9/10 Brian Staff review, 23 November 2012
Oh bloody hell here come the goths again. My mate used to come to Leeds just to go goth spotting and believe me, there was a fair amount of the pasty-faced miserablists shuffling around back in the ‘80s. I think they stay in their caves more of late, Leeds is a bit too cosmopolitan these days! Problem with me is that whilst many of us find much of the subculture a little mirth-inducing, I really love a lot of the music, especially contemporary gear like The Soft Moon and the excellent Black Marble from NY.
This Gothenberg duo are really quite something. I've missed their previous material Most of it is on esoteric cassettes and split vinyls that are now more sought after than God's drug-stash. I must have played this astonishing album about eight times now in the last week. No wonder I get nothing else done.
'Behind Curtains' is really reminiscent of early Cold Cave. Resolutely murky and lo-fi, it retains a catchy minimal synth pop demeanour behind its Robert Smith-stuck-in-an-icy-vortex shopfront. I just love those melancholic waspish synth lines. The next track is a more propulsive dancier thing that shares some similar decaying aquatic vibes to the recent Pye Corner Audio album. Lovely austere grainy distorted keys on this. Grand stuff. Vocals miserable and sullen as usual. Excellent. 'We Planted a Seed' carries a sinister Carpenter-esque heart-monitor synth line, cold-war noise terror and cool icy electronic tones. A dark tune indeed.
Then the neo-club-slayer that is 'Champagne'. This track musically shares that Pye Corner feel as well. This is dance music that reeks of dystopia and depth-charge desperation. Overloaded fizzing banks of elegiac synths, a fantastic strutting beat and this lost-at-sea on a smoke filled floor vocal chant that seems to be enquiring as to the location of that last bottle of bubbly. Maybe he shouldn't have had that line of ketamine before setting off the dry ice. Bless.I could go on for ages about how good this is. But I'm all out of ecstatic verbage. I think they share some similarities with NY's excellent Led Er Est too. If you like the bleaker end of minimal wave and music tinged with an industrial-noir patina then this morbid bunker-pop gem is the record for you this week, and any other.
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