Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Grave Babies : " Crusher"

This Seattle band tries to claim to be influenced by Nirvana and Nine Inch Nail while pumping out from the hipster gutters some very intentionally under produced goth rock. It is not the first place we have seen 80s goth influences married to shoe gazing. Here it's domes in a very weird manner, the thick wall of fuzz My Bloody Valentine often applies is slapped on what would otherwise be very straight forward almost anthemic punk feel that album opens with.

The rough edged bass line of "Skulls" has enough of a pulse to keep you interested, while the vocals and the guitar moan for under the wall of grit they are obscured by almost in the same way a lot of witch house music was overdriven to create a dark cloud of static around it.

"Slaughter" is the first song that really connects with me as the vocals take on a more morose melody. "Count Cuts" has a melody that is not hampered even by the best attempts of the fuzzed out production. So live they are just going to be loud? Is that the solution ? The vocals seemed to be more often than not doubled up. "Breeding" sounds like I was listening to the Pyschedelic Furs while I the swimming pool and the Walkman feel into Torche water but kept playing. Maybe this is what Witch House morphs into when no one was looking. The melody to "Pain Cycle" is infectious despite for them trying to give you every reason not to like it In the presentation.

"No fear" also dances into the same dirty corner of the dance floor that " Love my Way " does. They way the vocals are recorded disguises if the vocals are in fact in key all the time or not, though there are hints that suggest they might not be, the songs are all on the shorter side, with pretty crude arrangements which are normally only two parts. In the case of "Blood on My Face" it's more thn enough s the choru is Ing poorly on purpoe nd only redeemed through the post chorus melody. "Death March" darkens things up, I have seen things written on this band saying there are parts that come close to being metal and since we actually know metal here I'd like to dispel that rumor.

Though the vocal melody is different the accompaniment to "Haunted" is very similar to some of the albums previous songs. The vocal melody on songs like this is the only thing that changes as the music just drones on behind them. "Hate Repeats" gets Joy Division on it and at only two minutes I think their intention was to keep it simple. The album closes with "Prostitution" another more in the Joy Division zip code, it's slower than the albums other fare. I like the lyrics on this more than the others songs. I think this song the production is justified but as a whole it does get a little monotonous and while the band would argue that it's part of their sound, I think it's slightly lazy on their part.

I like this album despite its hipster cop out. I think they could take a lesson from Merchandise who's new e.p even sounds better than their previous releases which had a similar sound. So with the Hipster irony factored in I have to round this down to a 7.5 as I think they are trying to justify the music they are making but trying to present it as hipster fair and there is not enough of any other element of the whole My Bloody Valentine sound to compensate for the underwater sound as nothing else is all that surreal.

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