originally published 8 january 2020 on rateyourmusic.com
Hey guys, happy (?) new year!
So I am legitimately furious at myself for having not discovered this album sooner. And then again, maybe I wasn't ready for it until now??? It's. Amazing. I knew on the first listen I was gonna give it five stars.
I will begin by saying, this is a fantastic album to fall asleep on a plane to, which is what I did on the first listen. I usually don't take naps in public, but I was going on two hours of sleep; and incidentally, my decision to demo this album on the plane was a fantastic one because its detached, reverberant quality fit itself perfectly into the hot confusion of my half-consciousness. A wonderful companion. But that's not the only reason I love this album. It's... kind of like Joy Division or maybe The Cure (two bands I've unfortunately found little enjoyment in so far), except it has this thoroughly intriguing three-dimensional atmosphere. Like the way the bassline bounces off the walls in Bloodhail, or the contrast between the flat metronome beeps and the echoing vocals in Holy Fucking Shit: 40,000, or the percussion in Hunter??? I found myself spending that entire nine-minute track struggling to visualize the drum setup - how does the snare/cymbal sound so echoey, but the kick sounds so... idk. Mushy? Distorted? Okay I'm aware of distortion effects. But it's just such an unnatural sound among such an organic landscape. And in fact, a lot of the tracks can be described like that: unnatural things among organic landscapes. It's a kind of creativity I have never heard before. Also - let me just say that I Don't Love is one of the most amazing tracks I have heard in my entire life.
I know I hype up a whole lot of albums; I tend more toward awe than disappointment when it comes to new music, and in the case of the latter I would rather forget about it than write a whole entry on it. But that is NOT to diminish the level of awe I felt with this album. This one will be on repeat for a while, folks.