This is the long anticipated début release from the remains of the band who were once The Dead Lay Waiting. With the change of personnel they have ditched the cartoon Goth overtones and considerably hardened up their sound, taking it into a more grown-up realm. But, my distrust of things super-heavy and grunty is well documented, so I approach records like this with plenty of caution.
Indeed, the vocals do sound rather Wookie-like much of the time. I know there are lyrics, I recognised many of them, but I swear some are actually “aarrragghuuhw uggguh hnnnhrrhhh”, which according to an online translator is Wookie for Sleep Inertia. However, with this record, I managed to engage with the extraordinary range of sounds lead vocalist Jamie creates, connecting to the bizarre sense and rhythm they have.
Musically, there are plenty of huge, crunching riffs, but they maintain an extraordinary melody to them. Likewise the complex rhythms and time signatures, which, like a schizophrenic serial killer toy with you mercilessly; one minute bludgeoning you over the head with all the subtlety of a brick, then the next sneaking up behind you to slip a stiletto into your ribs.
This contradiction is the trump card for the band; whilst this is a brutal sonic assault on the senses, it is not over done. These are actual songs in a traditional sense, they go on a journey, with light and dark shades, movement and a peculiar grace, although it has to be said, this it is more ninja than ballerina.
Never did I predict I would like this and I certainly don’t understand it, but that is the beauty of music, sometimes the sounds are as eloquent as the words.
original version published in The Ocelot Magazine February 2015