Zola Jesus - Stridulum 2
Cathedralic, filmic, operatic synth-backed (not in the cliched 80s revival sense, but in a more interesting unusual noise sense) modern goth. Already transcending the genre, and in doing so moving it on. There are no such thing as goth bands, only goth fans.
Pretentious, Moi? - Pretentious, Moi?
Pastiche eclipses parody in this enjoyably over-ripe meditation on 90s goth. A guilty pleasure, not to be listened to unironically.
Underworld - Barking
Underworld cash in dance music’s debt to them, helped by a variety of guest producers, with their best new album in ages. Just ignore the godawful last track.
Factory Floor - A Wooden Box/Lying
Like Zola Jesus Factory Floor have both a strong music-historical literacy and a desire to break out of that cage through experimentation. There’s no point in repeating cultural experiments, even when that experiment is “Floorshow”, but again there’s great promise and immediate rewards here.
Ulterior - Kempers Heads
Drum-machine backed rock that’s aware it’s 30 years since the first Dr. Rhythm and that you really need to sound like you’re on a stage rather than in a bedroom. Psychedelic in its hypnotic, driving beats and rhythms. Goes great back to back with Factory Floor (and vice versa).
Interpol - Interpol
Do you remember Interpol? Interpol do, and they sound just like them here. It’s the sound of the end of something, but no less enjoyable for it.
The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing - Now That’s What I Call Steampunk Volume 1
Steam? Check. Punk? Check. A comic but nonetheless critical take on applying class consciousness to victorian science fiction. They lose one punk point for being able to play their instruments and gain one steam point for the first wax cylinder release of popular music in a century.