ASHES Industrial SNVFF SNVFF is the brainchild of industrial and electronic musicians and producers Alicia May and Joey Alucvrd. Prior to "ASHES", the duo have launched two EPs, the first of which was "SNUFF" (yes, before they added the "V" into their name) which was released in 2014 under Blind Mice Productions. The digital only EP garnered an eight-and-a-half out of ten from myself. This score would repeat itself in 2016 when SNVFF self-released their EP "INTRAVENUS". At the time, I called them one of "Australia's hottest acts" and, thankfully, that thought has not gone away as "ASHES" dropped in October of last year. The EP is a six track release with a simple but alluring cover art showcasing both May and Alucvrd back-to-back. While May looks like she's chilling, possibly holding a knife behind her back, Alucvrd's growling face and posture makes me feel as if he's about to transform into either a vampire or a werewolf and bite the neck of the being that's bringing him such anger. The lighting of the shot is well done and the stark, black background doesn't drown out the goth-clad members of the band. Well done as far as aesthetics are concerned. But, as I always like to state with every review that I write, the cover art has naught to do with the score; it's just fun for me to explore.ASHES by SNVFFWhen I first hit the play button for "ASHES", I was delivered unto 'NIGHT KICKS' with a depressing, drawn out key from a piano as May's wonderfully mastered and quite possibly best-sounding vocals to date hit hard. Following that, a minimal industrial song with impressive percussive kicks, dual vocals from both members of the band, and an overall darkened atmosphere left me in awe. If 'NIGHT KICKS' was meant to show off the beautiful and haunting side of SNVFF, then 'SWITCH' brought me into the darkened corners of an underground electronic den. There's even a wonderful and cinematic dark ambient pause in the song where I heard footsteps and the threatening presence of May's voice saying, "Why don't you smile? Gimme a smile, babe." Though it is presented as a club song, it's also a vocal message against danger that's faced by people around the world. The lyrics do not hide this face with lines such as "Don't walk home alone / Just pretend that you're on the phone / Keep your keys in your fist / It shouldn't have to be like this". The title track of the EP 'ASHES' brings along acoustic guitar with attitude driven lyrics that seem to connect to the previous song. May sings, "I'm fucking in your ashes, babe (they don't want you to win) / Not tryna be offensive / I guess I was drawn that way". 'BLOW' brings us into breakbeat territory. I did not find this one to be as impressive as the previous songs; I think it just needed a bit more of a kick and a bit more bass to match the ferocity of the previous tracks. 'FRIENDS LIKE THESE' was another minimal industrial track utilizing fewer instruments and beats to make their song come to light. The ancient sound to it reminded me a bit of Gary Numan's recent work on the album "Savage (Songs from a Broken World)". The comparison is grandiose, nonetheless, as SNVFF sounds miles away from Numan's work as an entity all on their own. Simply phenomenal. The last track on "ASHES" is a beautiful piano work featuring the saddened vocals of May; it's a plea to a loved one and is easily understood just by the title of the song, 'PLEASE DON'T QUIT ME'. If all this isn't enough, there's a bonus track with the digital download of the album; a cover of 'I'M AFRAID OF AMERICANS' by David Bowie. Without spoiling too much, SNVFF does Bowie justice.The end of the review is usually where I would state that I can not wait to hear more from a project of this caliber, but the disheartening truth is that SNVFF is no more. The duo have decided to put an end to SNVFF to focus on other musical endeavors for the time being. Nonetheless, what we were left with SNVFF are three amazing EPs, each of which stand out in their own right. But SNVFF also ended off smart; "ASHES" is their best work out of the bunch with both Alucvrd's range of instrumentals and May's powerful voice mastering dark electronics, and stark, poignant lyrics. It's a shame to see them go, but the only thing that I can hope for is a physical release collecting all their works into one final package. "ASHES" is available to purchase on Bandcamp and it's well worth your money.  550
Brutal Resonance

SNVFF - ASHES

9.0
"Amazing"
Released off label 2021
SNVFF is the brainchild of industrial and electronic musicians and producers Alicia May and Joey Alucvrd. Prior to "ASHES", the duo have launched two EPs, the first of which was "SNUFF" (yes, before they added the "V" into their name) which was released in 2014 under Blind Mice Productions. The digital only EP garnered an eight-and-a-half out of ten from myself. This score would repeat itself in 2016 when SNVFF self-released their EP "INTRAVENUS". At the time, I called them one of "Australia's hottest acts" and, thankfully, that thought has not gone away as "ASHES" dropped in October of last year. 

The EP is a six track release with a simple but alluring cover art showcasing both May and Alucvrd back-to-back. While May looks like she's chilling, possibly holding a knife behind her back, Alucvrd's growling face and posture makes me feel as if he's about to transform into either a vampire or a werewolf and bite the neck of the being that's bringing him such anger. The lighting of the shot is well done and the stark, black background doesn't drown out the goth-clad members of the band. Well done as far as aesthetics are concerned. But, as I always like to state with every review that I write, the cover art has naught to do with the score; it's just fun for me to explore.



When I first hit the play button for "ASHES", I was delivered unto 'NIGHT KICKS' with a depressing, drawn out key from a piano as May's wonderfully mastered and quite possibly best-sounding vocals to date hit hard. Following that, a minimal industrial song with impressive percussive kicks, dual vocals from both members of the band, and an overall darkened atmosphere left me in awe. If 'NIGHT KICKS' was meant to show off the beautiful and haunting side of SNVFF, then 'SWITCH' brought me into the darkened corners of an underground electronic den. There's even a wonderful and cinematic dark ambient pause in the song where I heard footsteps and the threatening presence of May's voice saying, "Why don't you smile? Gimme a smile, babe." Though it is presented as a club song, it's also a vocal message against danger that's faced by people around the world. The lyrics do not hide this face with lines such as "Don't walk home alone / Just pretend that you're on the phone / Keep your keys in your fist / It shouldn't have to be like this". 

The title track of the EP 'ASHES' brings along acoustic guitar with attitude driven lyrics that seem to connect to the previous song. May sings, "I'm fucking in your ashes, babe (they don't want you to win) / Not tryna be offensive / I guess I was drawn that way". 'BLOW' brings us into breakbeat territory. I did not find this one to be as impressive as the previous songs; I think it just needed a bit more of a kick and a bit more bass to match the ferocity of the previous tracks. 

'FRIENDS LIKE THESE' was another minimal industrial track utilizing fewer instruments and beats to make their song come to light. The ancient sound to it reminded me a bit of Gary Numan's recent work on the album "Savage (Songs from a Broken World)". The comparison is grandiose, nonetheless, as SNVFF sounds miles away from Numan's work as an entity all on their own. Simply phenomenal. The last track on "ASHES" is a beautiful piano work featuring the saddened vocals of May; it's a plea to a loved one and is easily understood just by the title of the song, 'PLEASE DON'T QUIT ME'. If all this isn't enough, there's a bonus track with the digital download of the album; a cover of 'I'M AFRAID OF AMERICANS' by David Bowie. Without spoiling too much, SNVFF does Bowie justice.

The end of the review is usually where I would state that I can not wait to hear more from a project of this caliber, but the disheartening truth is that SNVFF is no more. The duo have decided to put an end to SNVFF to focus on other musical endeavors for the time being. Nonetheless, what we were left with SNVFF are three amazing EPs, each of which stand out in their own right. But SNVFF also ended off smart; "ASHES" is their best work out of the bunch with both Alucvrd's range of instrumentals and May's powerful voice mastering dark electronics, and stark, poignant lyrics. It's a shame to see them go, but the only thing that I can hope for is a physical release collecting all their works into one final package. "ASHES" is available to purchase on Bandcamp and it's well worth your money. 
Jan 25 2021

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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