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Chelsea Wolfe- She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She

“You only know the one I’ve been

I’ve shed a thousand skins since then” 

Not many artists are quite so familiar with re-invention as Chelsea Wolfe; on She Reaches Out to She…, she wanes away the pagan-folk of her prior LP and welcomes electronics back under her shroud. Expounding on the darkwave of Pain Is Beauty, her latest churns through nocturnal scenery while flipping familiar gothic, industrial, and trip-hop influences around on their heads. Dave Sitek (of TV on the Radio fame) contributes razor-sharp production that provides clarity to each element without losing the shadowy murk the album inhabits so naturally. But perhaps the most notable progression Wolfe has made is personal—as nightmarish as her soundscapes are, her lyrics expound optimism. As each track twists toward its uniquely devastating climax, Wolfe’s vocals soar with the fire of someone bursting from their internal void to fight for the light in their life—and coming from Queen of Darkness, that means something. Her latest displays an artist fully aware of themselves and their brand, who knows just how to throw their audience for a loop. By combining that knowledge with a willingness to turn inward and face her demons, Chelsea Wolfe has crafted a proper goth album for the ages.



Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of March 1, 2024.  Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff and/or contributors.

– List of Releases: March 1, 2024 –

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Bruce Dickinson: The Mandrake Project
Heavy Metal/Hard Rock
Label: BMG


Daniel Herskedal: A Single Sunbeam
Label: Edition Records


Devastator (UK): Conjurers of Cruelty
Black Metal/Thrash Metal
Label: Listenable Records


Everything Everything: Mountainhead
Indie Pop/Rock
Label: BMG


Fathomless Ritual: Hymns for the Lesser Gods
Death Metal
Label: Transcending Obscurity

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Firewind: Stand United
Power Metal/Heavy Metal
Label: AFM


Fontaines D.C., Massive Attack, and Young Fathers: Ceasefire (EP)
Genre: Various
Label: Battle Box


Gulfer: Third Wind (Feb 28th)
Genre: Emo/Math Rock
Label: Topshelf Records


Halfway Line: Halfway Line (EP)
Genre: Alt-Rock/Post-Rock/Shoegaze
Label: ?


Ilat Mahru: Incipit Akkadian
Black Metal
Label: Death Prayer

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Liam Gallagher and John Squire: Liam Gallagher John Squire
Label: Warner Music UK

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Liv Kristine: Deus Ex Machina (Reissue)
Genre: Gothic Rock
Label: Napalm Records


Mannequin Pussy: I Got Heaven
Indie Rock/Post-Punk
Label: Epitaph Records



Mildlife: Chorus
Label: Heavenly


Industrial Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast


Mini Trees: Burn Out (EP)
Genre: Indie/Dream Pop

I forget how to do this…

“The General” is, in every conceivable way, a disaster of epic proportions. Yet, if there’s one thing this relic is exceptional at, it’s brazenly highlighting everything wrong with Guns N’ Roses in 2023. For those who forgot, didn’t know, or are simply caught up in the moment while the years pass them by, Slash and Duff rejoined Guns N’ Roses way back in 2016. At the time, for any long-serving Guns N’ Roses fan, I can imagine the reunion being a joyous occasion for them – having daydreams of the band writing new music together and playing solid shows with a formidable greatest hits setlist – but in the seven years gone by, the band have only managed to produce a “reworked” version of “Shadow of Your Love” (a B-side from 1987, made into a single to promote the 2018 Appetite for Destruction boxset), and four Chinese Democracy-era archive tracks, all of which feel as though they hit the cutting room floor for a reason. On top of the poor creative output – or lack thereof – the band’s live shows have suffered immeasurably in recent years, with a gasping, overweight Axl Rose now sounding like Mickey Mouse on his death bed. Nevertheless, to drive the point home, by going back to the meagre amount of recorded slop served thus far from this current line-up, while “Hard Skool” and “Absurd” retain subtle aspects of the classic GNR sound – albeit not enough to make the tracks any…

KILL or KEEP Vol.12

Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher

someone walks into a bar. It’s someone. I am johnnyoftheWell. It was a slow afternoon, and there we were. KILL or KEEP? Aye, why not – which record? Several meaningful opuses were teased, all of them beyond the space of our timeslot. Where does gravity default to on a slow afternoon? Well… has anyone ever listened to Phoebe Bridgers on a fast afternoon? Is such a thing even possible? Please do contact us immediately if you have pulled this off. We signed our rights away. It was time: time to get punished! Has her downer norm-magnet SowingSeason “5.0 Classic” passport to all of social media all the bloody time throughout the whole pandemic aged well? Time to find out…

Punisher (album) - Wikipedia


The team is johnnyoftheWell, and someone.

Every song must either be KILLed or KEEPed.

There is no minimum KILL threshold. 

Every time a song is KILLed, the KILLer must name a vaguely Boygenius-adjacent artist whomst’ve the youthes should be consuming instead.


Starting Impressions

jotW: Um, I expect little from this album and am ready for anything? It has disappointed me many times and probably aged more than anyone including me is/was prepared to admit. This is very exciting boy I can’t wait to see what someone does to it.

someone: I remember listening to the record a bunch back in the


Who doesn’t like a good documentary? Me personally, I’m a stickler for watching anything so long as the production values are there and the editing and pacing is done well. For me, I know of Justin Pearson and his label Three One G, as well as some of his most recent projects (the excellent Deaf Club and Satanic Planet being a couple of them), but I’d only ever heard of The Locust in passing. The point I’m making here is that, Don’t Fall in Love with Yourself is one of those excellently put together documentaries where you don’t have to be a fan to enjoy the movie. For any The Locust fan or Justin Pearson follower out there however, you’re in for a real treat. Don’t Fall in Love with Yourself is a 90-minute documentary that follows Justin’s life and career – from his turbulent upbringing, right through to his bands and how he came to establish the record label Three One G. The film delves into the social landscape during his formative years in San Diego, and where he saw potential in an under-utilised music scene; the impetus for The Locust and how they came to be, following the band through Europe, Japan and the UK on their crazy shows; and all the surprising bits in between, like voice acting for cartoons and acting in movies. There’s extensive archive footage that follows all of this, but the meat of the film follows The Locust on their tours and the crazy stuff that happened…

My wife and I spent a good chunk of yesterday evening at the Crystal Ballroom, a small venue in the Boston suburb of Somerville. The main attraction was The Clientele, a cult band making their very first live appearance in the US since all the way back in 2017, with this concert marking the kickoff of a short August tour through the US before fall tour dates in the UK and continental Europe.


The crowd to witness this was pretty small, even by the standards of a rather snug (if classy) venue. My untrained eye would estimate 150 people at most, or perhaps only a 100, all clustered close to the stage to watch the British trio do their thing. If it was a touch disappointing to see a thin turnout for a veteran act with an excellent discography who are still at the top of their game (as listeners of last month’s new record I Am Not There Anymore can attest), the relative quiet and intimacy of the small venue and even smaller crowd was ultimately fitting. The Clientele are, after all, a band known for their gentle and atmospheric sense of melancholy, and if their song interpretations were a bit more rocked-up and loud presented live compared to in studio, they maintained this trademark throughout. The results were captivating.


Following a set by Baltimore-hailing openers The Smashing Times (an interesting act with an album out Oct 30th which I will be checking), The Clientele’s time on

uhhhhhhh I made this half hour video where I talk into the camera about the Minneapolis indie rock band 12 Rods, who are releasing a NEW ALBUM, their FIRST in TWENTY-ONE YEARS, called IF WE STAYED ALIVE, this Friday!

the formatting is off, particularly in the literal like first minute of the video. I edited this on a laptop whose trackpad doesn’t work using an internet browser video editor. I used the touchscreen it’s a chromebook.

let me cook

Welcome back! Those who have been following along know that I’ve already covered CDs on two other installments (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2) and apparel in the most recent publication (Vol. 3). I’m back with some more CDs that I hope you will find interesting/alluring; let me know what you think in the comments, and as always, feel free to share pictures of your own collections. Thanks for reading!

(1) The Republic of Wolves – Shrine

Aside from being one of my favorite bands, The Republic of Wolves are also a group that I feel a sense of closeness to. I’ve been reviewing their material since their 2009 debut EP when they were virtually unknown, and have conversed on a semi-regular basis with both their lead singer and drummer. They always have the coolest themes and artwork, and the above captures their essence: mysterious & ominous, yet full of purpose.

While the cover art shows people marching and wielding torches, the CD shows a building burning to ruins.

Signed by every member of the band; this is definitely a favorite keepsake.

Trisagion | Ethereal Shroud

(2) Ethereal Shroud – Trisagion

Another artist that I feel a sense of connection to. Ethereal Shroud is fronted by a fellow Sputnikmusic member, and his most recent 2021 LP, Trisagion, earned him critical accolades from several different publications. It’s…

Hello again! I’m back to break up the monotony of CD artwork/packaging with my band apparel. It’s not as diverse band-wise as I remembered, and it turns out I’ve only really bothered to buy (or, at least keep) apparel merch from four bands: Yellowcard, Brand New, mewithoutYou, and Manchester Orchestra. In a way this makes sense, as they represent favorite bands of mine at different junctures within my lifetime.

Disclaimer: I did not, nor would I ever have the desire to, iron or even dry all this stuff just to make a blog post, so please excuse the massive wrinkle epidemic as well as any dog/cat hairs that appear. They know not what they do.  If you missed the previous installments in this series, you can check out Vol. 1 and Vol.2 by clicking the links.


Of the bands in this post, Yellowcard was my first love. Nothing makes me feel more ready for summer than sporting a shirt featuring this band’s name or logo, although sometimes I do feel a little self-conscious being a 30-something dude wearing stuff promoting a pop-punk band that peaked 20 years ago. But, as they say, you gotta do you.

Ocean Avenue era T-shirt. Can’t remember when I bought this but I’m fairly sure it was long after OA was released.

One of my favorite band shirts

Hello readers of Sputnik! Those who’ve been following along are aware that I’m in the midst of a deep dive into all things physically related to music – from CDs to apparel and random memorabilia – and right now I’m here to deliver the second installment within the CD category. If you missed it, Vol. 1 can be read here.

I’ve been trying to limit this series to CDs that (A) have a great deal of personal meaning to me, (B) have particularly alluring packaging/art, or both A & B. A lot of these check both boxes, so without any additional pointless stalling, here is the next batch of CDs that I view as treasure.


(1) David Bowie – Blackstar

The CD release for the legendary David Bowie’s final album does the music, and him, justice. There’s a dark/shadowy/reflective theme and color scheme that really sells the whole “black star” concept. This is one of my all-time favorite CDs to hold in-hand as I reflect upon his legacy. It’s a thick booklet, full of mysterious images with lots of layers to the art/conceptual meaning.

The man, the myth, the legend.

Ground control to Major Tom…

Notice the reflective quality of the images and words

Look up here, I’m in heaven…I’ve got scars that can’t be seen

Sue, I pushed you down beneath the weeds…Endless

Preface: So much of listening to music in 2023 feels…impersonal. We consume and discard songs/albums/entire artists at an unprecedented rate, and thus lose out on a lot of what, at least in my experience, makes music special. At the risk of divulging my approximate age, CDs were the most popular means of listening to music for the majority of my life-to-date. I’d save up whatever money I could from my minimum wage job(s) as a kid and go buy my favorite artists’ albums from places like FYE, Walmart, Target, Sam Goody, or my local record store. There’s something about holding a CD (or, for those into it, Vinyl) in your hands that increases your connection to the music, and I think it goes beyond the mere financial investment. There’s a sense of pride in ownership, and with that comes a sense of duty to give the music the time and attention it deserves. This is far from a preaching moment – I’m now an avid streamer of music – but when it comes to the artists that I care about the most (especially those who have had some sort of nostalgic hold or notable impact on my life), there’s no substitute for having that music on me and being able to look through the pictures and/or display them.

It dawned on me that so much of my experience with music is centered around things that I physically own – from CDs to apparel – so I…

Welcome back to Sputnikmusic’s maybe possibly most helpful segment where we discuss the ins and outs of reviewing music and all its glory! Maybe you’re a budding reviewer, on the cusp of greatness, searching for that piece of the puzzle lost on the floor or maybe your mum just logged you on to the household’s singular trusty laptop and you don’t know what to do with your fifteen-minute screen allowance before the older sibling demands the computer for…research? Either way, you’ve come to the right place!

First off. How did you get in here? What are you? This place doesn’t seem to have doors.

I’m just a mysterious lad with a Trailer Park Boys-derived moniker whose late-blooming interest in music quickly turned to obsession, which led me inevitably down into the dingy corridors of Sputnik. I don’t remember the first thing I read on Sput, but it was probably some review for Bob Dylan or Led Zeppelin or Tom Petty or the like. Now, some twelve years or so later, here I am. For the vast majority of my tenure on Sput, I never had any thought of being a contrib, let alone staff, but the ways of life are mysterious, I guess.union rep

Milo would like to know who your musician union representative is. I would like to know why.

I’m gonna go with Mark Knopfler, probably my favorite guitarist, and I think his “chill but emotional” style of playing resonates with how I try to review: laid-back but letting

So it’s been *checks notes* a hot minute since we’ve done this but in case it’s your first day here or the first sober moment since those mushrooms turned on you this is where we vaguely cover “how to review an album”. That is to say in this segment we’ll be cross checking different staffers’ approaches to putting words together. Maybe you’re a budding reviewer, on the cusp of greatness, searching for that piece of the puzzle lost on the floor or maybe your mum just logged you on to the household’s singular trusty laptop and you don’t know what to do with your fifteen minute screen allowance before the older sibling demands the computer for…research? Either way, you’ve come to the right place!

First off. Who are you and how did you get here?

I’m Kompy I got here cuz I got locked out of my Webkinz account and figured this was the next best thing. webinx

But you are the show-poni of the hour. The creme della creme. How has your reviewing got you to this perceivable reception point? What makes Kompys so chompy?

Weed brownies and poor sleep health :)

Weed, brownies or weed brownies? Remind me to compare recipe cards later.

Ooh, got anything with walnuts?

A couple of salads, nothing of note. Maybe some caramalised beetroot?

You always know how to make a mouth water, chef!

And how does that cream turn to butter? Hard work? Dedication?

So it’s been *checks notes* a hot minute since we’ve done this but in case it’s your first day here or the first sober moment since those mushrooms turned on you this is where we vaguely cover “how to review an album”. That is to say in this segment we’ll be cross checking different staffers’ approaches to putting words together. Maybe you’re a budding reviewer, on the cusp of greatness, searching for that piece of the puzzle lost on the floor or maybe your mum just logged you on to the household’s singular trusty laptop and you don’t know what to do with your fifteen minute screen allowance before the older sibling demands the computer for…research? Either way, you’ve come to the right place.

First off. Who are you and how did you get here?

Hey, I’m Alex, AKA robertsona, and I’ve been using Sputnikmusic for about 14 years, with about a decade under my belt as Staff. I think I found Sputnikmusic in trying to supplement Pitchfork with other sources of music news and reviews, and evidently the idea of writing my own reviews and putting them out there for consumption was appealing: from May 2009, when I was 13 years old, to August 2013, when I turned 18, I wrote well over 100 reviews for the site. I currently live with fellow Sputnikmusic user ArsMoriendi in Manhattan, and I teach high school English around New York City.

Wait. You’re not Robert? I feel betrayed right now!

To integrate

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