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Sideshow: VVMPYRE’s Rapid Fire Reviews for December

I really want to take this segment to thank not just the head Michael, who will be reading this before I make my post, but also every other person who has been reading my reviews in 2021. Whether it is my debut as Echoberyl, the first of these Sideshows, or any of the reviews after that, it is great that I get to share the music I love with everybody! It has been a great year for music, as I have said before, and we are about to jump into more of it coming up.


There’s a lot to get through, so let’s just jump into it, starting with:


Chaos Bleak - Like the Master Says

I will soon give you all the history lesson on Trevor Bamford, but suffice to say, 35 years after the demos from his first notable act Every New Dead Ghost and almost 25 since Midnight Configuration’s classic “Funeral Nation”, it’s great to see him still holding it down here on guitar. Trevor’s Metal-influenced chugs alongside the heavy synths are not a new slate for him at all, but Piers Sixx’s vocals are a nice addition, as is the heavy handed individualist message. The razor synths slashing through the mix like static waves and the choirs in the chorus give a nice throwback to 90’s Darkwave, even if the mix sometimes gets a little overloaded, and modern technology has certainly improved the low end of records in this style. If the term “Electrogoth” didn’t die for you in 2003, this single and this band are for you.

8/10


Rogue VHS - I Am

I wanted to like this, I really did. But this really left me upset at how disappointed I was. Predictable, Boring, and Uneventful. Not even outright bad, just uniquely uninteresting. I will probably forget this review when I share it.

5/10


Miles Matrix - LA BOUM

Get your turntables, boom boxes, and Cybotron records out, it’s time for some Electro! Groove to Miles’ pastiche of one of the more underrated movements of the 80’s, and find yourself hooked on a series of catchy synth hooks, vocoders, and drum machine breakbeats. In the fabled words of Arabian Prince, “This is something to dance to”.

8/10

Best: “ELECTRIFIED!”, “CUPCAKES”

Worst: “KID MIDI”


Architrave - Future Ruins

A lot of the classic Synthpop acts in the 80’s had a rough time transitioning into the next decade. Architrave best demonstrates what the alternative could have been. Some elements of Darkwave, House, and Synthwave that clearly represent a group not just focused on retro sounds, but finding their own identity. Taking that alongside some distinct vocals and an ear for melodies and hooks and you have a very interesting record. I wish I had the time for a full review.

8/10

Best: “Blissed Out”, “Humble and Good”, “Headcount”

Worst: “Crown Shyness”


Liquid Modern - Autumnal Bliss

Nu Disco for the fans of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Best served with apple cider donuts and an oversized rake to gather the falling leaves afterward.

Best: “Fall In Spinning”, “Walkin’ Feet”

Worst: “J’aime L’automne”

8/10


Fluid Ghost - Homeclubbing/End-Stage Photophobia

So this is actually two EPs as one, but since I have missed a lot and since these were both released as one on streaming, I thought we would try something new and review both at once. This is the side project of Echoberyl’s Adriano S. Iacoangeli. It is classified as “Dark Dance”, but could easily fit into some brand of Darksynth, Horrorsynth, or possibly even Synthwave. The style name fits though, as the dark bass grooves enamor the drum machines and a haunting atmosphere of synths. My only complaint is that sometimes some of the songs get really drawn out, and a tighter structure could do a lot to make these tracks last outside of the dancefloor. Still, when these get good, they get REALLY good, and there is nothing outright bad about them. For all the DJs wanting some more synths with some darker edge but not too abrasive, check both of these out, you might even find yourself enjoying them more than me.

Homeclubbing: 8/10

Best: “Bedroom Smoke”, “Forbidden”

Worst: “Transparent”

End-Stage Photophobia: 7/10

Best: “Hard Rain”, “5AM Syndrome”

Worst: “Prisoner (3AM Shado Remix)”


Blood Lord - The Bloodstained Keep

Dungeon Synth for all your vampiric dungeon crawling needs. It’s short, it’s fun, it’s played on a cheap Casio, and it’s dark.

7/10