I’ve griped a fair bit over the last decade or so about the way so many artists have continued to slavishly recycle 1980s vintage synth pop. I’ve even gone so far as to suggest an all-out moratorium on the stuff. Brandon Curtis, the driving force behind The Secret Machines, has forced me to re-think that.

What’s been heard so far from his current project, the wonderfully-named Cosmicide, is synth-heavy but also suggests the kind of great musical depths his previous band plumbed so well are still in his blood. This is no mere interpretation of decades-old sounds, but rather a powerfully individualistic artist bending those sounds to his will and fashioning something quite special.

Just this week came not only the promising news that Cosmicide will be opening a bunch of shows for Interpol (with whom Curtis has been touring as a sideman for the last several years) but also a new single and video. “A New Disaster” provides a nice contrast to “Talos’ Corpse”, which surfaced way back in the fall of 2013 before Curtis went quiet following the very tragic death of his younger brother and bandmate, Benjamin.

“A New Disaster” is the more optimistic of the two, hearkening back to the more pop-centric tangents Secret Machines took throughout their catalogue (Underneath the Concrete, Faded Lines). Heard in isolation, it could almost be disappointing to the Secret Machines faithful. “Talos’ Corpse”, however, manages to sound hefty and almost evil; a reminder that Secret Machines could also credibly conjure molten and metallic sounds (The Fire is Waiting in particular). Cosmicide, it seems safe to say, will span genres just as effortlessly.

It’s great to see Curtis back on stage in a starring role again. And, if the release of A New Disaster signals, as it would appear to, that more music is on the way, lovers of the unconventional and uncontrived in music have reason to celebrate.


Cosmicide Tour Dates

Tues. July 14th – Toronto ON – Danforth Music Hall

Wed. July 15th – Toronto ON – Danforth Music Hall

Mon. July 20th – Portland ME – State Theatre

Tues. July 21st – Brooklyn NY – Prospect Park Bandshell

Thur. July 23rd – Boston MA – House Of Blues

Fri. July 24th – Boston MA – House Of Blues

Sat. July 25th – Philadelphia, Penn. – Festival Pier At Penn’s Landing

Mon. July 27th – Norfolk VA – The Norva

Tue. July 28th – Washington DC – Echo Stage

Wed July 29th – Albany NY – Upstate Concert Hall

Fri. July 31st – Montreal QC – Metropolis



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