The Sweet Release of Death – The Sweet Release of Death

Posted: 8 November 2016 in Albums

Katzwijm Records & Subroutine Records – SR075 – 7th October 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

You know when you hear an album, or even just the first few tracks off an album, and know it’s something special? When the fist song alone blows you away and immediately you think that it’s up there with the best stuff you’ve heard all year, and maybe even longer? You’re almost too excited by the firs three tracks to sit still and listen to the rest of the album, because you’re bursting with the urge to race around and prod anyone you can find and shout ‘listen to this! It’s fucking awesome!’ (even though you know they’ll all say ‘what the hell is this noise?’) No? I’ve spent my life doing this. The frequency of such events is one of the reasons I became a music reviewer, because the people I know in real life simply don’t get it. So, as much as anything to shut myself off from the hubbub of the crowded, ramped, overcrowded office in which I have the misfortune to work, I slipped in, more or less at random, the eponymous second album by The Sweet Release of Death. And within two minutes, I was fighting to resist the urge to rampage round the office punching the air.

So what do The Sweet Release of Death do? Doom Drone? Poetical, weeping, theatrical goth? No: way cooler, and far less predictably, they haul in elements of goth, post-punk, hardcore and myriad other sources to forge a truly unique sound that’s got nothing to do with moping dirges or noose-twisting melancholia.

The album begins with the end. Or, specifically, ‘The End’ (and no, it’s not a Doors cover). It sounds like the end, too: a barrage of guitar noise. ‘Post-Everything’ is representative of the albums sound more broadly as it locks into a post-punk vibe, with a spindly guitar spidering its way over a thumping drum and bass groove. Amidst the tempest, Alicia Ferrer Beton’s androgynous vocals betray a ragged emotional edge, cracked with angst and melancholy.

The goth-tinged, no-wave squall of ‘Kitty Swim Club’ is a pure rush of panic-laced adrenaline. This is not a comfortable album, but one which shudders and jitters awkwardly at its self-imposed parameters.

‘Fox’ takes down the volume, but not the tension and is still a dark, angular beast of a track which is punctuated by explosions of cacophonous discord. ‘Smutek’ hints at shoegaze and ambient, but with its warped, fractured guitar sounds, it’s equal parts MBV and ‘Lungs’ era Big Black: it’s certainly got some bite. The stark, metallic clang of the dark disco of 103 finds a manic pop song lurking beneath the wreckage, and contrasts with the magnificently haunting ‘Downstairs’. ‘Don’t go downstairs’ Alicia sings menacingly against a backdrop of chiming guitars. There are hints of I Like rains about this, but then there are equally hints of the monochrome starkness of Band of Susans, and none of it is immediately accessible.

The Sweet Release of Death is dark and difficult, and bloody fucking brilliant. Fact.

Sweet Release of Death

  1. Maks Peace says:

    VEUT lekker boys and girl

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