Album reviews: Liturgy, Africa Hitech, The Douglas Firs, This Will Destroy You, Psychedelic Horseshit, Young Legionnaire
Aesthethica (Thrill Jockey) ●●
Pretension in music can be wonderful, but these hipster black metal apologists are unreal. They may not dress like goblins, but their pseudo-intellectual trappings overshadow their music, which is, in the final estimation, the coward’s porn of metal. Points for the sheer pseudo-hilarity of their press release.
93 Million Miles (Warp) ●●●●
Mark Pritchard (AKA Harmonic 313) and Steve Spacek’s first full-length restlessly genre-hops through grime, dancehall, afrobeat and abstract electronica. ‘Out in the Streets’ and the murky, vocoder dub of ‘Do U Wanna Fight’ are highlights but not necessarily representative of a diverse and imaginative album.
The Douglas Firs
Happy as a Windless Flag (Armelllodie) ●●●
Lush, dream-like indie, sometimes recalling Belle & Sebastian on a spirit quest. Recorded between bedsheets and in church halls, the album subtly sings the praises of introversion. The folk-inflected meanderings and field recordings can seem a little aimless but the results are immersive.
This Will Destroy You
Tunnel Blanket (Monotreme) ●●●
Update your iTunes categories – if TWDY are to be labeled, they prefer ‘doomgaze’ (and certainly not p*st r*ck). They offer magisterial, mostly instrumental Texan menace with as much in common with Badalamenti as wall-of-sound-era Mogwai. Not essential, but kind of lovely.
Laced (FatCat) ●●●●
Fresh from lambasting the more successful bands they’ve been grouped with (poor, crying-all-the-way-to-the-bank Wavves), PH deliver a fractured, multi-faceted album which effortlessly out-creds the competition but sometimes resembles a crazy person sitting on a wall throwing music at bemused passers-by. In other words, excellent.
Crisis Works (Wichita) ●
A collaboration between Paul Mullen (The Automatic) and Gordon Moakes (Bloc Party), Young Legionnaire consists of bland riffing and lyrics inspired, thrillingly, by ‘global economics’. If you fell asleep watching MTV2 in 2005, waking up in 2011 might be less traumatic if this was on.