems to have caught up with Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth’s vision. It’s all as strange as you might expect. Occult Stereo’s Free Roam Syndrome feels like one of the works cut from this cloth. Mysterious psychedelic sounds punctuated by drony chanting, occult symbolism, and even a swarm of menacing guitar noise make this an exciting statement. The old pop music has gone bubblegum and stayed there. The new pop music is ringing in the new with psychedelic fervour.