Saturday, August 25, 2012

Disappears' "Lux": Music Review

Punchy, catchy, doom-laden, this brief album packs a lot of gloom into sinister riffs recalling Joy Division's sepulchral power combined with the Velvet Underground's experimentation, Spacemen 3's drone, the Black Angels' intensity, and The Fall's chants. To name a few influences. As I love those bands, I love this.

Yes, it may not be totally fresh, but its attention to detail from its forebears enhances the rush of these short terms barked and hammered out. Lots of reverb, a bit of Krautrock (not much as the songs are so short), and while two slower ones ("Little Ghost" for Velvets in one mood; "No Other" for another Velvets mood!) seem longer than they are due to a more sluggish tempo, they don't drag the pace of the more frenetic ones, even if it ends on a weary note. Strongest for me is the yammering "Marigold," which could go on forever, and the first three tunes: the opening postpunk of "Gone Completely," "Magics," which somehow makes me wonder what a sexier PiL early on might have stumbled upon, and the swaggering "Pearly Gates," which almost derails itself with a propulsive beat.

The sound of related bands such as The Men and Crystal Stilts from NYC can be heard here, also, as on "Not Nothing," which reminds me of early New York punk as well as today's admirers. The title track echoes like a subway through a tunnel in that German style (the album cover evokes Neu!, too). "Old Friend" amps it up into a frenetic post-punk assault, and "New Cross" recalls Mark E. Smith's later efforts.

I recommend this 2010 release from the eminent Kranky label highly, if you are a fan of the bands referenced above. It careens and caroms into bursts of power. It's brash, it's confident, and it's solid. (See also my reviews of albums #2, "Guider" and #3, ""Pre Language") (Amazon US 7-6-12)

No comments: