The Anix – Demolition City (Re-issue)

Demolition City Album Cover Art

The Anix – Demolition City (Re-issue)
FiXT 
Release Date: 15/07/22
Running Time: 01:06:49
Review by Dark Juan
9/10

Chai tea. 

It’s fucking wonderful. 

I have drunk gallons of the stuff in the past 48 hours. The reason I have been drinking this fine beverage instead of the more usual seeing just how much alcohol I can consume until my liver cries enough is, because I have brewed a batch of wheat beer in Dark Juan Terrace that I am frankly fucking terrified of. Mrs Dark Juan cowers every time she sees a bottle. This is because I have somehow managed to brew a beer so potent it can be used to degrease engines, fuel moonshots and make top fuel dragsters spontaneously explode. I drank a mere THREE bottles and had to be put to bed. Mrs Dark Juan informed me, the morning after, that I had all the grace and majesty of a leaping wombat and that watching me pinball my way off every wall in the house on my way to bed was most entertaining indeed. Whilst, I was cheerfully informed, that I maintained I was entirely sober throughout. Clearly, this was all a massive pack of lies because I don’t get drunk, I get cheerful and I happily reminded Mrs Dark Juan of the time we went to the 1-in-12 in Bradford (the Hellmouth, for reasons that are clear if you live near the infernal charnel pit most of it is) and she got that blattered on ginger ale that an Aussie punk band had brought with them, that she did a runner down Sunbridge Road and had to be recovered by our friend Clive and Dark Juan’s daughter, Lex, had to be pressed into service as a guard in the back of the Rockmobile (being the car I had at the time. A small Toyota Yaris. This is before the time of the Mighty Gothikpanzer and the Schwerer Gothikpanzer) to stop Mrs Dark Juan legging it again. That shut her up. And then I remembered the time I had helped Bri Doom (of Doom) with something there and I got to giggle at a Crust megastar swearing at, and booting, the recalcitrant door of an anarchist Punk club when he couldn’t get it locked…

The point is that I have another thirty bottles of this stuff and I don’t know what I did to make it like this. Oh well, I’ll worry about it later…

The Anix is an Electronic Rock artist and producer from Los Angeles, in the former colonies of Her Majesty – The United States of America. Happy recent Treason Day, ungrateful colonials! No more tea parties for you! Obviously, before any dickheads get their knickers in a knot, I’m fucking joking. Really it has come to something when people are so willing to be offended these days that you have to put a disclaimer in right after a bit of sarcasm… Anyway, the music!

“Demolition City” was originally released in 2008 and The Anix has remastered it for release with FiXT. Now, I’ll be honest, The Anix completely passed Dark Juan by upon its original release, so it was with anticipation I fired up the pooter and clamped my cans on.

Wow. This is an unusual sound. Think of the ultra-high production values of Evanescence’s first two albums – this gives you an idea of the production of the record. It is multi-layered, dense and clean with lots and lots of things going on at once with a guitar sound that is so overproduced it sounds almost like it is artificially generated. Just like Evanescence’s debut. Add to this the industrial aesthetic of Nine Inch Nails, the raw emotion of Smashing Pumpkins and Staind, the pop sensibility of Depeche Mode and Ayria and the gothic electronics of God Module, Gothminister and I: Scintilla. This is the sound of The Anix and in 2008 this would have been an incredibly futuristic record. Listened to in 2022, however, it has become a bit of a time capsule. The aural equivalent of reading 1920’s science fiction where everyone had their own hovercar and food came out of the wall from a slot and no-one needed to work anymore. Do NOT take this as a demerit, though. This type of music is what made Dark Juan diversify his listening to encompass other kinds of music than just Metal and the world is a better place for it.

Rampaging Pop hooks collide with crushing Industrial guitars and 80’s analogue synths blasting out the kind of electronica that required day-glo leg warmers to dance to and over it all glides the crooning, boy band singing and harmonies of The Anix himself in a gloriously joyful and well-meaning explosion of genre-bending. Even his voice, though, is just another weapon in a copious and effective arsenal as he gleefully slams it through square wave processors and vocoders to turn it into a cyborg killing machine intent on making you die from falling in love with it while it cruelly abuses you emotionally. ‘Pull Me Under’ has a lovely little The Cure reference in the intro, verse and the bridge so you can chuck Pop-Goth into the melting pot as well…

It’s no secret I love Electronic Industrial and Synthwave, and this record for me is the juncture where Synthwave split off from Electronic Industrial and went off into its own 80’s time warp. Both electronic genres are heavily present throughout this whole album, most noticeably on ‘Feel Like You’ and ’Emergency’ where stupendously huge choruses meet the kind of Ultravox and Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark synthesisers that abounded in the New Wave and New Romantic eras of British Pop music…

The Anix is also very good at quality control. There have been too many records like this one (I: Scintilla’s second album, particularly) where the band have abandoned the muscularity of their sound in order to chase that elusive prey for the alternative musician, the megahit single. This is not the case with “Demolition City” – from opening cut ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ to the last song there’s a brutally efficient clarity of purpose and sound and a consistency in quality that is truly unusual. A delightful lack of compromise as The Anix gleefully proclaims to the world, 

“THIS IS MY MUSIC AND MY FUCKING SOUND. I WILL NOT CHANGE FOR YOU OR ANYONE!”

This sort of stubbornness resonates deeply with Dark Juan. “Demolition City” has gone from nothing to possibly my favourite album of the early 2000’s despite my only hearing it for the first time in 2022. It’s that good. And this re-release just gets better as there are rarities – unreleased tracks and alternate versions galore. For value for money, it can’t be topped. Over 66 minutes of high quality music cannot be denied.

To summarise then – electronic alternative industrial metal. A smorgasbord of disparate influences welded together into a dangerous and exciting new shape and very forward thinking for the brutality-obsessed early 2000s world of Heavy Metal.  As a release in the 2020’s though, being harsh, and I am after all supposed to be a critic, there is a certain datedness to the singing, which is very Aaron Lewis and Trent Reznor influenced and would be loved by creepy little Emo’s in stripy tights everywhere. Circa 2006. But I fucking adore this album. It transports me back to good times, and The Anix himself (a person who identifies themselves only as Smith. Actually, I made that up. He’s called Brandon Smith but just Smith sounds better) is a master fucking craftsman of hooks and choruses. This is music you could sing yourself hoarse to for hours on end. There are twenty-one songs on this record and there are NO weak ones. Although ‘Reason To Lust’ sounds disgracefully like something Justin Timberlake might have written, but it is saved by a knowing, winking, tongue in cheek delivery that oozes overblown, silly sexuality throughout.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has dragged his Menace baggies and his Team Satan 666 T-shirt out of the wardrobe and has been gyrating gleefully around the lounge for over an hour and needs a beer. It has some downstairs that Dark Juan has brewed! Oh… wait… 

9/10 for a superb album in every department.

TRACKLISTING:
01. This Game
02. Bullets Without A Gun
03. Don’t Save Your Breath
04. Half The World Away
05. Nothing lasts Forever
06. No Way Out
07. Double Zero
08. Even If It Kills Me
09. She Lives In The Dark
10. The Ghost Of Me And You
11. The Black Phoenix
12. Feel Like You 
13. Emergency
14. Between The Lines
15. Double Zero (alternate version)
16. Runaway
17. Broken
18. Long Way Out
19. Pull Me Under
20. Reason To Lust
21. Stuck In A Phase

LINEUP:
(Brandon) Smith – does everything himself. And he’s a handsome chap too. Bastard.

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with A PERMANENT SHADOW

A Permanent Shadow Logo

EMQ’s with A PERMANENT SHADOW

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Barcelona, Spain based Electronic Rock project, A Permanent Shadow. Huge thanks to main man/vocalist CP Fletcher for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is CP Fletcher and I am the singer in A Permanent Shadow. I am actually the only fixture in this project. For recordings and live work, I surround myself with different musicians and producers. A Permanent Shadow came to life in 2016, since then we released one album, “Songs of Loss”, and have a second one ready for release in early 2022.

How did you come up with your band name?

I read about permanent shadows on the moon and then found out that the same expression can also refer to a human skin condition as well as the after effects of a nuclear disaster. I thought it’s quite an apt name for a band project, and that aside it sounds really good.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

I am of Austrian origin but have lived in Barcelona most of my life. It’s fair to say that the Spanish metal scene is very vibrant, though stylistically A Permanent Shadow is very far removed from Metal.

What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)

We have a new single out on September 24th, it’s called ‘Shining Star’ and you can pre-save the song and register for the video premiere via this link: https://hypeddit.com/link/037tml

‘Radical Change’ (Official Video) (2020)

‘Empty’ (Official Video) (2019)

Who have been your greatest influences?

David Bowie. I got into his music at a very early age and he still is my undisputed musical hero. I wept a lot the day he died, and on our debut album we included a song about his passing, called ‘Sailor’.

What first got you into music?

Again, David Bowie. My sister bought the album “Let’s Dance” when I was little and it was a real eye opener for me. I knew from early on that I wanted to be involved in making music one way or another.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

I would like to work with The Anchoress. I think her music is very original and she’s an extremely talented vocalist and piano player. Her new album “The Art of Losing” got great reviews and quite rightly so.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Primavera Sound in Barcelona because afterwards I could go home by bike. And usually, it’s quite a cool festival with an amazing line-up.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I don’t receive gifts usually, mainly abuse. We recorded a cover of a Simple Minds song on our first album and Simple Minds themselves shared our version on their social media. You wouldn’t believe what kind of comments some of their more over-zealous fans are capable of.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Give the songs a few spins and let me take you for a ride!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

That would, without any doubt, be David Bowie, closely followed by Lou Reed.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love the creative process: writing, arranging, recording, even the audio visual aspect of it like photo sessions, video shoots etc. It’s all great fun. What I don’t like so much is the hassle you have to go through for media attention and getting gigs.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I don’t know. It is what it is and as a musician you have to adjust to today’s reality. I rarely think about what could’ve been. Was it easier in the past? I don’t think so, it was just different.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“The Idiot” by Iggy Pop. It’s an astonishing record and in my opinion the blueprint for everything from Goth to Post Punk. I’ll never grow tired of it.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

For me, downloads these days. I used to buy lots of CD’s until recently, but then I would rip them and play the MP3 on my player or on the PC, so what’s the point. After many years in music, my hearing is not good enough anymore to appreciate the much-cited “warmth” of vinyl.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Our album presentation in March 2020 was a great experience. Big crowd, good response, a fun night. Looking back though I have some bitter-sweet memories as a week later we went into lockdown.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I trained as a grief counsellor, so I guess I would help people get over traumatic events in their lives. Now I hope our music does the job, at least to a small extent.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Some ex-girlfriends and their current partners. It would make for an awkward social experiment.

What’s next for the band?

After ‘Shining Star’ we plan to release another single and then our second album “Humdrum” in March 2022. We are also working on some live-in-studio stuff and the videos for future singles.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Our website is www.apermanentshadow.com

From there you can access all social media channels and digital platforms where we distribute our music.

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Good one! I used to love them as a child but I’ve never ever wasted a thought on what they actually are. I’ll have to think about it a bit.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Don’t expect a song about Jaffa Cakes anytime soon!

A Permanent Shadow Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

GoMa – The Dark Monarc

The Dark Monarc Album Cover Art

GoMa – The Dark Monarc
Machine Man Records
Release Date: 26/03/2021
Running Time: 41:36
Review by Beth Jones
6/10

Electronic and Industrial is something that floats my boat in a big way. Not sure if it’s because I’m a child of the 80’s, when synth was booming, and my formative years were in the 90’s, when rave culture was everywhere, and I was stuck at home, listening to classical music, and yearning for something new, whilst trying to discover myself, or if it’s because I play keys, and loved messing around with sounds in my early days. But I find that there’s a certain special interesting and intriguing ‘something’ about electronic music. It spans across genres. It adds depth and expansiveness, and no sounds are off limits. So, whenever we get anything in to EMHQ that’s electronically inclined, I do like to give it a spin.

GoMa, a one man Electronic/Industrial Rock project from South Dakota is the latest artist in this area to fall into my review pile, with his new album release, “The Dark Monarc”. It’s heavily leaning towards the Electronic element of the genre, and feels slightly more like Euro-dance, but with a darker, more sleazy edge. GoMa bills it himself as ‘Vampire Club Music’ and I think that’s pretty much spot on. It reminds me very much of my local favourite, Lullaby frontman, and friend, Justin, when he releases work as his solo project, Skinflick. However, it’s not quite as dark and deranged! GoMa’s sound would be the music playing in the main room of the club, to keep up the pretence that it was just a normal club, until you got through into the dark and dingy back room, where all the serious depravity went on.

Composition wise, it’s obviously beaty and pacey throughout – as you would expect. This is music to keep you moving, no matter how knackered or fucked up you are. It’s all produced very well, again something that is almost a given with this genre, because it’s all in the programming, and musicians that dwell in the electronic realms are good with that kind of stuff!

According to the press release “The album’s central theme revolves around a dark tale taking place in the 1980’s. And explores the story of GoMa himself being shamed and disgraced by his own family members.” You can definitely here the 80’s inspiration, but story wise, I have to say that I’m not getting it much. I’m not great at picking out lyrics, which probably doesn’t help, but there isn’t really any variation in pace or key throughout much of the album, which I think makes it harder to pick out a mood from the music alone.

The final track, ‘Toxic&Sexy’ is probably my favourite track, as it has a bit more of a sludgy bass than the rest, and has different movements and sections throughout. But, for me, this is an album to have playing in the background while you’re concentrating on something else, rather than an album you can be drawn into and make an emotional connection with. It’s technically a very accomplished album though, so kudos for that, it just didn’t grab me quite as much as I thought it might.

‘Unbreakable’ (Visualiser)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Unbreakable
02. Intoxicated
03. Fighted
04. Me Faltas Tu (Gimme The Razorblade)
05. LoveBitch
06. Pray4me
07. StarPower
08. Mia O De Nadie
09. The Ride
10. Toxic&Sexy

LINE-UP:

Juan Goma – Vocals/Programming/Keyboards/Guitars/Bass

LINKS:

GoMa Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.