It’s already been over a week since I’ve seen Carpenter Brut and Youth Code in Brussels at the Anciennce Belgique. A busy week at work prevented me from getting on this article sooner but that doesn’t make me less excited. In all honesty this has been the most excited I’ve been in a while to write an article. I counted down the days to the 17th of March and licked my lips once I got a taste of that sweet, delicious synthwave. Their latest record has been spinning every day since their show and I’m not planning on stopping it any time soon. Carpenter Brut set the record straight and showed us who are the current masters of synthwave.
Before Carpenter Brut was up we got a round of something else. Youth Code (****) was, well… something else. The duo produced a very filthy sound that I simply haven’t heard before. The duo features Sara Taylor armed with a microphone and Ryan George positioned steady behind his synths. The result is a mixture of electronic body music (EBM), industrial and hardcore punk. A whole spectrum of electronic music I hadn’t been in touch with, up until now. As the crowd was steadily growing Youth Code played a very energetic show. Their music doesn’t exactly fall in line with Carpenter Brut but it felt like they did manage to surprise the crowd with their unexpected sound.
I had zero expectations of Youth Code as I hadn’t listened to anything before this show. They’re a bit like Kombucha, that fermented tea that’s more alive than the steak you had last night for dinner. Your initial reaction is like kombu-what? Your first taste experience leaves your taste buds feeling violated. But once you get into it you’re more like: “sure, why not, it works.” Youth Code was exactly that process, it’s an odd mix at first but it really works well. Go ahead and have a taste I say. Trust me, you’ll love that gritty, dark electronic music.
Before you start reading on Carpenter Brut (*****), have a quick look at the video above, then skip this part on how good their show was and get yourself some tickets asap. If you’re not convinced then don’t bother reading beyond this sentence, re-evaluate your life’s priorities and then buy tickets to their show. Honestly, if Carpenter Brut hasn’t been the best discovery I’ve made in the past five years, I don’t know what is. I had the honor and luxury to see them at Dour nearly a year ago, back to back with Perturbator. A synthwave Valhalla became that night.
As soon as their show popped up on the website of the Anciennce Belgique, I knew I had to relive that whole experience. Loaded with an arsenal of new songs they unleashed a barrage of what is true musical ecstasy. A set that was over way too soon, filled with the best of their songs (if that’s not all of them). A fantastic live LED screen as backdrop completed it all with the occasional lyrics to sing along or even Baphomet himself.
Now, when you’re reading this it’s obvious I’m a very big fan of this band and I’m clearly biased in my writing. There’s something about Carpenter Brut that just does the trick for me, there’s not a single song on any of their albums I’d skip. Their records play from start to finish, every. Single. Time. They play a very niche genre (in the whole spectrum of music) but at the same time appeal to such a broad audience. You had your fair share of obvious metalheads, but even in that section of the audience there was a lot of diversity. I guess a lot of people simply want to relive the 80’s and I wouldn’t complain.
They package their sound within the context of a live band, combining some solid guitar work, tight drums and that synth sound we all love so much. Every note that leaves the speakers just sounds right and songs that are shamelessly catchy will run through your head for weeks to come. Songs where you simply have to sing along, no exception. Synthwave times 666 is what Carpenter Brut does and they do it oh so well. I’d sell my single kidney to see them back to back with Perturbator again. If Carpenter Brut reigns over hell I’m already halfway there.