Cloakroom – Dissolution Wave (2022 Relapse Records)

Artist: Cloakroom

Album: Dissolution Wave (2022)

Label: Relapse Records

Genre: Shoegaze / Post-Hardcore / Alternative Rock

Record Store: Puscifer the Store, Jerome, Arizona

Shoegaze as a genre is experiencing a small renaissance in the underground rock community. Hum returned after an extended hiatus by diving head first into bludgeoning post-metal soundscapes; harsher black metal acts like Deafheaven have gradually softened their edges to reveal the smooth, dream pop center hidden underneath; and fellow Relapse Records brethren Nothing continue to hone a thoroughly contemporary brand of shoegazy alternative rock. As excellent as all these bands and records are, Cloakroom’s newest long player Dissolution Wave may be the strongest of them all.

While my roommate was adamant that Cloakroom merely sounds like ‘a hundred alternative rock bands I used to listen to in the 90’s’, I’m not sure I can write them off so quickly. Yes, the reverb, the choruses, and the overall vibe of Dissolution Wave may carry a sheen of nostalgia for the slowcore of the mid 90’s, but the songwriting and atmosphere elevate the music to the upper echelon. The washed out, almost ambient nature of much of the music makes Dissolution Wave go down smooth regardless of whether you’re listening to it actively or as background music. A truly stellar effort from a scene that hopefully has much more to reveal down the pike.

Thomas Jacob Jr is a Producer, Composer, Singer-Songwriter, Music Educator and Digital Artist currently based in Arizona – Bringing us rare and interesting selections from his extensive Vinyl collection! For more content follow his vinyl-dedicated Instagram account

ブラックマジック (Black Magic), by Zer0 れい


Lush, expansive, mysteriously nostalgic – Zer0 れい‘s latest full length project BLACK MAGIC is all of these things and more.

Propelling forward into interesting sonic territory, Black Magic feels like taking a slew of concepts and throwing them in a haunted blender – producing some sort of thick coffee sludge that is heavenly and rich. Zer0 れい does a magnificent job swirling together influences from Vaporwave, Mallsoft, Industrial Techno and Dark Ambient – crafting something quite unique and energetic.

One thing I immediately appreciated about this record was the attention to flow between tracks. After spinning it down twice I was noticing how fluid everything felt – much more than just a collection of tracks, attention to the detail in track listing and connections between the pieces gives me some kinda bizarre satisfaction!

My personal favorite track has got to be Smokescreen – the raw stoner guitar riffing behind absolutely massive atmospheric pads, percussion swirling all around – creating such an amazing vibe! I have found myself in traffic with this riff in my head, swooping in to fill in the spaces of my mind.

The whole project has a darkness to it – but it’s almost nostalgic, leaving the listener removed to an extent – allowing appreciation without over-saturation. Sometimes a producer will attempt to force gloom and doom down the listeners throat – which is not always in tune with how I am feeling emotionally, leading to some sort if detachment – but Black Magic finds a way to ride the melancholy wave with just a suggestion of existential dread.

It’s always thrilling seeing a producer grow and expand – this being Zer0 れい‘s first vinyl release – and it is the perfect candidate for wax in my opinion. The concept of the long-playing album is alive and well, look no further! You can grab the digital or physical copies via BRC30 Productions Bandcamp page.