Down at its new location on Florin Blvd, Phono Select Records is a fixture for all your vinyl hunting inquiries. With their inventory ranging from indie, hardcore, reggae, punk and every genre you can think of, owner Dal Basi always seems to have something in the racks that will pique your curiosity. Once a week, Basi will pick a release and ask us to spread the gospel of his recent finds. If you like them, and, most importantly, collect, then come down to the store and support!
Last Hour Records
Oakland-based Otzi is a three-piece that recently released a debut album which pays perfect tribute to the first brutal (and beautiful) crash of the Dark Wave genre and the dreamy landscapes of post-punk. Managing to combine the important characteristics of these genres, Ghosts echoes to a time when groups like Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, and Bauhaus were first coming out.
Storming in like the beginning of a 1980’s horror film, drone synths and thundering drums create the atmosphere of their opener “Magpie” which then leads in to “Hounds”–both tracks lead with a ferociousness with snarls and the message declaring that life would be better left alone dying on a beach. But to counter with the aggressiveness of the first two songs, the next track is a key example of what makes the Dark Wave genre appealing: complimenting the dark with the light. “Winter” ethereally paints a picture about the process of losing a loved one and the environment it creates to accompany grief, all of which is pieced together with hazy guitar lines and angelic vocals. But like any pure love for the genre, tracks such as “Six Candles” and “Drought” use heavy synthesizer lines to alter the song’s attitude and imagine a questionable future. To close out the album is “Stigmata”, with frantic energy and vocals, the group displays the punk energy to focus on the questions surrounding personal isolation.
From start to finish, this is an album that is very well crafted from an honest love of the genre. Dark, beautiful, and vocally urgent, an album like this demands your attention for every song, and when the last song is over, demands you play it again.
Words: Jake Monka.