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Well I never. One of those numerous acts on the Captured Tracks imprint has made quite a stunning album here. All the long-players on this relatively young label so far have been pretty damn fine, but there's summat about Luis Vasquez's dystopian motorik doom pop that is decidedly remarkable. Although there are percussive elements that recall Joy Division at their most possessed & a murky malevolent edge reminiscent of CT head honcho Sniper's Blank Dogs, this is altogether a trippier, more riveting affair than any lazy 'post-punk' comparisons would suggest. There's been totally valid discussion in this office about what constitutes "goth-rock". Some quarters here equate this artist of Afro-Cuban heritage and his impressive oeuvre with that whole comical white powdered face brigade and their stentorian prattling, "icy" drum machines & "spectral" guitars. I totally beg to differ - the only true similarities present here are the relative desolation & detachment that you'd expect from someone retreating to the outer reaches of modern indie rock. This is a very strange, dark & wired album, chock full of hypnotic, repetitive voodoo rhythms. The songs are constantly interjected with wonderfully eerie guitar lines, occasional probing, sci-fi synths & otherworldly astral atmospherics - not to mention the fuzzy, hollow & plain weird "bass" strides throughout (thinks in terms of Will Heggie's playing on the Cocteaus' Garlands). The vocals veer between longing, isolated intonations, breathless wooshing gusts or wild, heavily processed alien hiccups. No fucking Eldritch here. Or anything approaching normality. Some songs remind me slightly of what the Frenchman Colder was trying to achieve years ago, but in a much more free-spirited, nihilistic & breathtaking manner. This was strongly considered for album of the week but seeing as though we're a total set of dirge-rock heads here, this bleak & futuristic head-fuck will just have to settle for a (very) hearty slap on the back. You know what to do though...CD & vinyl elpee to come.....
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