Thursday, 8 December 2011
Abandon - Monsters
Abandon - Monsters
December is usually a month that sees a real wind down for the music industry as the charts are inevitably flooded with the same christmas tunes as all the easy listening balladeers release christmas albums. A dire state of affairs indeed. However december is not totally bereft of good music at least not this year as Abandon's latest release from underground rock label Blindsight Records proves. Blindsight Records are a relatively small UK record label that boast an impressive roster of underground talent and were responsible for releasing the triumphant Caretaker/Undersmile split earlier this year, which some of you may remember I gave a full ten out of ten. Abandon is one of the many monikers taken by label founder Umair Chaudhry and fits in suitably with the record label's overall dark aesthetic.
Abandon fall under the vaguest of genre pigeon hole of shoegaze, a term that can be applied to bands like Jesus And Mary Chain all the way to Jesu, a broad spectrum indeed. So what does this mean of the band itself? Well what you actually get with Abandon is a million miles from the more lacklustre blurry noise that can be associated with bands under the shoegaze tag and instead you get more focused, dark and brooding material. Throughout the EP Umair paints various doom laden shades and the whole record slowly builds a sort of horrific tension in slow motion as though leading towards a truly evil crescendo that never actually arrives. The whole experience is unsettling, haunting and desolate whilst all the while retaining a hypnotic trance like pace. The lyrics are fittingly bleak and a murmured over the intricate eerie melodies and only add to the creeping menace of the record. The EP itself is very long with many of the tracks scraping the over eight minute mark but the majority of the material is devoted to remixes. Whilst generally remixes are a difficult to get right the majority of the remixes here fit the purpose and seem to have exercised restraint only adding faint crackles and skittering drums looping over the faint distorted guitars in some cases even improving on the originals. The music itself could be compared in style at least to the more melodic haunting work of Jesu or the utterly brilliant enigmatic cult outfit Have A Nice Life who are unparelleled in their field. Highlights include title track and opener "Monsters" with its looming dark majesty and the beautifully affecting and hypnotizing "Faith We Once Held (Fragment Remix)" which is over 9 minutes of nightmarish sound with crushingly powerful lyrics that feel as though they are being whispered in your ear. The only downside to the whole EP as a whole would be the repetition factor. Whilst the remixes are quite masterfully done with a softness of touch that fits the overall tone of the record at the end of the day you get the same melodies and lyrics slightly too often. That said most of the reinterpretations are still very pleasing and the whole EP proves to be an utterly intriguing affair.
Overall Monsters is Abandon's most well developed release to date. The music is dark gloomy and powerful and aside from a few too many repetitions of some of the songs Mosters is a very impressive release. Whether this sort of music will achieve a wide scope of interest is debatable with its downbeat slow bereaving songs I can't help but feel it would be lost on many but if you're into the darker side of rock you'll definitely find something to love here. Abandon are definitely one to watch in the future. Recommended.
Download: "Monsters" "Faith We Once Held (Fragment Remix)"