Habitat is Beliefs’ third album and continues in a dark post-punk mood towards tough shoegaze and edgy noise-pop. It’s a scratchy and fraught experience from the duo, with Jesse Crowe’s vocals adding a swooping menace to Josh Korody’s anxious guitar and sounds being deconstructed and chopped up to terrifying effect.
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My goodness. By sounds of the opening tracks here we might...at last...have a band that take the best bits from shoegaze and post punk but make something new from it rather than rehashing the past.
Opener '1994' is just like that year. Bleak and slightly scary. It's like the early Cure were crossed with Lali Puna and told to make something that would perfectly soundtrack that time you looked onto a bleak field just as darkness approached. 'Retreat (Light the Fire)' shows a willingness to experiment with sound textures and weird electronica. That they can't keep this up over the course of the album is the tragedy of my day as they then become almost painfully weird. 'Divided Youth' and in particular 'Comb' are terrifically hard work to plough through. Swathes of post Suicide sludge with ranting vocals and out there instrumentation. Doubly frustrating as when they head back to their original plan on 'All Things Considered' the results are splendid. This is just great - flanged guitars meshing with fuzzed bass, sleek post punk rhythms and brilliantly icy vocals.
At their best they are one of the few bands I've heard who try to take the Joy Division sound somewhere new but the album is full of experiments that don't always work. I'd prefer them to fall down in glory trying something though than the endless spew of safe regurgitation found elsewhere.
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