San Francisco duo Jess Labrador and Shannon Madden purge the stresses of being artists in almost hostile cities with My Bloody Valentine esque walls of sustained guitar chords that aren’t quite drones, with straight hitting drum programming all topped with subtle vocal harmonies that Julianna Barwick might write. Harsh and angry but quite stunning.
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Chasms are a duo of Shannon Madden and the remarkably monikered Jess Labrador. They have here retrieved a kind of dark gothy shoegaze that reminds me of what it must have been like to be miserable in 1984. 'Black Ice' sounds like if the Cocteau Twins discovered dry ice. It's all swirly and harmonic but has big gothy production with a rather gruesome guitar solo attached. The girls harmonies tangle sweetly round each other and remind me of early Lush. The 'Victorialand' era Cocteau's feel continues on 'Being Flesh' which also utilises their drum machine and swirling guitars set up. Those guitars switch from fuzzed up to jangle-some as the chorus takes hold. The sound is rather delicious but with vocals this way buried you ain't going to be singing along anytime soon.
I'm quite enjoying this record in a kind of guilty pleasures way. It's as doomy as anything on 4AD that wore a raincoat but on 'We'll Go' they kind of blend 'Soft As Snow' era MBV to Dead Can Dance to gloomy effect. A good record to sit worrying about the world while it snows outside.
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