Sweden’s True Moon released their self titled debut album in their native Sweden at the tail end of 2016, now the band are looking to spread their wings beyond Scandinavia with True Moon finally receiving it’s deserved international release on the 28th April 2017 via Lovely Records. Sweden has long been known a breeding ground for noted bands producing upbeat pop music and conversely for releases from the dark and dissonant underbelly of rock ‘n roll, True Moon‘s debut album is one that definitely fits firmly into the latter category.
From the dark opening chords of Voodoo it’s clear that this is an album that’s born of the post punk and gothic scenes that appeared in the wake of initial punk explosion, the influences are easy to pick up on this, dark brooding Peter Hook bass lines sit alongside dark intense post punk guitar riffs, with the whole package being topped off with a mesmerising vocal delivery by Karolina Engdahl. For those of you who have previously spent nights, and the early hours of the morning, in sweaty alternative night clubs then True Moon‘s debut album will be something that will be simultaneously familiar and new, as this is a contemporary and original take on the gothic and alternative scenes that first emerged from the batcave back in the eighties.
There is a hefty influence on this release from the likes of Joy Division, Killing Joke, Siouxsie And The Banshees, The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission and The Cure, but this is an album that isn’t embedded in the past, True Moon will appeal to fans of their contemporaries such as The Duke Spirit, White Lies, The Raveonettes, Calling All Astronauts and The Sounds. True Moon have produced an impressive album that for me recalled hazy nights spent in Manchester’s legendary Banshee nightclub, but more important than my reminiscences is the fact that this is an album that brings something new to a scene that has become stifled by endless reunion tours and nostalgia.
True Moon‘s debut album can be ordered via Lovely Records here or from their Bandcamp here
Since their formation in 2013 Manchester’s Altar Flowers have released 2 EP’s, 2013’s 2 For Joy and 2015’s Teenager EP, the latter of which caught the attention of BBC Radio 6. they have toured across the UK and they released their debut album, I.D.S.T., earlier this year. The band has undergone numerous line up changes since their inception but the current line up seems to be one that’s settled, and more importantly it is one that has produced their strongest material to date.
I.D.S.T. contains eleven tracks that carry all the hallmarks from the gothic side of the late eighties alternative scene. The album boasts an emotive and atmospheric sound and every track features guitar riffs that build to huge choruses, whilst the post punk and alternative influences are to the fore, Altar Flowers have a poppier element that steers them away from being just another downbeat goth band. The band have created a multi layered soundtrack that has one foot in the past, there’s a strong influence from the likes of The Chameleons, The Psychedelic Furs and The Cure that is present throughout the album, but this isn’t just a recreation of the past, Altar Flowers have their own interpretation on the soundtrack that influenced a generation of bands.
This is the kind of gothic tinged rock music that in another era may well have seen Altar Flowers filling much bigger venues, echo heavy guitars compliment the swirling keyboards along with the subtle vocal delivery and anthemic choruses. If I had to fault this release, my only quibble would be that there is nothing that raises the tempo, personally I feel that it just needs that uptempo rockier number to lift the album, but this a minor complaint in what is a fine slice of gothic influenced stadium rock.
I.D.S.T. can be purchased from Amazon and iTunes as well as being available for streaming via Spotify.
I.D.S.T. can be purchased directly from Altar Flowers via their Bandcamp here
The Altar Flowers website can be found here