There are countless websites out there that cater for all forms of underground metal, and it can be argued that in the “information age” there’s a super saturation of bands and websites out there that cater for such things. Our esteemed reviewer Goth Mark shines a periodical spotlight on bands (past and present) from the post-punk, darkwave, coldwave, dark industrial and gothic genres that are equally as underground and little known with an evolution all of its own. Because, goth simply doesn’t start and end with Sisters of Mercy and The Cure.
Band: MADE IN POLAND
Formed in 1984 with a somewhat unimaginative and/or patriotic name (if you wanted to be cynical), MADE IN POLAND have been active on and off throughout the decades as a massive success in their home country, but utterly unknown outside of Eastern Europe. Imagine a strange parallel universe version of KILLING JOKE if Poland was the dominant superpower of the world, combined with the catchier and less obtuse tunes from Bauhaus with the ingrained despair of growing up in a once communist regime. They have a handful of albums, their most recent being “Kult” acting as a perfect gateway into their world that was released in October 2018; sung in their native tongue and with tracks in English. However, it can be argued that the mystery is lost with their English translated songs – your listening experience may vary.
Band: THE AGNES CIRCLE
Origin: London, UK
THE AGNES CIRCLE are a duo comprised of Florian Voytek on vocals and guitar and Rachael Redfern on bass. The band formed in 2015 when Florian moved to the UK from Brooklyn, New York. They released their debut 4 track EP “Modern Idea” in 2015 and further refining their sonic blueprint to the absolute pinnacle in the form of their debut album “Some Vague Desire” in 2016. Expansive, sonically rich, and harbouring deep energy to their songwriting based around the influences of English post-punk and French new wave, that could’ve easily signed to a major label if they went back in a time machine to the 1980s. Like a cross between The DANSE SOCIETY and NEW ORDER, THE AGNES CIRCLE are absolute masters of the post-punk art. Miss this band at your peril.
Band: SECOND STILL
Origin: Los Angeles, USA
An extremely recent band that formed in 2018, SECOND STILL are a 3 piece outfit that first released a very limited (100 compact cassette copies) of their ‘Part Time Punks Session’ EP that pretty much sold like hotcakes and took the underground post-punk world by storm. This was followed up very quickly with the “Equals” EP sold on a mix of coloured vinyl and cassette, and their brand new self titled full-length album that is out now on Bandcamp and on a compact disc via Manic Depression Records. They’ve had a hugely successful European tour, and hold a fire in their collective bellies with influences based around a mix of “Garlands” era COCTEAU TWINS, XMAL DEUTSCHLAND, and ASYLUM PARTY with hugely enchanting effect. Ethereal and mystical gothic noire, that will haunt your synapses for weeks.
Origin: Germany, and Croatia
A self-professed “psychedelic post-punk” band formed from a melting pot of influences from the “Neue Deutsch Welle” (New German Wave) scenes and the so-called “Positive Punk” splinter movement from the UK, KADEADKAS formed in 2016 as a five-piece band with the Siouxsie Sioux-esque vocals of Katy, the rumbling bass of Lars, the punk guitar riffs from Martin and Patrick, with Friedi adding the typical polyrhythmic drum style associated with bands of this calibre. Channeling the ghost of XMAL DEUTSCHLAND using the band members as a human ouija board, they released the “Plastique Palace” EP in 2017 and have gone from strength to strength with a bunch of tour dates under their belts. Their brand new “HalluciNation” album was released at the end of March, an incredible album that files perfectly amongst the post-punk classics of yore, and are seriously worth investigating.
Band: RITUAL HOWLS
RITUAL HOWLS are a 3 piece post-punk band that comes from Detroit, comprised of Paul Bancell on vocals and guitars, Chris Samuels on synth and drums, and last but not least Ben on drums. Created in 2012, RITUAL HOWLS are an incredibly creative force that has a total of several releases out in the form of a few EP’s and albums. Harnessing a dark and foreboding gothic sound akin to a FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM single played on the wrong speed with a NICK CAVE-ian essence and MICHAEL GIRA-esque vocals, RITUAL HOWLS conjure up something that is oddly familiar, at times claustrophobic, and yet somehow completely individual. A band that screws with your head that much, trying to put a finger on their sound and influences who seem to delight in “muddying the waters”. Their latest album “Rendered Armour” is out now with a limited edition run of vinyl, compact cassette, and compact discs for those who love their music unrestricted to computing devices.
Until next time, keep it weirdcore.
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.