Future Faces – Euphoria (Throatruiner Records, 17 February 2021)
Palecoal – Fake Fates (Throatruiner Records, 17 February 2021)
Good afternoon! Got two to pass along to you today, so how about we don’t waste too much time with introductory nonsense. Ok?
As soon as you find out something is being released by Throatruiner Records you probably already have a pretty good idea what to expect: harsh hardcore or vicious post-hardcore, either way living up to the label’s name with shrieks or screams likely to tear someone’s vocal cords to shreds.
Well surprise! Here we have a pair of albums that came from Throatruiner just last month, which each have far more in common with Depeche Mode than with Converge. So that’s different and unexpected. But in a GOOD way. Let’s check them out…
Euphoria, the debut full-length from Switzerland’s Future Faces, generally inhabits the territory at the intersection of darkwave and no-wave, with elements of krautrock and various other early-to-mid-80s schools of synth music you might wish to name. Including strong hints of the same cinematic styles that influenced the Stranger Things soundtrack, in some of the album’s tenser, more up-tempo moments.
These eight tracks are full of the deadpan, almost robotic-sounding vocals that come with the synthwave territory, while sometimes trending in a more melodic direction (taking on sort of a Dave Gahan tone in spots, including closing track “Old Desires”). Built around layers of sawtooth synth and echoey guitar, I’d say my favorites here include “Radiant” and “Visage” which very much bring to mind that transitional period where Joy Division had just ended and New Order was still in the process of finding itself…
Consisting of half as many tracks, Fake Fates introduces us to Palecoal, a musical project whose sole member also takes part in other French bands — including fellow Throatruiner labelmates The Rodeo Idiot Engine and others.
While all the instrumentation here may be created by only one person, the record certainly has the full dynamic range of a much larger band, dark and heavy with a huge bass sound. Overall rather synth-oriented with a bit of a gothic tinge to the atmosphere, yet often the guitar leads seem to imply a feeling of post-black metal or perhaps of blackgaze. In general, I should say this material would appeal equally to fans of Kraków or of Depeche Mode, and as this writer certainly is a fan of both of those, I found Fake Fates to be appealing indeed.
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