Having established himself in LA’s music scene, collaborating with such hardcore heavyweights as The HIRS Collective, Christopher Patrick Gregory launched his solo project Belted Sweater as an outlet for—in his own words—“shouting about gay shit” over a bedrock of synths and percussion. While that mission statement originally referred to lyrics about Grindr hookups and other subjects of queer culture, his latest release is an experiment in exploring others’ music through the distinct sound palette he’s created, specifically synth-punk staples spanning a quarter century—from Killing Jokes’ 1980 single “Requiem” to The Rapture’s early-’00s anthem “House of Jealous Lovers,” along with a stop in the late-’80s with Sisters of Mercy’s “Dominion.”
The result fascinatingly combines coldwave’s icy textures with Belted Weather’s penchant for throaty screams nearly lifted from the realm of black metal. According to Gregory, the three recordings came together in the early stages of the pandemic. “I had just put out my first album in December of 2020, and couldn’t play shows,” he shares of the period of downtime. “Stuck at home, playing every Soulsborne game, I was listening to a lot of goth/post-punk/industrial records I loved as an angsty teen, while trying and mostly failing to beat the ridiculous bosses. I started thinking that it would be fun to try adding a cover or two to a future live set, but put the idea aside once shows started back up, focusing on playing the album material live.
“Fast-forward to last winter, I had finished writing my second record and was ready to track drums, but the studio had a six month backlog,” he continues. “So I decided to use my time productively instead of playing Dark Souls knockoffs (I see you, Mortal Shell) and actually work on a few covers. I started by first testing them out live, then eventually recorded the EP and the upcoming second full length at the same time.”
Hear the results below before the EP officially drops tomorrow.