Synthwave Sunday: Reznyck, MUSCLE CARdiac
When I first started writing Synthwave Sunday the idea was to bridge the metal world with the retrofuturist synthwave/retrowave/outrun scene, especially the harder-edged stuff coming out of the latter. That so many synthwave artists had backgrounds in metal — on top of the music’s dark, sinister vibes — made that task seamless.
But it turns out the synthwave world as way more varied than I ever thought. What started as an exploration of a type of music I viewed as having a multitude of similarities to metal ended up yielding a whole cadre of excellent artists that were more straight-up pop than anything: Gunship, Mitch Murder and September 87 are just a few of the artists on synthwave’s softer side that have become some of my favorites.
But this is a metal site after all, so today we’re gonna get right back to it with Reznyck, whose July 2015 EP MUSCLE CARdiac goes as hard as anything that’s been featured in this space. The pulsing, gyrating beat of “Ebolada” is a great place to start, the drums and bass in perfect, Decapitated-like lockstep and searing synth leads on top that would feel just as at home with a Black Dahlia Murder riff as they do here. The slowdown to half-time at the 3:00 mark is as un-subtle a nod to metal as it gets, and it’s the first time I can ever recall hearing such a classic metal maneuver in a synthwave song. Similarly, the lead synth line in the chorus of “Chevrolexomyl” could’ve come right of Mark Morton’s fretboard. Meanwhile “Chryslerpés” makes no illusions about what it is: a rock song arranged for electronic instruments (with some heavily distorted guitar rhythms thrown in for good measure). The rest of the EP goes hard, too: get out of your chair, spread your legs in a wide stance and just start headbanging. Might seem odd in theory, but it works incredibly well, trust me.
Stream MUSCLE CARdiac below via Bandcamp. Reznyck — a Frenchman (of course) who’s also the booking agent for some metal bands (Thot, Trepalium) and several fellow synthwave artists (Dan Terminus, Perturbator, Gost) — promises us a full length by October of this year.