bITS 'N CHUNKS
In the fall of 2015 (I'm convinced this was the last true Autumn that Nashville has had), I went to The End for a show. I like The End, it has that air of mystery, grime, and mild danger that I like on the weekends. I like small shows, I like small bands, I like local groups. Sadly, I don't really like taking photos. That night, I was there to see Coliseum with Child Bite and I believe Sheep Shifter? And the tickets were a little higher than The End's normal fair so I felt like this was pretty big.
To be fair, I was largely there to see Child Bite as they were on my radar for being brash and in your face, harsh, metal-punk-yikes. I did a little research on Coliseum as the headliners and figured I'd like them
So, we're here today because I left that fog- and crystal-lodged show a swift fan of Coliseum and in dire need of a copy of Anxiety's Kiss.
As I pined away in Tennessee for another chance to see Coliseum's heady, imposing, pink-shifted black magic stage show so I can appreciate it better, as my luck would have it I found out through pure fluke that not too long after the tour for Anxiety's Kiss, Coliseum had very quietly broken up.
Well, goddamnit! But all was not lost as singer/guitarist Ryan Patterson (for this project,
now R/Pattern) had quickly gotten another project started, Fotocrime.
The first time I heard Necronomidol I think they had just gone on hiatus for a bit. I assumed the novelty of a black metal inspired idol unit just kind of wore off in the face of BABY METAL and such derivative acts. But the videos were cool and slick and purposefully mimicking giallo style with the music to fit, and I really dug their sinister image.
But at some point, the stars aligned and Necroma rose up once again from the depths with a few new members, another member change, and then finally what is (I hope) a permanent line up. Check out the video for "Ithaqua".
Necronomidol is a great example of the whole "do it your damn self" attitude which is strange in the idol world (but not really in underground idol acts, please check out Homicidols). Their relentless attitudes and the ceaseless determination of their manager Rick have landed them at least a small European tour and some good buzz. But that's not what actually makes them stand out, it's the members themselves and the fact that they're young girls singing about Cthulhu. That's it. I love aidoru and I love Cthulhu, so I'm in.
Okay, Necroma's songs are very good and refreshingly hardcore and TRVE. Their Bandcamp provides some English translations of their songs and they're very literary. I love that they interact with some of the lesser known critters and aspects of Lovecraftian mythos. Doing that sometimes runs the risk of making you look a little too hardcore or not palatable because you're just appealing to the geek squad at this point but Necroma somehow does it with some pretty serious pop ambitions. But…down-tuned guitars…
What sets Necroma apart from the BABY METAL clones to me (aside from their complete, utter darkness and end of the world prophesying) is that at least so far they haven't gone for the death/nu metal guttural growls and prefer very clean, idol vocal melodies so they're very easy to churn out fiction to. I like their weird yet very successful iconoclasm. It's beyond creepy cute aesthetic, it's the merging of old school metal ideology, occult image, and bouncy j-pop. It's not superficial but doesn't take itself exceptionally seriously. Oh my gosh, it's me as a group. It me! If someone is working on a manga or some unofficial doujinshi for them, can I write it? Please?
Welcome back to That's My Jam! If you were on the internet maybe back about 2011-12 I have no doubt you caught at least a few thinkpieces and hot takes on Zebra Katz, the man behind the sinister vogue beat of "Ima Read". Unfortunately I think what got lost in all that well deserved hoopla is that Zebra Katz is amazing. My preferred album from him is the Nu Renegade EP. Please check it out.
He's a fucking beast.
I enjoy the neo-doomed-occult soul vibe of this album and it actually helped me get through a short story I'm currently working on. The story is Lovecraftian in nature but set in the south and deals with a small sect of black Dagonites. That is probably complicated enough to explain why I was struggling with the (admittedly simple) concept but something about the title track and "Nina Simone" really jerked me out of my slump with this one. I was writing too much and saying nothing. I had no vibe. If I'm in a black church, why are there no hymns? What does an occult hymn sound like? Like...this. Not to mention "You Tell Em" is my actual jam in every sense.
Well, while I'm trying to diversify my bonds on this blog, I was gathering up ideas and I realized one thing I almost never write about is music. It's absurd, because music inspires a good 90% of my writing. I'm not one of those people that is good at making playlists or anything, but there's a lot of times when I can read an old story and pinpoint either the movie I was ripping off or what was playing in the background.
I love sharing music, but I'm fully aware the majority of my friends don't listen to what I do and I also cop to falling into Tortured White Man or You've Probably Never Heard of Them genres. I won't tell you how long I've been listening to thrash or how I feel about postmodern punk, I would rather just show you and have a good ol' chat about guttural screams and writing. I dub this segment.... That's My JAM!
Ia! If you've come this far, you're either looking for weird or you know you've found it...