Schubmodul – HR Giger Counter – Curve – Nnja Riot – album reviews

This time on the reviews page we give you the Psychedelic Stoner rock of Schubmodul. The salvagepunk of HR Giger Counter. The layered electronics and guitars in the reissue of the Anxious Recordings of Curve and the experimental songscapes of Nnja Riot. Read about and listen to them below.

Schubmodul – Lost In Kelp Forest

Tonzonen Records

This is a hugely heavy instrumental album telling the story of a doomed submarine travelling down into the depths and losing itself and its crew in a haze of psychedelic psychosis deep in an immense Kelp Forest deep below the surface. The story is told through strategically placed spoken word interludes acting as news broadcasts or diary entries. But it’s not those that make this album worth finding and cherishing. No, that would be the heaviness of the guitars and the emotional impact of the music. Its hard drumming base merely provides the foundation for the sound to echo across the abyss and further, to spiral up through the fading light and to convey the madness inside the vessel as it dies. This album is absorbing and addictive.

HR Giger Counter – What Do The Atoms Hold For Us?

Cruel Nature Recordings

This is the work of ‘two salvagepunks with a shared love of classic 20th century sci-fi and horror pulp media.’ What exactly a salvagepunk is, well, I guess it’s someone that collects old shite and turns it into workable and disjoined newer shite then in this case, makes noises with it and builds something quite remarkable. I’m not doing a track by track review as there are far too many things squeezed and prised into every track for me to work around. Suffice to say, this is like the electrons shooting around the mind of a two year old who has just had a litre bottle of pepsi max, three packets of blue smarties and all the sherbert they can eat. It’s bonkers. It is overpowering, immersive to the point of suffocating and just, well, bonkers. The electronic noises and samples they use just tip your brain over into madness.

Having said all that, the only way you are going to get this review is if you listen to the damn thing, so get on it.

Curve: Unreadable Communication – Anxious Recordings 1991-1993

Cherry Red Records

Big bombastic beats, distorted guitar riffs and notes falling down all around, synth waves all over it and that voice, Toni Halliday has a way of singing that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Weird and proud of it, Curve were great. 

CD One gives you the first four EPs and as such, it’s a good listen. It makes me think of indie discos back in time. There’s no obvious filler and the songs tend to stick to the same formula except at times they get a bit more spaced out and open. 

CD Two is their first album, Doppelganger and tracks from releases around it. I don’t remember the reviews at the time. I would have read them as I bought the music papers every week. But listening to it now I like it a lot, it’s a dense layered sound with beautiful powerful vocals all over it. To say that Garbage may have taken aspects of this sound  is possibly understating the obvious. It still stands as a good record today. The extra tracks add to its impact and the final song on the disc, the cover of I Feel Love is wonderful.

CD Three’s Cuckoo, their second and last album on Anxious records, it starts off harder than the material that came before and continues on its dense bass heavy route, it’s definitely a step on from Doppelganger as it has more depth and space, it’s less dense and more layered sounds. 

CD Three is Live and Remixed tracks. I’m not a huge fan of live records. The two tracks here do not add to my enjoyment of the box set. I mean most of this side is pretty superfluous until you get to the Aphex Twin’s remix of Falling Free which for nearly eight minutes is just a thing of beauty. The rest of the versions and remixes on the disc are well worth a listen, but they are not as good as Falling Free by any means.

This is a collection of the recordings released on Anxious and as such it’s an excellent collection of music. It’s aged far less than I thought it would have and shows just how much Curve influenced what came after.

Nnja Riot – Violet Fields

Cruel Nature Recordings

Nnja Riot builds songs around her voice, in another dimension this could be a singer songwriter with an acoustic guitar singing gently to a crowded room. Instead it’s a singer songwriter surrounded by synths, samples, beats and static singing in a haze of technology and cables. It’s just brilliant. The way her voice winds around the sounds and disappears back into the noise and just quietly dictates the mood of each track, almost defying the feel of the demonic beats or the exotic synth lines. Some are horribly scary, others are sweat slicked and bright but every track needs exploration and absorption. A collection of sound on the edge. Just not the edge I was expecting.

Schubmodul are on Facebook, Instagram and have a Bandcamp page.

HR Giger Counter have a Bandcamp page.

Curve’s website is, they are also on Instagram, Facebook and Bandcamp.

Nnja Riot is on Facebook and Bandcamp.

All words by Adrian Bloxham

Adrian Bloxham

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