8 More New Deathrock Bands
by Oliver Sheppard
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about ten newer deathrock bands that recently caught my attention. The list included Cemetery, Crimson Scarlet, Blue Cross, Tanzkommando Untergang, Anasazi, Dystopian Society, and more. A lot of the new activity in this area has been coming from bands with roots in the DIY hardcore punk scene. As I mentioned in the last piece, Blue Cross began as a side-project of crust band Germ Attak; similarly, Deathcharge began as a crusty d-beat hardcore band, and members of Alaric (also in the last article) have been in hardcore bands like Dead and Gone and Noothgrush.
So, here are eight more bands that space didn’t permit me to include in the last piece. All of them have LPs, singles, or well-recorded demos that have come out within the last 3-4 years.
Let’s start with two biggies from California, Christ vs Warhol and Fangs on Fur!
1. Christ vs Warhol. Christ Vs Warhol have a single LP, Dissent, to their name, and contain members of Scarlet’s Remains, Deadfly Ensemble, and others. Guitarist Steven James has played guitar with Chaos UK, and is currently playing bass for the next band in this list, Fangs on Fur. With songs that vacillate between the personal and political — including an anti-Tea Party song — Dissent is an exceptionally well-written LP, topped off by singer Eveghost’s haunting, spectral vocals. Some sonic points of reference for the band’s sound could include Scream-era Siouxsie and the Banshees as well as Rubella Ballet. I interviewed the band last year; the interview reveals that on top of being great musicians, the band’s members are also extremely intelligent. You can buy Dissent here.
2. Fangs on Fur. Like their friends in Christ Vs Warhol, Fangs on Fur are from Southern California. And also like Christ Vs Warhol, I was lucky enough to be able to interview the band within the last few months. I asked what their name meant. “[Our name] could mean anything. It could be violent when it needs to be, it could be sexual if it wants to be, and it could be defiant when it has to be,” singer F-Girl responded. Whether recalling SoCal deathrock forebears Christian Death‘s “Spiritual Cramp” riffage in their song “TV Set,” or indulging in a straightup ’77 punker like the song “F-Boy, F-Girl,” Fangs on Fur keep the energy and fun at a high level throughout. Asked who their influences are, the band responds with The Clash, The Slits, and Gun Club, though some listeners might hear Action Pact and Lost Cherrees in the mix. You can get Fangs on Fur’s 16-song CD here.
3. Ciril. While not exactly a new band — the band has been around in some form or another since about 1995 — Ciril are another entry from Southern California. Singer Darrin Jeffery Hall has been the sole lyricist, vocalist, and constant member of the band, whose recent LP, Sick Surreal, came out on Know Records to positive reviews. Christian Death‘s Gitane Demone has been involved with the band, as detailed in an interview here, but Ciril’s sound is really a lot more like British anarcho/deathrock band Rudimentary Peni.
4. Lost Tribe from Richmond, Virginia, are an exciting new entry in the deathrock canon. Although I mentioned the band in my previous article, I didn’t properly include them among the ten deathrock bands I covered there. Well, consider that omission corrected! Somehow reminding all at once of the gritty goth rock of Samhain, TSOL, and British dark postpunk band Vex, Lost Tribe are on Blind Prophet Records, the label owned by the US neofolk band Cult of Youth.
5. Dekoder are a current band from Montreal, Canada. Like Christ vs Warhol, Fangs on Fur, and Blue Cross (who were featured in the previous installment of this series) the band has stand-out female vocals. Here the vocal resemblance is more to Gitane Demone than Siouxsie Sioux, however — and to great effect. Dekoder’s demo can be freely downloaded from their Bandcamp page here.
6. Deathcharge‘s only LP, 2011’s Love Was Born to an Early Death, was ably interviewed by the late Kenn Kroosaficks on CVLT Nation, here. As noted elsewhere, Portland, Oregon’s Deathcharge began in the 1990s as a primarily Discharge-influenced thrashy band, but singer Adam Nausea — a deathrock DJ in the Portland area — and other members have slowly steered the ship into gothier waters over the years, at times reminding of Rozz Williams‘ harder deathrock bands Shadow Project and Daucus Karota. A few of the last of the (untitled) tracks on Love Was Born to an Early Death even seem to point towards a despondent kind of early Sisters of Mercy goth rock. It will be interesting to see the direction this band takes in the future.
7. Pleasure Leftists. I was introduced to this Cleveland, Ohio band by my friend and co-Dj at No Doves Fly Here, Cutter/DJ Damage Done. And I’m glad I was! The band to date have only one, self-titled EP to their name, but have been playing shows with the likes of Angry Samoans and other punk bands. The Pleasure Leftists themselves remind of a kind of spooky Xmal Deustchland. They have a Facebook page here.
8. Bellicose Minds. Like Deathcharge, Bellicose Minds hail from Portland; also like Deathcharge, they were reviewed last year by the late Kenn Kroosaficks here at CVLT Nation. In a recent interview with Life During Wartime, Bellicose Minds drummer AJ claimed the band’s influences are “The Cure, Joy Division, and post punk all rambled into one,” although the band come from the hardcore punk scene. The band have worked with Stan Wright of Arctic Flowers, another band imminently worth checking into! Bellicose Minds play a gloomy, goth-punk take on the classic early 80s British postpunk sound of The Dark and Vex.