It’s not all sunshine here in the Bay Area, and our music scene isn’t limited to upbeat indie pop and garage rock. On the darker end of the spectrum, there are plenty of bands more influenced by Siouxsie and Bauhaus than by surfing and beaches. For local musicians in the related constellations of post-punk, darkwave, and industrial music, a sharp sense of mood and atmosphere adds an emotionally powerful layer to compelling songwriting. There’s a feeling to each of these songs that is raw, often visceral.
That’s not to say that the bands and artists in this mix are merely aping the styles innovated by these genres’ pioneers. Instead, this mix surveys bands taking those forms into new and unpredictable directions, from the comparatively spare tracks of SF singer-songwriter Jealousy and the minimalist electronic compositions of Ssleeping DesiresS to the mutating noise-punk of Oakland’s S.B.S.M. and V.E.X.’s warped bombast.
This mix features 10 local artists — all of them, in their own unique ways, projecting a certain intensity, and all offering excellent music worth checking out.
About the Bands:
Jealousy – “Sentenced To Life” (starts at 0:03)
Mark Treise of local noise-rockers CCR Headcleaner explores starker territory in his solo work as Jealousy. Paid For It is Jealousy’s second album, out in March on Moniker Records.
Screature – “Laws of Intrigue” (4:05)
This quartet’s latest is Four Columns, a dense, dark collection of post-punk recorded by Chris Woodhouse. Though based in Sacramento, the band frequently plays in venues around the Bay Area.
All Your Sisters – “Come Feel” (6:24)
SF duo All Your Sisters first launched Modern Failures in 2014, supporting the album with a wealth of local shows and a European tour last year. The synth-punk band promises that a new Jack Shirley-recorded album will be forthcoming this year.
Part/Human – “Touched” (9:45)
Part/Human started as an electronics-focused outlet for Silver Shadows guitarist Margaret Rhodes, but has since evolved into a full band with members of Tiaras and Fine Steps. The trio’s new self-titled EP is out via Death Records.
Ötzi – “Psychic Eyes” (13:46)
This Oakland synth-punk trio’s intense demo earned praises from MaximumRocknroll and others. The band is currently working on a new EP.
V.E.X. – “Suture No Future” (15:54)
Roxy Monoxide and LuLu Gamma Ray are two local comic book artists who craft industrial noise jams as V.E.X., which, naturally, stands for Ventriloquest Ectoplasmold Xanaxax. “Suture No Future” comes from the band’s new Codex Hex cassette.
S.B.S.M. – “Teeth” (20:24)
Oakland trio S.B.S.M. crafts a genre-blurring mix of no wave and post-punk. The group’s unique sound manifested most recently on last April’s four-track Joy / Rage EP.
Ssleeping DesiresS – “Slums” (22:54)
Ssleeping DesiresS is the stripped-down dark wave project from San Francisco’s Gabriel Ramos. “Slums” is a new song from Ramos, following a debut LP in 2015.
DSTVV – “Target Demographic” (27:12)
Joel Cusumano’s “industrial grungegaze” project released its alleged swansong, Target Demographic, last year. Given Cusumano’s unique take on noisy, catchy songs, here’s hoping for more DSTVV in the future.
Introflirt – “Dying Everyday” (30:55)
Ben Benjamin and Vafa Donoros make up dark synth-pop duo Introflirt, a band self-described as “like if Depeche Mode met Mel Torme on an MDMA-fueled walk in the sky during sunset.” The group’s self-titled album, which featured assistance from local talent Cherushii, was released early last year.