Hanging By Faith contains four remixes from Seismic, the 2017 album by ethereal goth metalers, Spotlights.The 5-track EP features remixes by Kris Dirksen, Mario Quintero, Aaron Harris, Void Manes and is rounded off with a cover of The Cure’s Faith. The Brooklyn-based three-piece balance dark, powerful, light and delicate with aplomb. Limited edition white vinyl LP on Ipecac.
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When reviewing this five track release from the ever-so dark and deep Spotlights, it is very important to have had a fresh listen to the track the EP is based on: Faith by The Cure. Anyone who is a fan of The Cure will understand that, like Spotlights, they also share a similar road of sadness, gloom and the general feeling of being fed up. What The Cure aren't, however, are a three-piece doomgaze band from New York. (Okay, you can argue that the drummer is only a live drummer, but let's be inclusive here. It's a tough old world at the moment).
This record contains four remixes from the bands previous release: Seismic. The first is a remix by Kris Dirksen and of the track Hang Us All, and renamed The Hanging. Dirksen manages to capture that aching sense of melancholy and irritable sadness that the band had managed to also capture in the original release. The second track, Till Darkness Comes, is from Mario Quintero and a remix of the track Ghost of a Glowing Forest. Now, I remember this track very well, because it was probably my favourite track on the original record. Here, Quintero is able to not only reignite the song from the ashes of whatever doomgaze fire was burning during the recording of the original, but makes it even better... as remixes often can do. His use of sound effects and sound manipulation breathes the track a whole new life. He makes it atmospheric, and almost nostalgic in nature. If you close your eyes and listen with decent in-ear earphones you'll see what I mean. Remember folks, this is a review, you'll have to do some of the work for yourself.
So far, so good. Track three is a remix by Aaron Harris of the track Seismic that has been renamed Sudden Violent Movement. I'm not too sure if this was done intentionally, but track two and three merge into each other almost seamlessly. It's a feature that I really respect in electronic music and remixes using electronic sounds. Harris has chosen to keep the use of real sounding percussion alongside a renewed sense of modernity and eerie sounds. It sounds a little like it could be a bridge track in a post-hardcore metal record. It's a really nice sounding track. Just give it some time and it'll soon grow on you. Onto the final track that is a remix. Originally called The Size of a Planet, renamed Ice Giant and remixed by Void Manes. Possibly renamed Ice Giant because the first minute or so sounds like what I imagine being trapped inside a glacier would sound like. Theoretically, of course. What Void Manes has managed to do here is keep the original sound, but give it a fresh lick of paint. It's still creepy, gloomy and doomy and it's a great end to a great bunch of remixes of a great album.
Now, onto the big one. The cover of Faith by The Cure. Hm. Hm, indeed. I hate hearing one thing in one ear, and something different in the other. It isn't even panning, it's just literally one thing in one ear, and something different in the other. It's annoying. Alas, I'll move past that and review the music for what it is, or imagine what it would be like listening to it on loud speakers. It's honestly quite good. After listening to it for a good minute and a half you kind of forget that annoying one ear/one sound thing as the layers build up. It's actually quite hypnotic. Something that really impresses me about Spotlights is how they're able to keep that bass sound tuned as low as possible. It's a cracking effect that lots of shoe/gloom/doom/dream-gaze bands use, but Spotlights are particularly good at it.
Overall a great collection of tracks as long as you're in the mood for some experimental remixes and a doomgaze cover of The Cure. Niche? Meh.
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