For the past five years, Brooklyn’s Wierd Records label has been reviving the spirits of a very specific post-punk subgenre known as “coldwave” – a minimal, synth-led take on the bleak atmospherics of original goth icons like Siouxsie & The Banshees and Joy Division, made popular in France in the early ‘80s – through a series of releases from like-minded acts such as Frank (Just Frank), Led Er Est, Kindest Lines and Xeno & Oaklander. Their latest full-length offering, the self-titled debut from Frank Alpine (AKA former New Collapse and Boy Scouts Of Annihilation member Rich T. Moreno), puts a slightly different spin on their trademark sound. Whilst painting from the same basic palette (battery-powered keyboards, primitive drum machines) as his label-mates, Alpine’s images are covered in red splatters: this is the sound of X&O being dragged into an alley and robbed at knife-point by a sweating, shivering crack-head. Drawing inspiration from the sleazy underbelly of his hometown Los Angeles, Alpine’s claustrophobic Casio dirges bridge the gap between head-banging hardcore and Suicide’s avant-garde electro-punk, ritualistically hollering repetitive nihilistic phrases out into the void over droning synth tones and hi-BPM jackhammer beats. It’s fitting that this album is being released on Halloween; if ever someone made a horror movie where the psycho slasher turns up at an S&M club and butchers the dance-floor crowd, this would be the perfect soundtrack.
Listen: “My Feelings” http://soundcloud.com/birdofprayers/my-feelings
Frank Alpine is out now on Wierd Records