[Music] Batavia – Quite Mean Spirited

For those of you into Industrial metal, goth metal and that sort of thing, I have to say that Batavia are not doing too shabby of a job. From their press release:

Batavia is a gothic industrial band from Jacksonville FL, the band is comprised of husband and wife duo Terri and Ed Cripps. The story of Batavia is less about the band, but more about the people behind it. The two had been acquainted years ago and reconnected only by chance. The chemistry between them was immediately apparent and scarcely has there been a day where they have been apart sir. They were married in November of 2019 in a retro arcade in downtown Jacksonville, before an Addams Family pinball machine, in true nerdy-goth fashion. Both being musicians, having strikingly similar musical tastes and already doing everything else together, it was a natural step to form a musical project. 
Terri’s comeuppance was in the Madison WI scene. She began playing piano and singing from a very young age. Ed spent most of his formative years playing in bands in the Providence and Boston area. He had been recording from his teenage years on, starting with primitive tracker software and thrift shop synthesizers to score video game mods.

They both came into the punk and industrial scene during its 90s stride and draw much of their inspiration from the music of that era; Skinny Puppy, 16Volt, C-Tec, Godflesh as well as goth and post-punk bands The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Smiths and a litany of other influences.

Batavia’s music is an amalgamation of all those influences, using those textures as a framework and building into new directions, painting vibrant pictures, exploring new ideas and to make more of the music they would want to listen to themselves.

Batavia are signed to Tigersquawk Records.

The newest release from Batavia, titled ‘Quite Mean Spirited‘, is an exploration of malevolence and what drives the human soul to inflict indignities upon their fellow beings.

The recording took place in our home studio in Jacksonville FL, with marathon recording and writing sessions spanning several weeks. 
The title song delves into justification of inflicting vitriol through the veil of tribalism by means of a bleak, brooding goth-rock drone. To break the morose subject matter, track 2 is a jaunty cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Upside Down‘, delivered in industrial metal fashion.

Tracks 3 and 4, ‘Ab Initio‘ and ‘Finis‘, are two parts of a whole. Based on the true story of a woman in 1930s Soviet Russia who was taken from her home and sent across the sea to an island prison. Shortly after her arrival, she was assaulted by the guardsman. When she turned to her fellow prisoners for help, they instead tied her to a tree and cannibalized her. ‘An Initio‘ is based on a sailor song that was adopted by the Red Army during this time. ‘Finis‘ is a dreary, gothic orchestral illustration of the terror and despair this woman must have experienced.

Track 5, ‘The Absinthian‘, paints a picture of the malice in the individual. There are no questions to be asked, but a cavalier affidavit told from the perspective of unrepentant malevolence. A representation of the evil that lives in each and every one of us at its purest form in the form of a man. 
Track 6 closes the EP with a remix of the title track, provided by Leæther Strip

[Video] Nolan “N. F.” Porter – Keep On Keepin’ On

Nolan (then known as N. F.) Porter was an American Northern Soul singer whose hit, which we’re hearing now, would be the catalyst for Joy Division getting signed to a major label. While the band scrapped their attempt at covering the song, the guitar lick would serve as the foundation of their track, Interzone, as heard below:

For more on the story between N.F. Porter and Joy Division, check out this post by OpinEars.

[Review] Roses Never Fade – Devil Dust

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Apocalyptic Folk/Neofolk genre (or Wyrd Music, or whatever it’s called today). Most of the bands sound the same, usually rip off the old masters of the genre like Death In June, Blood Axis or Allerseelen. The music is nice, but not terribly interesting or something I’d come back to for repeated listening.

Enter Roses Never Fade. The music in their latest release, Devil Dust, published on Neuropa Records, comes as a breath of fresh air.

The first five minutes of the release feel a bit like the scene in the Andrei Tarkovsky, when the pilot flies into Solaris. Hazy, crunchy, like driving right into a cloud. Reminiscent of early Industrial soundtracks and Pink Floyd at their most esoteric. Once things become musical, things become very interesting.

Though it may not have been a conscious act, the band sound like they are channeling The Swans/World of Skin/M. Gira, and mixing it with more progressive folk like the legendary Comus. That was what immediately came to mind. Sure, there are also a few vocal styling which remind me of Douglas Peace in his youth, but the material flows nicely, and by about the 7th minute, I feel like I’m hearing elements of The Byrds in their psychedelic country phase.

A unique release. Go here to find more information about the band and Neuropa Records.