DECAYCAST Reviews: MOIRA SCAR “Wound World Part 1” (Near Dark, 2018)

 

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Bay Area queer deathrock stalworts MOIRA SCAR are back with their new full length on CD/CS/ and  digital via Oakland’s NEAR DARK imprint, which is run by dark gothic outfit, OTZI whose newest offerings, “Ghosts” was  covered HERE a few weeks ago. Moira Scar currently is in trio form with their latest offering  with Roxy Monoxide: guitar, sax, vocals, LuLu Gamma Ray: synthesizers, vocals, and Aimee S: drums. Moira Scar’s newest full length, “Wound World Part 1” boasts seven snappy, punchy, femme forward dark punk/death rock cuts,  intentionally building upon their unique, sought after, indimable sound of their previously released full lengths, “Psychoid”  and “Scarred For Life”. With an augmented lineup, and a slightly darker and more rock forward sound, “Wound World Part 1” might be the most intentionally straight forward, intense  and focused sound the outfit has  concocted yet, and the  recording production suits the  sound perfectly. Thick pummeling percussion, wailing, screaching vocals, fuzzed-out chugging, angular guitar riffs and the staple walls of  reverb’d saxophone.

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Snap Back” might be the most traditionally “Moira Scar” sounding cut on here blending heavy bass riffs, walls of  sax with driving punk inspired hard hitting  drumming and the signature  layered vocal efx stylings which could take the  sonic shape of anything from low  distorted  growls to high pitched shrieks of intense washes,  utilized to great success on the track “Chrysalis Skull” The operatic style walls of  vocals blend perfectly over the frantic, manic heavy  drumming and thick slabs of  guitar and  bass work. Slower, more  post rock inspired track “Zeta Rainbow” offers chugging, blown up guitar riffs with dragging slagged out bass lines with more  traditional breakdowns where the guitar and  dual vocal  processions shine brightest.

Moira Scar’s  sound is  thick, violent,  present, and demanding of the space it requires and  deserves. Death rock, like any “sub-genre” can be formulaic, boring, and  predictable, but “Wound World Part 1” is the complete opposite; fierce, unique, cathartic, and nasty!. In a time where we need it most,  Moira Scar once again, and perhaps with more force than ever proves they are  here to stay with some of the most forward thinking and necessary sonic offerings within the contemporary rock scope. This record rallies against the dying, boring, overdone and under thought  droves of CIS white-male “dominated”capitalistic rock scenes, by raising the bar and  flushing the  boring and  inspired rock trends down into the sewer where they have belonged this entire time, and serve as an assault on the  normative, re-hashed, uninspired music that often fills the  airwaves. Moira Scar is a weapon against a  violent, patriarchal system of despair, confusion, and  entanglement and  “Wound World Part 1” is the next logical step in the bands seemingly endless progression of reinvention. One of the most important contemporary dark rock acts going, period. This record is not to be overlooked.

Order the  New record HERE and  HERE

MOIRA SCAR

NEAR DARK RECORDS

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DECAYCAST REVIEWS : Phemale “City Silk” LP (Redscroll Records , 2013 )

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DECAYCAST REVIEWS : Phemale “City Silk” LP (Redscroll Records , 2013 )

From the moment I first glanced / heard about / had suspicion of this record, I was intrigued by mystery.
PHEMALE is a unique and elusive project, remaining relatively obscure and under the radar in the east coast experimental music scene , all the while slowly building up a dense meticulously crafted archive of recordings. From browsing the archives or WFMU , Phemale flexes from more traditional drone/ noise to what could be nearly considered fucked up “pop ballads”. Phemale crafts delicate collages that morph into full on structured haunting compositions. Delicate, eerie synthesizers, present but non dominating beats, soft vocals, and samples/ field recordings all mingle to create a hauntingly beautiful mix of dark ambient experimental “pop” songs. Some tracks are more collaged / sample based it appears as they take the listener on a subtle, yet articulate journey through space, time, and emotion. These are cold songs , but never wholly alienating the listener, yet keeping them in a delicate sonic balance of yearning for more information all while embracing the mystery of intention.

Just when things start to get really busy, there’s a calm in the storm and were right back in the artists headspace, for better or for worse. Loss, uncertainty, and identity politics all seem to play a role in the mood and concept of this record with really interesting and unique results. This record is all over the place, in the best possible way, taking outward journeys both with it’s structure and intent, yet always resolving to a plane of solid ground where the listener can regain their bearings and then venturing back out into uncertain terrain, all the better. A loop, inside ones brain , tucked away behind the mask of self progress. From finely tuned minimal sound collage to lushly dark but warm pop slings . “City Silk” DEFINATLEY references early 80s industrial synth pop , but in a highly refreshing and unique way, which soars above and beyond many others dabbling in those genres these days. Phemales sounds are as dark, elusive and under the radar as he is. So don’t sleep on this , or it might just vanish . A beautiful layout and the record comes with a cutout mask! Can’t beat it .

PHEMALE

REDSCROLL RECORDS

decayREVIEWS: GROUP RHODA “Out Of Time, Out Of Touch” LP (Night School Records, 2012)

GROUP  RHODA “Out Of Time, Out Of Touch” LP (Night School Records, 2012)

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The freshman LP from Bay area antiquated calypso dark, synth crafter GROUP RHODA. This  album opens up a palette of  new, yet historically sound territory in a concise and smart hybrid stylized record. GR offers the listener a cobustion of exploding space dust, writing a narrative based under the cloak of science fiction fact mantras of fucked up up up non pop non music music. Palpitating drum machines support arpeggiated synths and keyboards, important yet subtly giving breath to well placed vocal hymns, present yet dissonant procrto-pop song structures,  crawling heads of funky texture time and timbre amalgamations — an intelligent species of sound variety, washes the brain in sonic bleach — out front vocal melodies, with space based lyrics to boot  round out this  hybrid-style proto pop offering from bay area resident, Mara.

GROUP RHODA paints a drodweamy, sonic desert island, yet a oobmetaptghysical hurricane eye approaches off the coast of subtle silence – slides up
Your back and into the conscious rain Suspended between a memory room
Raft and orchestrated melodies from accellerating space ships GROUP RHODA dangles theories and structures in front of the listener, that are both from the future and the past. At times dark, minimal
Synth and at times more lush sounding electronics this album breaths a bit of variety, which is dime….funky arpeggiated bass lines and calypso style percussion, purring drum machines and whispering, shaking, powerful vocals
Round this record out quite nice.

STUCK between a pastel wash and a deep maroon hell – this album paints both a bleak and blissful sonic offering Get it from GROUP RHODA locally in the bay area or from the label direct. Crazy strange art from both SUZY POLING and NICOLE GINELLI.

Night School Records.