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Absolute Underground brings you the best in News & Reviews on Punk, Metal, and Hardcore. Our team covers events on art, tattoos, skate culture, horror & the macabre and much more... 

Wednesday, 08 July 2020 00:14

Bootblocks' Thin Skies Flies in Oct 9th!

Published in Underground News Written by

Stream new track "Traveling Light" and pre-order the album!

Following a handful of formative sessions with prolific drummer/producer Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Sonic Youth), the Brooklyn-based Bootblacks released its first EP, Narrowed, in the fall of 2012. Debut full-length Veins came next in 2016 and was backed by extensive touring. 2017's Fragments found the band expanding to a bigger, more atmospheric and synth-heavy sound; the album landed on many year-end lists and helped earn slots on festivals such as Cold Waves, Terminus, Absolution, Wave Gotik Treffen, and Murder of Crows.

Thin Skies, Bootblacks' first album for Artoffact Records, zooms forward where Fragments left off. The nine songs combine a driving, dancefloor pulse with soulful, melodic post-punk, yielding results that are positively anthemic.

Produced by Jason Corbett of Artoffact labelmates ACTORS, Thin Skies evokes scenes of dark days and reckless nights in the urban jungle – a marriage of post-punk emotion and clubland sweat. Frontman Panther Almqvist's brooding voice captivates as it veers from detached cool to deep vulnerability. Guitarist Alli Gorman's hard jangle "channels the trademark delay techniques of [U2's] The Edge," in the words of Post-Punk.com. Keyboardist Barrett Hiatt's arpeggiated synths are the life force pushing the songs relentlessly forward, as Larry Gorman bashes a mix of acoustic and electronic drums with power and perfection. Backing vocals come courtesy of Shannon Hemmett (ACTORS) and Kennedy Ashlyn (SRSQ, Them Are Us Too).

Bootblacks' hometown of New York City is integral to Thin Skies' sound. The band's name itself is said to be derived from novelist William Burroughs’ description of the dark underbelly of glitzy NYC. Almqvist states: "It's an energetic city and people have all the reasons in the world not to give you the time of day. I think our music has been shaped by that in many ways."

The loneliness of city life pervades the album's music and lyrics. "Most of the lyrics on the album are about loneliness," says Almqvist. "Looking back on the lyric writing process there seems to be some connective feeling of isolation and distance present in all of the songs... I'm always hoping that a listener personalizes the song, that's why the songs never have a narrative but try to embody a feeling."

As well as playing shows at every significant venue in NYC, sharing stages with the likes of Clan of Xymox, Light Asylum, HEALTH, and VOWWS, along the way, Bootblacks has toured North America and Europe, most recently being handpicked by Modern English as direct support for a 2020 North American tour (currently postponed).



1) Traveling Light (feat. Shannon Hemmett of ACTORS)

2) The Jealous Star

3) Thin Skies

4) Hidden Things

5) Parallel

6) Nostalgia Void

7) Brouhaha

8) New Lines (feat. Kennedy Ashlyn of SRSQ)

9) Inextinguishable



Panther Almqvist - vocals

Alli Gorman - guitar

Barrett Hiatt - synth

Larry Gorman - drums


Wednesday, 08 July 2020 03:14

White Riot - Rock Against Racism Movement Documentary Film

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As cinemas are roaring back into business with the oldies and goodies, White Riot is going to revisit the late 70’s and the Rock Against Racism movement which threatened many emerging talents from out of Britain. This documentary by Rubika Shah cuts to the chase very fast.

The 80 minute runtime is comprised more with archival material than new. We have, with no surprise, The Clash’s London Calling as the national anthem which begins this work, and this editor doesn’t hold back. We see how far the bigotry went. We even have mentions of Bowie and Eric Clapton, and how involved they got into this situation.

As a single watch is not enough to understand how reaching this protest went. The new interviews sheds light to how people see this poignant time when the National Front was on the rise. I’m glad this release is through on demand services, and for as long as the ticket allows–usually three days–I can absorb and try to make sense of all that went on. It’s best not to dwell too much about this time, but for any music historian who wants a clear view of what happened, this documentary is heavily recommended!

Available on http://www.filmswelike.com/films/white-riot

-Ed Sum

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