WEEPING RAT: Tar CD Handmade Birds

weepingrat

WEEPING RAT: Tar CD Handmade Birds

‘Tar’ is the debut album from Melbourne’s Weeping Rat, on the quality driven Handmade Birds label. Given the labels previous output, it’s a surprise to see a release on the label by a band with its roots set firmly in Goth. This album was released initially on the Damned Gates label on vinyl in 2014 and this edition has a few extra tracks to sink your fake vampire teeth into.

Opener ‘Silk in the Water’ starts off reminiscent to Joy Division in the pace of ‘Closer’, with vocals that have hints of Curtis (just hints mind) and follow up ‘Illusion’ rides strains of The Chameleons musically; and it’s refreshing to see.

As the album progresses it steadily gets weirder until it falls over in a puddle of Death Rock, which I have little time for nowadays; but it’s still competent enough, even if the vocals become a mass of boring drones that wear a little thin.

There isn’t much more to say about Weeping Rat than I already covered. They do exactly what they say on the tin; and there’s plenty here for any real Goths out there (if there are any genuine ones left) who should lap this up with gusto.

7.5/10

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CINDYTALK: TouchRAWKISSEDsour CD Handmade Birds

cindytalktouchedraw

CINDYTALK: TouchRAWKISSEDsour CD Handmade Birds

Scotland’s Gordon Sharp (he of The Freeze and This Mortal Coil fame) has always managed to impress me with his Cindytalk project for the majority of those I have heard via the Editions Mego label; so I was once again enthusiastic when this dropped through my door.

‘Dancing on Ledges’ is a grinding mass of machinery that opens up this latest album as a visceral noise that evolves into a Dark Ambient abyss that doesn’t let up come track two ‘ Fire Recalling it’s Nature’; stumbling around its own mass of collapsing gutter like sounds, as background harmonies eventually filter through.

Cindytalk plays with tracks levels in a way that allows each source to filter through. In some ways reminding me of the production skills of Fennesz, albeit from a darker edge of the spectrum. In reality, I have heard better interpretations of this ilk being a hardened Dark Ambient and noise fan; but there is something else that I cannot put my finger on that makes me enjoy this project immensely.

There is a modernity to Sharp’s approach as a whole. When you purchase a Cindytalk release there is little to badge itself into a genre from the packaging, nor indeed from the familiar sounds that come through the speakers; as obvious as the music is in style, there is just that something that sets this work aside as its own, rather than the overtly blackened ambient this could be categorised alongside.

8.5/10

JASPER TX: An Index Of Failure LP Handmade Birds

jasperTX

JASPER TX: An Index Of Failure  LP Handmade Birds

It appears that this is going to be the last album from this Swedish composer, ending seven years of output and toil.  This is a real shame, as ‘An Index Of Failure’ displays a great aptitude for instrumentalism at the highest level.

‘Abandon’ opens up the proceedings with harmonies that signify that all has come to an end; a general feeling of what could have been and further enforced with the layered ambient drone-work of the spacious ‘In All Your Blinding Lights’.

An essence of hope rises with an undercurrent of piano that hides beneath the surface of bass hums, occasionally letting lights shine through the cracks with the course waves of sound that rise into the unobtrusive ‘Rivers Flow’.  There is a real sense of ‘goodbye’ with this album and TX doesn’t hold back on his emotions as they’re laid bare for all to witness.

‘Days Above the Tide’ is perhaps the most raucous number on this release; a pent up aggression that is firmly tethered like a wall of inner rage.  It’s a difficult medium to truly master, but Jasper has this nailed it in what is the last outing on this album and indeed unfortunately the last output we are likely to hear from him.  ‘An Index Of Failure’ ironically isn’t that at all, it’s an impressive final entry in the journal of an artist that has been criminally overlooked.

9/10

LOCRIAN & CHRISTOPH HEEMAN: s/t LP Handmade Birds

LOCRIAN & CHRISTOPH HEEMAN: s/t  LP Handmade Birds

An almost western feel opens up this album from well-respected sound experimentalists, Lochrian and Christoph Heeman.  ‘Hecatomb’ is awash with cavernous ambient set upon a desolate cactus ridden plain, where a lone rider drifts amongst swirling mini tornados of sand being thrown up through the endless dunes.

This impressive start however is misleading, with ‘Loathe the Light’ teetering on the edges of experimentalism that clatters around the Z’ev territory a little too much for my liking.  There is an element of enjoyable ambience contained within its composition, which suffers by being far too drawn out by the time the guttural rasping vocals seep through the mix.

Side B offers some hope, with ‘Edgeless City’ providing a fairly decent trudge through Dark Ambient circles, but isn’t entirely inspiring.  However, ‘Drowned Forest’ is an awesomely constructed piece of work that captures a true feeling of a tribal generation being swamped by the destructive nature of our effect on the Eco structure; subtle layering of chanting vocals befitting of the untimely demise.

This self-titled release in a lot of respects has a lot to offer, but is ultimately a tale of two halves, that would have benefitted from just being released as an EP comprising of the opening and ending tracks, where the impact of their collaboration would have achieved maximum impact.

6.5/10