BIRTHMARKS: …And Then The Rain Stopped.

19 03 2020

birthmarks

 

I always thought I’d find it difficult to write about friends I have in bands, but it turns out it’s pretty easy- especially when you love and believe in what they do. Little Death Machine were a band that I absolutely adored and couldn’t get enough of. That band ended, and from it Daniel formed Birthmarks with his pals- Jason and Jonno. As I listen to their debut full length record, I can hear parts of LDM but also a sound of bands/singers I love. It’s a brilliant record, and the fact that Kerrang Magazine have written about them is also a huge deal. Again, another thing to be proud of.

…And Then The Rain Stopped is out next Friday, and with all this painful doom and gloom surrounding us right now, for me, I’m finding comfort in music more than ever. The record starts with How Do You Rule Me which gives me feelings of Bjork (Army Of Me flows right through this) early Placebo and hints of Nine Inch Nails. Basically, this song and the whole damn record sounds like heaven. Daniel’s voice has never sounded so good and so powerful, and when you marry this up with Jason’s drumming and Jonno’s bass playing; you just get something that feeds your soul and beautifully consumes every part of you.

The lyrics will get you right in the gut, and if the song Breathe doesn’t move you then I really don’t know what will. The record is full of songs that will break your heart, but you won’t mind because it will also give you comfort. That’s all you can ask for. If something breaks you, chances are it can comfort you also. The vocals are as raw and as exposed as the lyrics, and because you can truly hear the honesty and feel every single emotion on the songs- you cannot help but connect with them. There’s something so haunting about the whole record, and the darkness on this record really does get you right in the gut. For some it may be uncomfortable but for others, it’s a lifeline. The record is a work of art. I knew it was going to be something truly remarkable, but it goes above and beyond what I or anyone else could ever write about this record.

 

 

The songs touch on everything from love to loss, and all that goes with it.  Daniel’s mentioned that this record took 5 years to make, and you can absolutely hear the hardwork and dedication from them all on this record. I’m obsessed with the drums on this record, and how they heighten the emotions on this record. You have songs like Wax which is such a stripped back and vulnerable song, and it is one of the more tender moments on the record. Again, you can hear the raw emotion in the vocals on this but then it goes right into You Are One which could very well be the anthem for the band. You can imagine the crowd going nuts to this at their shows, it’s got such a grand feel to it and you cannot help but get immersed in it. The way the synths and guitar go together on this is just fantastic, and the way the guitar and drums get heavy at the same time just blows your mind. This one really homes in on the feeling of loss and a sense of betrayal, and it’s a brutal listen but it’s just another reason as to why you cannot help but love this band, and this record.

As far as debut records go, it’s fair to say that this is nothing short of incredible. The production is flawless, and the way the songs sound is just remarkable. It’s hard to believe that this is their debut full length record, and like I mentioned, you can really hear the hardwork in this record. Charcoal is a fierce song, it sounds like it should be in some disturbing thriller, and to be honest I really do see Birthmarks creating the soundtracks for films. This whole record sounds like it was made for a film; it’s a very theatrical record, and the atmosphere on the record will just send shivers right through you. It’s a very dark record, and I love how brutal some of the lyrics are and how fucking honest they are. Charcoal is like a cut to the soul, but you keep digging at it. The record is like an open wound that you cannot help but mess with. It’ll disturb you, you’ll wince, and it will be the best thing you’ve ever heard. I adore this record, and I just respect anyone who is this honest with their art.

The record touches so beautifully on human nature and how we fuck up, how others fuck us up and how it can be a vicious cycle at times. I love how experimental the record is, and how it doesn’t fall into any genre or any sub-genre. It feels like a film, a work of art. If this is what we get from a debut record, then there’s no telling what else they can do. It’s obvious it’s going to be mind-blowing, but I’m just massively in awe of this record and how they’ve all played their part in creating this gorgeous record. Pale and Midnight Blue are prime examples of how talented the band are, and I love that every song on this record gives them all their own moments to shine.

 

 

…And Then The Rain Stopped is mixture of every human emotion possible, it is the beauty of carrying feelings and it is the burden of being a human in one. It is a complex listen, and I can only advise that you listen to this record the first time round on your own, and in order. Just soak up the record. Once you’ve done this, listen however you want. We’re all looking for comfort and the like in isolation, and this record is everything we could possibly need and more. Birthmarks have made the record that makes me want to write about it constantly. Bands like this are why I write about music, and why I refuse to ever do this for money. It has to be for the love of it, and I will only ever write about what I love. Birthmarks have truly made something special here, and I sincerely hope that anyone who listens to this record feels the same because it NEEDS to be heard.

Allow yourself to feel vulnerable, and just open your mind up to this record. It’ll be alright.

Pre-order the record here and you’ll also find their cover of one of the most beautiful songs ever written, True Love Will Find You In The End by Daniel Johnston.





LITTLE DEATH MACHINE: Midnight Blue.

12 06 2017

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sunglasses

 

There are some bands that just make you really, really care about music. Some bands that get beautifully under your skin and take over the noise in your head. These are the bands we cling to, but the grip isn’t needed to be too tight because the love you have for them is going nowhere.

Little Death Machine have been an obsession of mine for a few years now, and every single time they put something new out- I just have to write about it. With everything they have released so far, it sounds like a step up from what has come before.

Their new single, Midnight Blue is what would happen if Trent Reznor and Brian Molko got together with a hint of Cold Cave. So for me, it is nothing short of perfect. Daniel’s voice on this is as strong as ever and it’s one of those songs that are just made to be yelled back to the band.

The wonderfully menacing and creepy sound in Midnight Blue is exceptional, and it is matched brilliantly with the video. I’ve always loved how Little Death Machine have this really eerie and dangerous sound. It’s like something or someone is lurking. Waiting and waiting for you. You may never know who or what it is. But maybe one day it will get you. Maybe you’ll be aware, maybe you won’t. Midnight Blue will be playing as it happens.

There’s this brilliant build up after the 2 and half minute mark where everything just hits you. Followed by a brief instrumental where it goes slightly tame, then Daniel’s vocals kick in again and this wave of unsteadiness hits you. A lot of bands try to get this eerie feeling within their music, and some just take it too far. Little Death Machine do it in a way that is nothing short of effortless, and of course leave you wanting more.

In my biased opinion, it is really one of the best things Little Death Machine have done. I remember hearing Hit Me ages ago and being in awe of this brutal sound. To hear them go from that to what they have created with Midnight Blue is just wonderful. They are really one of the best bands around.

Little Death Machine are having a single launch for Midnight Blue next Monday (19th June) at The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington. You can get yourself a ticket here: https://www.musicglue.com/little-death-machine/events/39803950-236e-0135-a8e7-4661067ffba2





LITTLE DEATH MACHINE-Dreaming In Monochrome

7 02 2016

 

LDM

 

 

Music should be one of those things that takes the listener and musician out of their comfort zone. Sure we’d all like to stick to what we know, but sometimes we don’t. Owning a record that could make for uncomfortable but necessary listening is something I look for more often than not. I like loud/dark music because it’s the opposite of whatever I am. For the most part. It doesn’t have to be angry music, but it must have point to it. I want music that can be terrifying and vital at the same time. I’m pretty sure that’s what drew me to Little Death Machine ages ago. I was immediately hooked on Daniels’ powerful and raging voice. It’s loud, dark and of course, partially terrifying.

On 7th March, Little Death Machine will be releasing their debut EP, Dreaming In Monochrome. Finally, it is happening. An EP will undoubtedly make me want a full length record, but as I listen to the EP right now, I can tell that whenever they put out a full length record it will still have that subtle Little Death Machine sound that drew me in ages ago. When I listen to them I think of bands I love such as Cold Cave, Bauhaus and Nine Inch Nails. There’s hints of very early Bjork in this EP, and that alone is good enough. It’s got a wonderful creepy edge to it. Night After Night After Night would sound perfect in a really sinister Thriller film- it would be played when tensions are high and something terrible is about to happen. If this EP doesn’t give you the creeps (in the right way) then you’ve been listening to it wrong.

The lead single off the EP, Healthy is a perfect taster for what is to come from this remarkable EP. All too often I bang on about bands I listen to that make me wish I could play an instrument and make my own noise. Are Little Death Machine one of those bands? Of course they are. They bring out something that is missing in people in general and in music. They’re like a kick in the teeth and a way of self-realisation. Some bands you just listen to, and immediately get. There are some bands that, although I’m a fan of them- it took a while for me to get them. With LDM, it is instant. It was instant the first time and I knew I had to write about them. There are a handful of bands that when I listen to, I just have to write about them. It’s a good job that this is my outlet because if I had to speak to a friend about music, I’d be left alone to talk to a wall. I’m sorry for rambling, but this EP is one of the finest things we will hear all year.

Aside from every song being extremely passionate and beautifully put together, I want to talk about how the EP is going to be released. A lot of care, time and thought has evidently gone into the music but it has also gone into how it is to be presented to us fans. As mentioned, the EP is out on 7th March via Glasstone Records. Limited to only 100, the package consists of: a USB containing the songs with live videos, a screenprint which has been printed by the band and also a tote bag. I think as it comes with live videos, which were filmed at the hugely missed Power Lunches, of the songs, it will make the listener feel the songs in a different way. A live performance can change everything, and can make you hear things differently. Perhaps how it is meant to sound, and I think putting the EP out like this has to be massively respected.

Little Death Machine have played with bands such as Psychic TV and God Damn, and in the midst of all this have created a sound that is so out of this world and so courageously out there, you can’t fault it. They merge all kinds of weird and wonderful sounds together, and as a result have created one of the most impressive EPs I’ve heard in a while.

You can pre-order Dreaming In Monochrome here: http://littledeathmachine.com/product/dreaming-in-monochrome-e-p-deluxe-package/