‘Brigador, Up-Armored EP’ delivers heavy-duty rockin’ neo-80’s cyberpunk dreamwave by the mech-load.
‘Brigador, Up-Armored EP’ is at times post-apocalyptic ambience, and others a swell of in-the-thick-of-it cyberpunk espionage. Narrative threads weave tales of a government in need of overthrowing and missions involving mech-based anarchy through spoken narrations, enriching and evolving ‘Brigador, Up-Armored EP’s themes above tonal speculation. Tumultuousness oozes from track to track with thematic ease, and deliver distilled dreamwave you’re going to love.
Choose the mechanized horror of your discontent, strap in, and stride guns blazing into the full review of ‘Brigador, Up-Armored EP’!
Sup y’all? =) President Hoodie here, terrified to bring you a spooptastic track-by-track review of our debut comp of spoopytunes, ‘HalloWIN‘!
Chances are you’ve already devoured (or been devoured by?) this deliciously scary album upon its release date last Friday. Well, here’s a chance to do such all over again and this time aided by the creepy writing prowess of four of our blog writers. Starting the frightful journey, it’s R. Morgan Slade!
Horrific album artwork by Nate Horsfall of lightningarts.com.
Greetings, my little ghouls, spooks, and warlocks! It is once again the time of year to celebrate the spookier side of life: HALLOWEEN! And in honor of this auspicious time of year, I’m delighted to present to you a simple sweet treat sure to delight at any of your upcoming festivities:
Hey Guys! Welcome back to RCwK! This time around, I got a hold of an artist I’ve been wanting to chat with for a long time! Sean Monistat is a man of many faces and immeasurable talent. While he’s not quite as prolific as Carl Peczynski, Sean is a similar character in that he does have an act to suit every style of his. So when I reached out to him for an interview, I wasn’t sure which act I was going to get. When he told me which one it was, though, I got super excited! Not only would it offer me a chance to speak with Sean, but also with his wife, Duchess Wendi, and their partner in crime, Rebekah Red. To top it off, it’s an act that is very appropriate for this time of year! Without further ado, I wish all you ChipWINners a Happy Halloween, and present you with a special (trick or) treat: Thorazine Unicorn!
Kuma: Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me for the interview!
Wendi: Thank you for having us!
Kuma: So, lets get this thing started with a question I haven’t asked in a while: who came up with the name for the band and why’d you choose it?
Wendi: Our Personal Astrologer, George Courtney, came up with the name. As soon as it came out of his mouth, we knew it was Magickal.
Kuma: Really? That’s an answer I wasn’t expecting. I was aware you guys were magick practitioners based on conversations you’ve had with mutual friends on Facebook, but wasn’t aware you had a personal astrologer. Does your spirituality play a big part in your music, or is it as playful as it seems on the surface? Tell me, what does your music mean to you guys?
Wendi: Our music is a combination of the spiritual aspects of our personal lives, intertwined with events and things in the universe which we find fascinating, and those things for which we feel passionate. Things from the past, present, and future. This may sound really romantic, but we found that with each other, we could finally express our inner voices.
Rebekah: We actually met because of our love of the unusual, and felt we were destined to make music together.
Kuma:Very nice. That seems to compliment your rather diverse sound. I have to say, my exposure to industrial and goth music, so to speak, is limited, but of what I’ve heard of acts like skinny puppy, bauhaus, etc, they seem to lack the sense of, dare I say funk, you three have. When you guys were crafting your sound, was this something you were planning on? Making goth music that was more approachable, or even danceable?
Sean: We make music that we personally enjoy, like the music that I grew up on. Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Kraftwerk, combined with the technology that was around during that time. Analog synths and old game systems.
Rebekah: We make music that we like and it’s influenced by a lot of different styles, so when other people find something in it, particularly if it’s not the type of music they usually listen to, that’s very gratifying.
Wendi: I make them listen to the angriest music.
Sean: We don’t plan on sounding like any artist in particular, but i take note of the things that annoy me about certain songs that i love and do what i can to not do that.
Kuma: Hahahahaha! I’d love to find out more about that angriest music later, but for now, I want to go back a little bit to something you said before, about how you guys feel you can best express yourselves when you three are together. What I’d like to know is what it is each of you bring to the table that makes this collective work so well? I don’t just mean in terms of who performs what role on stage, but I mean, emotionally, creatively, what do you guys that the others may not that makes everything fit so well among you three?
Rebekah: I come to music making from more of a singer/songwriter perspective, and working with the tools which Sean and Wendi bring, we are able to make something none of us could make alone. It’s validating to have found people who share ownership and who will let you add to what they have written, and want lyrics about dystopian futures, and lonely space dogs.
Sean: I create songs that express a feeling I have or want to make the audience feel, but I find myself struggling with lyrics and melodies. I felt trapped and thematically obscure before.
Wendi: I’ve been writing poetry since I was very young, but I never showed it to anyone. It was so personal and so private but I have always wanted to share it, but I didn’t know how. I have, with Sean and Rebekah’s help, been able to give my words to other people in a way that doesn’t scare me.
Kuma: Wow, the diversity of that response really made me smile. Although I’m surprised to hear you guys say some of these things!
Wendi, in the couple times I’ve met you, you’ve never come across as anything other than quietly confident. The idea of you seeming scared to share your writing kind of baffles me!
Sean, with how prolific you are and all the musical acts you’re involved with, from +Let’s Disinfect+ to thelonglegs and even TheRaPists, the idea of you feeling thematically stuck when you’ve been so diverse is obscene!
And Rebekah, while I’ve not met you in person, between what I’ve heard of you through the music I’ve heard and what I’m hearing now, you come across as the most steadfast of the group in your vision and what you want to express! You guys really had trouble expressing yourselves without each other? I just…I find that incredibly hard to believe, that despite all this creativity, you guys are all revealing yourselves to be such private, and somewhat inhibited people.
Rebekah: It’s not really that we weren’t able to, I mean it’s not like I’m living under the stairs! But what it looks like when I express myself BY myself, it looks different than this. We’re each parts of the whole, that’s really what I’m saying.
Kuma: You know, I didn’t picture you that way, but now that you said it, I’m compelled to do a bad photoshop of your head super imposed on Harry Potter’s body in his under-the-stairs room.
Reb: That’s pretty great.
Sean: My artistic mission has always been to push things to the extreme, and oftentimes that marginalizes what I do. Good dance music is good dance music, and the songs we create together have a pop appeal that i can’t create on my own.
By the way, I love bad Photoshop.
Wendi: Well, a lot of my lyrics are from really painful, secret times in my life, where no one but my notebooks knew what I was thinking and feeling. I guess I had a shell to retreat to in my writing, and that was very comforting for those times. I definitely did come out of my shell by performing– as a Dominatrix for a time– and then as a puppeteer. I came to find my strength in being on stage. Like, I absolutely do not get stage fright anymore. I just get up there and I’m my True Self.
Kuma: That’s very cool to hear. And that response makes more sense to me, Sean, that in some ways, these lovely young ladies here help reel you in some so you can make a cohesive piece of music together. Wendi’s revelation of her blossoming into actualization through puppetry and Dominance is only more evidence of such.
That being said, lets talk about the album you’ve put so far: Metamortify.
How long did you guys work on that EP? Is there any song one on it that really speaks to you guys individually and as a group as something you’re proud of? has it, now that it’s out there, met your expectations of what you guys wanted from yourselves as musicians?
Sean: I am incredibly proud of it, considering we did it all ourselves. In working together on it so long, the hardest part was deciding when it was finished. We have grown so much in the time we have been together as both musicians and lyricists, that the songs we are currently working on have me indescribably excited for the next release.
Wendi: I’m proud of every song, for sure. They’ve all evolved in their own time and way. Some of them were very different when we first conceived them, but they grew like a chest-burster in Reb’s ribcage.
Rebekah: Picking one song would be like choosing a favorite child. If we wanted children. Which we don’t.
Kuma: But guys: if you have children, you could plump them up and give them to me as a gift, and then I can eat them and make each of you a lovely set of gloves out of their skin! Don’t you want children skin gloves? Don’t you want the cycle of mutual love to grow between us?
Wendi: I don’t know what to say…how thoughtful!!!
Sean: Winter is coming.
Kuma: Winter IS coming, and children skin is the best skin. A second skin, if you will. That being said, when can we expect a second album from you guys? And what is next for Thorazine Unicorn in general?
Kuma: Very nice! Is this your first time performing at this venue? Also, do you have any other shows or appearances lined up in the near future after this? Can we expect to see you three at MAGFest?
Sean: This is actually the first live music performance at Catland, which is a fantastic occult bookstore that we can’t recommend highly enough. The performance space in the large back room is very reminiscent of the underground basement dungeon goth clubs that our music sounds best in.
Rebekah:: After Friday’s show, we have some other irons in the fire, and you may very well see us at the Gaylord!
Kuma: NICE! That being said, Sean, Wendi, Rebekah, it’s a pleasure having you three here with me and getting to know you all better. Is there anything you’d like to say in closing before we wrap things up?
Wendi: Thanks for chatting with us! I’d just like to invite people to let us entertain you! I think we offer something for everyone who likes electronic music.
Rebekah: There are so many different things you can do with this technology, so many ways of shaping a musical landscape. Thank you letting us share some of our vision.
That’s it for this this issue of RCwK! Don’t forget to follow/like/subscribe to Thorazine Unicorn, and if you’re in NYC tomorrow night and need to burn off all that energy from your trick-or-treat induced sugar rush, check them out at Catland at 9pm! Til next time!
Box of white cake Food coloring
Oil Spoons / forks
Water Microwavable bowl or double boiler
Eggs Cookie sheet
Almond bark (vanilla) Parchment paper
Vanilla frosting Popsicle sticks or similar
Assorted bowls both big and small
Baking pans – 9 x 13 or two 8″ rounds
Q tips or paintbrush
Something to hold sticks upright such as:
~a foam block
~cake pop tray
~small cardboard box with holes in it
Get your mise en place on for this one for sure. Do it. Now. Get your stuff together and organize it in a way that makes sense to you. Then, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
PART 1: CAKE DOUGH
First things first: prepare your cake mix according to package directions. Mine called for 1 1/4 cup water, 1/3 cup oil, and 3 egg whites. Mix them all together in a big bowl, with a smaller bowl standing by.
Now we’re going to half the batter and color it. You can choose whatever colors you’d like, but I’m going for a Halloween theme so I chose green and purple. Both make for a gross inside of an eyeball.
After splitting your batter evenly between the two bowls, color each bowl with a few drops of dye. I used gel food coloring for this step because it tends to hold its color better when mixed into batters or frosting, but the liquids do just fine and are generally pretty inexpensive. Mix your food coloring into the batter with a fork or spoon thoroughly until the color is fully incorporated.
After adding the color, line the bottom of your baking pan with parchment paper. This stuff is made of magic. Your cakes will come out of the pan so easily! If you want to make doubly sure of easy release, spray the parchment lined pan with cooking spray.
Pour each colored batter into a separate pan. Place in your oven to bake according to your cake mix package. Mine spent about 25 minutes in the dry sauna!
Your cakes are done when you can poke it with a toothpick or fork and it comes out clean. Place the pans out to cool for about 15 minutes.
While the cakes are cooling, its time to color your frosting! I went matchy-matchy with mine – I wanted a vivid green and a vivid purple – but again, use your discretion and be creative! Split your frosting evenly between two bowls and add food coloring as you did for the cakes. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
Are your cakes done cooling? Awesome! Flip them out of the pan onto a clean surface or cooling rack. Let them chill there for about 10 more minutes or until they are only warm to the touch.
While the cakes are hanging out pan-less on the counter, do yourself a favor and wash some bowls. Both you and your dishwasher will thank you later. Trust me, you’ll need them!
Right about then your lazy sous chef will finally show up…
When the bowls are washed and dried and the cakes are a bit cooler, its hulk-smash time! Take your cake and crumble it into a big bowl. The whole thing. Make it bits of fluff. Pull apart any chunks from the edges into pinky-nail sizes pieces or smaller. I find sometimes that running a fork through the crumble bowl helps pull apart any stick together chunks.
When you’ve crumbled, add the frosting to the bowl and mix together until you have an even, dough like consistency. Stick this into the fridge, it will make it more play-dough like and moldable. I had to repeat this process for my 2nd color cake.
So now you’ve got frosting dough chilling in the fridge. How do we turn this into eyeballs?
PART 2: DIPPING
For the eyeballs, you’ll need melted chocolate, a cookie sheet, popsicle or similar sticks, and a place for the chocolate to harden vertically.
Take the cooled dough out of the fridge and begin rolling the dough into balls about the size of, well an eyeball. If you’re not sure how big that is thing ping pong or golfball sized. If at any point the dough gets too sticky to work with, place it back in the fridge for a few minutes to cool down again. Eventually you’ll have rows and rows of multicolored balls.
Put them in the freezer. Yes, the freezer.
While you’re freezing your balls (/snicker), you’ll get the chocolate going.
I prefer a double boiler because it helps me keep the chocolate at a low, even heat for an extended period of time. If chocolate gets too hot, or gets water in it, or the temp fluctuates too much, the chocolate seizes up, gets lumpy, and is no longer useable.
If you don’t own a double boiler, I actually recommend using a microwave. You can microwave your chocolate at 15-30 second intervals, stirring in between until smooth.
But this is master level stuff.
Double Boiler time.
Once my double boiler is simmering, the chocolate goes in and slowly melts down. My favorite technique for getting my balls coated in chocolate (TWSS!), is to take one of the now hard cold spheres, dip one side in the chocolate, spear it on the chocolate side with a stick, swirl it in the chocolate to cover the remainder, tap off excess, and set aside to dry/cool. They’ll harden faster than you think because the balls in the center are cold. Nifty, huh?
Once the chocolate has hardened, I twist the cake balls off the stick and reuse them for the next round. I usually stick the uncoated cake balls back in the freezer in between so that they stay good and firm.
When all the cake balls are coated and dry, its time to decorate.
PART 3: EYEBALL IT UP
This part is super fun. You get to paint eyeballs. Creepy eyeballs. Lots of them.
For the decorating, I like liquid food coloring better than gel. Its easier to paint on and dries pretty quickly.
I started with three small portion bowls. In one went blue food coloring, red in the next, and in the final I mixed blue, yellow, and green to get an odd, zombie-like brown/black.
Dot in the center for a pupil. Smear a circle of blue around it for an iris. And then I got to have fun, cuz I’d put a little drop of red in a few places, and then smear it around with a toothpick for that “freshly-plucked-out-of-Mat-Cauthon‘s-skull” look. Set each one to dry!
Eventually you will have rows of little bloody eyeballs to give out to the little children. Or devour. Or just look at you, watching…always watching. (President Hoodie is upset with me because mine are staring at him from the counter right now. :3)