Enemies List first released 'Deathconsciousness', the project of home recording duo Have a Nice Life (Dan Barrett and Tim Macuga), in 2008. You can't sum this thing up in one genre description alone: it takes on torrid post-punk, Sunn O))) stylised drone, Stars of the Lid-esque ambient, industrial, shoegaze and doom metal, uniting them all around Barrett's deep depression, which was itself disguised in the record's highly-conceptual narrative about the obscure Itlain writer Antiochus -- the record came with a seventy-page booklet about him. Since then, Have a Nice Life have released their second record, 'The Unnatural World', on the Flenser, who have kindly helped them reissue the monolithic 'Deathconsciousness' too: the huge booklet remains, and so does the ridiculously ambitious record it was made for.
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We've got another album of ambitious gothy synth-indie type business from Have A Nice Life, who nobody in the office seems to know anything about but whose records fly off our shelves regardless. It's come to me to try and write about it, which is a daunting task because this double LP comes with a big thick book full of background material (from a quick flick through the illustrated collection of essays and poems I get the impression it's semi-fictional folkloric stuff along similar lines to the big fat book that comes with the excellent new English Heretic CD).
The liner notes state that this album was created between 2002 and 2007 "for a total cost of about $1000, including the printing of the CDs and book" (I bet this fancy vinyl pressing cost more than that though)...and in true 2007 fashion there's a myspace address provided. Most importantly, though, this is a good album, for the most part a mixture of Echo and the Bunnymen downbeat guitar pop and Depeche Mode-meets-Zola Jesus synthpop, but when they stray into more experimental and nihilistic areas it can get really interesting. My favourite track here is 'The Future', a bit of dreamy synthpop with some breathy 'ooh-ooh' vocals meeting some more urgent Pall Jenkinsisms, but the whole thing is swathed in a crackling mist of static as if it's being heard through a badly tuned transistor radio in dreamy goth-gaze delirium. Closer 'Earthmover' is a similarly effective mixture of broken industrial noise and gothy post-punk shimmer. Loads to get your teeth into here.
9/10 Craig Customer review, 17th September 2014
Not my normal genre of music but I stumbled accross Bloodhail with its rumbling bassline and wanted to know more. This is a dark, dark album with quite often truly depressing lyrics but somehow by the end of the experience you cant help feel uplifted by it all.
The vinyl pack is also a great product with a thick booklet that comes with with it and was fantastically packed by Norman records.
I would give this album a 10 but there are a couple of songs that just break the flow somewhat but much like the latest Swans albums its the lengthy tracks that really add a world of depth to this album. A good vinyl setup is also recomended as the bass at times is deep especially the album closer Earthmover.
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- Deathconsciousness by Have A Nice Life
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