Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Report to the Dance Floor- Gazelle Twin : "Unflesh"

Elizabeth Burnholz has gone off the deep end into full blown electronica on her sophomore release. The Brighton goth siren already had one foot in the door ,so this is neither as shocking or as awkward of a transition as it was for Liars. The title track opens with some dark wobbling and harmonized vocals, before almost industrial beats start rocking it. The cadence to her vocals , reminds me of Peaches, perhaps if she was having a lesbian love in with Imogen Heap. The vocals are heavily alter and overdubbed, this is the sort of weirdness Mike Patton would be proud to call his own. The ghost of witch-house haunts this one .

Things take deeper and darker turns into insanity "Guts" is almost like a cross between Death Grips and Die Antwoord. The effects some of the synths have slathered on them will dizzy you. If Fever Ray took more drugs it might come out like this."Exorcise"  takes a page from Pink Floyd's book in it takes it time to  to bubble up from "Guts". This finds the albums first real hook sinking. Where was this album when I was doing drugs?  The fragile vocal of "Good Death" shows  Bunholz's desire to to find a balance between capturing cool sounds and actually writing songs. Not that she has to shy away from being abrasive in doing so or follow any conventions. The synth has an almost industrial hammer on the syncopated "Anti Body". This album wants to lure you out onto the dance floor floor and into a k-hole.

There's the all to brief vocal mesmerism to the  dream like interlude of "Child"'s that is basically the  intro another display of her delicate vocal centric "Premonition". Hard pressed to find an album more atmosphere than this one, it's almost like building castles in the clouds as there is little to support her vocals, aside the pitter of electric rain in fairy land. This album works best under the bizarre throb of songs like "Belly of the Beast. Bunzholz's phrasing sometimes fools you into thinking she is not speaking English.The narcotic of pulse of "Human Touch" shows roots in 90's trip hop. She is both darker and more surreal than  the icons of that genre such as  Tricky or Massive Attack.She throws dashes of world music into her cauldron.

"I Feel Blood" has no shortage emotion to make up for moments when Elizabeth might have been more invested in the sonic phantasmagoria than putting her soul into torturing her effects unit. She returns to more industrial leanings on "Still Life". Her layers of spectral vocals continues to prove just as effective on the last song of the album as it was on the first. This album also continues to keep a good thing going, it's no sophomore slump, in fact it is one of the more spell binding experimental albums you will hear as it carries a very tangent melancholy. I'll give it a 9.5, some of her side trips into the noise spawned at the edges of the songs takes her focus off the song at hand, but overall the album balances itself out in a way that makes this forgivable. 

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