By Wanz Dover
Pinkish Black “Razed to the Ground”
2013 was a breakthrough year for Pinkish Black: new label by way of independent heavy metal giant Century Media, Best Metal Band award from Dallas Observer Music Awards, a Best Metal Band award from Fort Worth Weekly, notoriety from the infamous Pitchfork music blog and a coast-to-coast tour of the U.S., all on the back of their groundbreaking second album, “Razed to the Ground.” These accolades are made all the more interesting because Pinkish Black is not a traditional metal band. The band doesn’t even use guitars. They are a two-piece drums and synthesizerdriven act, with roots closer to ‘70s Italian horror film soundtrack geniuses Goblin and the infamous early ‘70s Krautrock movement.
Cutter/Vulgar Fashion “Split” Cassette
Two of the Metroplex’s most standout synth-punk bands come together for a split release cassette on Dallas Distortion Music label. You would be hard-pressed to find two local bands that compliment each other more. Both bands have a total dedication to a retro, new wave sound, without sounding dated or derivative. Consistent with their visions from the past aesthetic, this release is cassette-only.
The Chloes “Back to Star”
Operating on the quirkier side of indie rock all-girl postpunk bands, The Chloes showcase their talent for infectious pop hooks over the course of this three-song EP. Opening track “Back to Start” stands out for staying true to The Chloes formula, but with a catchy xylophone hook in place of guitars. Operating in the arena of classic female postpunk bands like The Raincoats or Delta 5, The Chloes still manage to confidently stand out with their own voice.
Mayta specializes in blending a wide range of musical influences into their decidedly Latin-flavored music. They won Best Latin Act at last year’s Dallas Observer Music Awards, but there is a lot more going for them than just their Latin roots in this music. Touches of the proto-psyche exploration of Mars Volta are still grounded in a slightly more accessible alt-rock songsmith, until they blast into a whole other direction in songs, such as “Yacilla,” that tap into a wall-of-sound approach to more traditional Latin music while still adhering to Mayta’s forward-thinking aesthetic.
Cygnus “Blackest Dimensions” EP
Backed by a pedigree of analog synthesizer purism, Cygnus specializes in a specific brand of cybernetic synthesizer funk. “Blackest Dimensions” is the third part in a trilogy of EPs Cygnus released last year. Cygnus paired up with Downlow Records veteran R9 for two of the tracks. Cygnus offers vocoder-driven sci-fi electronic stylings with electro groove that would make any B-boy happy.
TX Connect “House of Confusion” EP
Ex-member of Denton proto-psyche band Florene, Gavin Guthrie switched gears to a more old school Chicago drum-machine-fueled house persona with his TX Connect project. A few of Guthrie’s tracks fell into the hands of Brooklyn based WT Records boss Willie Burns, who occasionally produces under the name Speculator. Burns remixed and edited Guthrie’s tunes and they ended up coming out on the buzzworthy New York label Long Island Electrical System. The result is this 12-inch single, which is already out of print and now somewhat hard to find.
To hear the music listed above click on the link.