IVM's Top 40 Releases of 2017

With 2017 a now a fading memory of political turmoil, social upheaval and high-profile perverts, we can at least look back at the year's musical output and say that it was a great one. As is the custom, we've put together a list of 40 notable releases from the previous twelve months that we think are worthy of praise.

Blood Pack Vol. 5 Released!

To download it all you have to do is go to our bandcamp page here: https://intravenousmagazine.bandcamp.com/album/blood-pack-vol-5

Interview: Angelspit

“I get the feeling we are moving through a period of despair. Perhaps this is due to the state of the environment, politics, or dealing with being "social" in the electronic age. We are so frustrated, so exhausted...we don't have the energy or money to plan for the future.I wanted to write lyrics that people can related to, and music that would energize that to forge ahead.”

Review: Psy'Aviah – 'Lightflare'


Review: Caustic – 'American Carrion';


Sunday, 10 June 2018

ES Promotions release 'Independent Synthetics Vol. 2'

Following up on last years successful debut of Volume 1, ES Promotions release 'Independent Synthetics Vol. 2'.

Once again, the compilation is STACKED top to bottom with the best in independent electronic music. This year brings an even more international cast, with artists from Germany, Poland, Norway, Canada, and the USA.

The diversity in sound is also again very strong, with everything ranging from hard-hitting dark electro to some of the most dance-inducing synth pop around!

Track List:
1.) Jihad- We Believe
2.) Sun Goes Dark- Desolation
3.) Kist- Feel Free
4.) Hand in Waves- Burn Down in Tears
5.) Holon- Unauthorized User Access
6.) Gatherfire- Circles
7.) The Electric Witch- Hallowed
8.) Norderney- Sense
9.) Switchface- Nothing in Between (feat. Andrell)
10.) Pain Gauge- A Broken Silence

This is again a FREE download on Bandcamp, so stream or download in any format you like!

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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Review: Poptone – 'Poptone LP'

The reunion of former Bauhaus, Tones on Tail, Love and Rockets, and The Bubblemen founders Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins can only be a good thing. Even if their new incarnation as Poptone (also featuring Kevin's daughter Diva Dompé on bass) is more of a resurrection for old material. But considering that material leans heavily on their Tones on Tail output, which hasn't been performed live for over 30 years, it's nevertheless a welcome return.

With this heavy lean on the ToT material, and the fact that Dompé faithfully reproduces the performances of Glenn Campling you could be forgiven for thinking this is just Tones 2.0 and an exercise in nostalgia. Yet the band's debut EP is a raw and energetic re-appropriation of that old material. The songs feel fresh and exciting and are performed with passion to bring out different nuances from the classic recordings.

In particular tracks such as 'Mirror People', 'Movement of Fear', 'No Big Deal', 'Lions', 'Christian Says', 'Ball of Confusion', 'Go!', and 'Slice of Life' sound great. Dirty distortion, fresh electronics, and a real zest to forge a new identity are ever present elements that cement the Poptone sound as a new and exciting. The only time it doesn't work is on the albums opener 'Heartbreak Hotel', which while a stripped-back and psychedelic garage style cover just feels a little clumsy and lumbering for an opening track.

With the songs originally recorded for a recent Part Time Punks session on KXLU there is a raw live energy that is akin to the early Bauhaus Peel Sessions. It's a strong approximation of what is undoubtedly a tight live sound that plays well to their post-punk origins.

It's great to hear this material get an airing again, Tones on Tail may have been a blip in their career but it still yielded great material. It may be nostalgic at heart but there is so much promise here that it would be a crime if a future release didn't yield some new songs or revisit some lost demos. One can hope. In the meantime this should create more buzz for their live shows.

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ACTORS release video for 'We Don't Have to Dance'

Vancouver's post-punk rising stars ACTORS released a new video on Friday for "We Don't Have to Dance." The video can be watched here:

ACTORS' new album It Will Come to You was released on March 9th, on Artoffact Records. The album's anthemic songs evoke the urgency of early-'80s U2 (Boy, October, War) as well as the driving, synth-drenched scores that emanated from that era's movie screens. Songs like "L'appel du Vide," "Slaves," and "Face Meets Glass" are bangers that glisten via frontman Jason Corbett's production job: slamming beats propel warm layers of synth, guitar, and vocals. Corbett writes, produces, mixes, and masters all ACTORS music at his own Vancouver studio, Jacknife Sound. 

ACTORS live 2018
Sun June 17 - Car Free Day Festival, Vancouver
Sat July 7 - Khatsahlano Festival, Vancouver 
Fri July 27 - 99ten, Edmonton
Sat July 28 - Terminus Festival, Calgary 
Sat August 25 - Infest Festival, Bradford, England 
Sat Sept 15 - Cold Waves Fest @ Gramercy, NYC
Sun Sept 16 - A Murder of Crows Festival, NYC
Tue Sept 18 - The Brillobox, Pittsburgh  
Thu Sept 20 - The Summit, Columbus  
Fri Sept 21 - Detroit TBA
Sun Sept 23 - Cold Waves Fest @ Metro, Chicago 
Mon Sept 24 - JBTV Studio Session, Chicago 
Fri Sept 28 - Sacramento TBA
Sat Sept 29 - Cold Waves Fest @ 1720, LA
Sun Sept 30 - Part-Time Punks @ The Echoplex, LA

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Monday, 4 June 2018

Review: Pig – 'Risen'


The years spent in the wasteland of creative inactivity are well and truly behind Raymond Watts as we get another hot slice of pork a mere 2 years after the last. Pig's latest full-length studio offing 'Risen' sees the lord of lard Watts continue his creative fervour that was kicked off in 2015 with the 'Compound Eye' sessions with Marc Heal and has continued across several releases in the intervening years. But has this rapid creativity left the well dry?

No. It hasn't. 'Risen' picks up where 'The Gospel' left off with slow grooves and heavy riffs blending industrial electronics, alternative rock while Watts takes on the mantel of an apocalyptic preacher with his chant-a-long lyrics and seedy vocal delivery. Tracks such as 'The Chosen Few', 'Morphine Machine', 'The Revelation', 'Rise & Repent', 'Leather Pig', 'Prey & Obey', and 'Hard Machine' give the album it's hard industrial rock backbone. While the likes of 'Loud, Lawless & Lost', 'When I', and 'Ecstasy & Exorcism' get a bit weirder and more playful in the way that Watts has always had a penchant for.

Production-wise the album maintains a nice balance between it's gritty industrial rock core and more experimental embellishments that have always coloured his work. It's hard to say the album conforms to the “classic” Pig sound, as it has always been an esoteric entity. However the classical elements and more playful electronic experimentation come to the fore quite often which will please long-time fans.

'Watts and co. have been on a creative role for the past three years and it shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. 'Risen' is another great industrial rock album that is well-rounded, expertly crafted and captivating. Watts may be a veteran but he can still bring new ideas to the table and that's exactly what the industrial rock scene needs.

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Book Review: Anne Rice – 'Taltos'


It is a strange thing when you reach the end of the book. Even more stranger when that is also the end of the series. To be done with Taltos, by Anne Rice, the third and supposed final instalment of the Lives of the Mayfair Witches series, was bittersweet in more than one sense.
Despite the fact that this is the last book, it has a major difference when compared with the past two, mostly in terms of genre. This time, Rice doesn’t present a lot of horror content, but more of a reflexive, philosophical narration that deals with the race of the Taltos. That was an initial shock I had to overcome, since I expected this to be a heavier, more gruesome reading than The Witching Hour and Lasher.
However, when I got used to the main idea, the Taltos’ history, I started to enjoy this book even more. Rice filled it with countless details that, despite made it a reading hard to follow, enriched it.
At this point, I knew I wouldn’t get an explosive battle between the witches and some hidden enemy, yet I still feel it would have been a good addition given the “conspiracy” or sort of that is presented.
Each of the characters felt the same as in the previous books, I couldn’t see a real development on them, maybe only on Mona Mayfair, who acquires a more protagonistic role on this novel, but Rowan, Michael, and the rest of the cast feel just the way they did before, which is a shame.
It is also said that you have to respect the author’s end for the story, but this time Anne Rice take a safe bet for it. It was like she was in a hurry to finish it, fixed whatever was going on with each characters, solved the problems in more time than I expected and took the emergency exit in order to be done with Taltos.
Her followers will tell me that this is not the last time I will see the Mayfair witches, as their universe merges with The Vampire Chronicles’, and I even started with this series before getting to meet Lestat since several blogs said that Interview with the Vampire would tell me what will happen with the witches, but I do find them disappointing when I think about the last chapters of this novel.
I would lie if I said I won’t give Lestat a chance, in order to recover the joy these women gave me, or so I hope, but that won’t be now, maybe not even this year. It will take six books before the stories entangle, and I’m not particularly interested in waiting this much in this moment.

Despite that ending scene ruined the story, I’m sure many will like to dwell on it for a while. I certainly find it pleasurable to have a refuge of daily life in such an interesting universe. There were some unanswered questions that also bothered me, and yet Rice managed to entertain  me for a long while. It is just a matter of time before I return to her. In the meantime, I’ll get some fresh air and a more light, softer reading.

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