VOWWS smashes backwards into Pop. On the way they take out everyone.
The Australian transplant’s debut album, 2015's "The Great Sun" was a dark, dutiful purge of dirge - featuring surprising guest appearances by Gary Numan, Thor Harris (SWANS) & a remix by Jimmy Urine (Mindless Self Indulgence). "The Great Sun" served as an uncompromising opening statement from a pair of outsiders with a vision unlike anything else. As a result, it received adulation from fans, press and peers alike, including Martin Gore from Depeche Mode and the latest example - Deftones' frontman Chino Moreno calling Vowws one of his favorite new bands on Australia's beloved Triple J radio.
The band have played consistently since the release of The Great Sun, including national supporting tours with The Cult and White Lies in 2017.
2017 also saw Vowws release the stand alone single ’Heartbreaker,’ in advance of their upcoming sophomore record. Blasting through The Great Sun's hazy ozone layer and claiming fresh new ground, Heartbreaker is a lyrical reflection of the epidemic of narcissism, cynicism and semi-fascism we now face - a musical flash grenade that manages to somehow keep us dancing right through the heartbreak.
Reduction Plan's music comes from within solitude's frigid embrace. "I will
never get what I want," broods frontman Daniel Manning on self-released debut,
Paradise. The heavily reverberated breaths and ominous atmosphere that open
Reduction Plan's latest full-length album, Somewhere, evoke that same sense of
solitude, one that is almost palpable.
Pulling from 80s goth, 90s shoegaze and industrial, and the anti-folk tendencies
of acts like Grouper and Mount Eerie, Reduction Plan uses both noise and
space to illustrate the power of silence. A swell of synths, pulsing drum
machines, and haunting murmurs is the foundation upon which the project
draws its sound.
With Somewhere, Manning takes a leap forward in both songwriting and
production. Recorded and mixed entirely independently, the record’s 10 tracks
are more fleshed out than anything the project has released to date. A testament
to this is “On Your Own”, a re-recorded and re-worked version of a track that
initially appeared on Reduction Plan’s debut, Paradise. Side-A closer “Julia” is
driven by waves of synths that would feel right at home on a Disintegration cut,
pushing the song to a powerful climax. Meanwhile, opener “Without An End” is a
cacophonous goth-rock anthem built upon an intoxicating drum-machine
Somewhere is Manning’s third full-length under the Reduction Plan moniker,
following the Child of Light EP, which saw him branching out stylistically to
collaborate with fellow musicians. On the project’s first two full-lengths, 2015’s
Paradise and 2016’s Shade, Manning’s compositions were frigid, harsh, and
unrelenting. Here, the songs let the light in; blossoming into lush, melancholic
pieces that maintain the bite of the project’s roots.
The majority of the record was written shortly after Manning graduated from
college, and deals with all the feelings of displacement, discontent, and
dissatisfaction that followed. Somewhere represents a seemingly intangible
sense of comfort and belonging that Manning searches for throughout the
album’s brooding tracks.
Although a solo endeavor in concept, Manning is accompanied live by Luis
Durango, who breathes new energy into the songs on second-guitar and synth.
Together, the two have shared the stage with acts such as Xiu Xiu, Boyharsher,
Planning For Burial, Torres.
Pleasure Beat is a band formed in Middletown, CT, in early 2015. Taking cues from post-punk and new wave groups, the band also cites the musical history of cities like Minneapolis and Los Angeles as influential. Taut guitar lines and warm synthesizer texture stretch and pulse through the band's sharp and present songwriting. At times tense and sparse, the arrangements also reach lush peaks where the group's playing interlocks in compelling form.