Following the success of ‘A Fistful Of Desert Blues’, Lydia Lunch & Cypress Grove have expanded their collaborative powers to include the nihilist folk sounds of Spiritual Front. The resulting ‘Twin Horses’ is an intensely soulful musical bonding between the sensual, cathartic folk of Simone Salvatori and the down beat, acoustic blues of Lydia Lunch.
8/10 Robin Staff review, 16 June 2015
This particular duo continue to be sombre as a fallen tree, following up their rather exceptional work together on ‘A Fistful of Desert Blues’ with more earth-scorched folk. Opener “Death Is Hanging Over Me” sounds like a two-headed Nick Cave sharing a guitar with himself; when Lydia Lunch and Cypress Grove harmonise, they sound lonelier than ever, as if merely affirming their post-apocalyptic slumber with each other and then going their separate ways.
Lunch’s vocal is perfectly suited to this sort of wasteland folk music: around clattering ambience and minor key strums, her voice crackles with resignation, not fear. She growls like one of the Sun City Girls members on “Unholy Ghosts”, surrounded by creaking sound effects and discordant piano chords as other voices slither in and out. The smoky guitar and distant harmonica of “Put You Down” creates an indecent landscape for her to do her best drifting Tom Waits impression on. “Hotel California” sees her twist an ominous rock ‘n’ roll standard into something actually disturbing, with scarring noise sending her honouring cover haywire.
They work well together, these two, and they understand that sounds beautiful and ugly are counterparts, not counterpoints. The bold arrangements of “My Name Is Written In The Ashes of Mouraria” are sparse but occasionally flourishing, trumpet fading into nylon-string strums that sound limp and trembling. ‘Twin Horses’ can be a horror flick or a slow waltz, but it’s always a good story.
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- Twin Horses by Lydia Lunch & Cypress Grove / Spiritual Front
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