This time Fighting Boredom focuses more towards noise, drone and strangeness. All these releases are emotional and huge sounding. The ‘nightmares and bliss’ of Edley ODowd, the ‘kaleidoscopic and evocative musical world’ of healthyliving, the ‘deep exploration of the cyclical consequences of unhealed grief’ of Lana Del Rabies and the ‘rhythmic complexity and repetition’ of Liturgy. Read what we thought of them all below.
This is all built on drones, static filled flows of noise, bass rumbles throbbing along with your pulse. High feedback whines and synth washes. It’s all layered on top of the drones so even with the beats and the bass, the vocal samples and the hissing steam you can still feel them, impassive, uncaring and all encompassing. The tracks are long and they could easily be longer, you’d still listen to them and you’d still lose yourself.
It has a very dystopian feel, a very brick dust and broken concrete smell, you can feel the dirt coating you as you listen and wander through the ruined landscapes. You can feel the broken metal and satellite solar wings tapping against the hull of the drifting spacecraft as your orbit decays and the world burns around you. You can hear the throb and thump of automated machinery keeping going even as there is no one left to work for.
It’s a bleak, long record and the beats, noises and washes just concentrate your mind enough to break away from the drone, but it only manages to distract for a second and then you are fully under the droning static bass river once again, clawing for the surface.
Songs of Abundance, Psalms of Grief
La Rubia Producciones
This record is all about the emotions in the grooves. The singer goes from enormous sounding guitars and drums to classic rock epic inspired sounds to subdued, quieter almost mainstream rock music but all with the same depth of emotion and care. It doesn’t matter what the music sounds like, the vocal holds it’s own. I must say though, the last statement needs qualification, it does matter what the music sounds like, it matters an enormous amount, it matters because it’s part of the whole deal with this record.
I far prefer the crashing riffs and huge percussion to the slower more sedate tracks, but the point is, I think, that we need both. We need balance and the loud and quiet are part of a whole. This is a whole record. It’s enough as it is. Recommended.
Lana Del Rabies
Don’t let the name put you off, this is a confusing, frustrating but very rewarding listen. The whole thing is buried under stratas of choral singing, static, feedback. Synths and unbelievable banks of drones, it feels like it’s so dense that the vocals are almost fossilised most of the way through.
The feelings reflected by the music are, for the most part, disturbing and unsettled. At times it’s downright terrifying. A bleakness that I think we all can feel sometimes. It does however have delicate softer moments, more subdued and still mostly full of loss. The difference is the final track which radiates strength and beauty. Perhaps where Lana was heading all along?
This is a brave, complete and absorbing record,
Now this, this is something special. The contrasts couldn’t be starker, the icy cold delivery couldn’t be more frozen and the metal could hardly be blacker. It’s an album of two utter and complete contrasts, the tiny sounds and choral arrangements, the drumming fingernails and the sweet vocal and then the massive, huge bombast of the Blackened blasts and punches of the metal. It’s fantastic and the extremes make it so. It’s an album of differences and I think, the balance between the differences inside of us. The emotions screaming to get out, accepting that you need to vent, to scream and rant but then also to sit, still and quiet and watch the sunset alone.
It’s a contradiction of sorts, a tightrope of black moods and laughter, and it bloody works. To sit and listen to this record all the way through is exhausting.
All words by Adrian Bloxham