With a new album Slash and Burn that nods to the trashy glam early days of Manic Street Preachers, a new T-shirt on Bandcamp that’s a ringer for Depeche Mode’s Violator cover and a tight leather jacket & shades vibe that’s mid-2000s Ed Banger, GHLOW are all about the impeccable reference points. Come to think of it, the smashed mirror artwork for Slash and Burn gets another bonus point for recalling Black Flag’s Damaged.
Slash and Burn is the debut album from Stockholm-based duo Emille de Blanche and Nikolay Evdokimov, who formed GHLOW in 2017 after years of crossing paths and rubbing shoulders in Stockholm’s underground art and music circles. I first came across them at Tallinn Music Week 2019 as they tore through a half-hour of wiry electro-punk in the vein of Suicide or the filthy extremities of Justice. By that stage the only had one EP out so it was hard to call it back then, but they’ve been making some steady good noises since then — leaning more heavily into their punk side over electro.
They’ve just announced the debut LP with the lead track Hold On — a dirgey, mid-tempo industrial racket that feels more like a sweaty headbutt than a dancefloor bop — but that’s all good. The flangey, distorted bassline and wall of noise in the second half of the song is aimed at some strobey breakdown in a basement club with the walls shaking. We’ll get back there some day.
The album is out on April 2 on PNKLSM Recordings — and you can preorder from Bandcamp right now…