Considering not a single track includes vocals, it’s interesting that The Suicide of Western Cultures new album “Hope Only Brings Pain” has such depth of expression. Many of the tracks convey a sense of struggling to make things better. A dark and laboured introduction is the route often taken, and yet light creeps through to rally the masses, albeit just out of reach.
“Remembering Better Times” is a joyous dive from towering storm clouds, from here on in however; ‘Hope’ will be a war fought on land. “Hey, Guys! I Know the Name of Culprits” creeps stealthily towards you, never shifting its gaze before creep turns to stride, and stride to wide mouthed full blooded assault.
This album successfully punctuates darkness with light, but there is rarely a sense that this is a permanent fixture. Flickers appear through the electro whimsy of “Spanish Republican Soldiers in French Retirement Homes” while “Oranienburger” pays homage to liberal Berlin through thrusting beats and bass lines, half juddering, all potent.
Despite the stolen glance of dance floor, prerequisite gloom is but a short breath away. “Two Lights at the Bottom of the Ravine” is a mechanised, steam exhaling premonition of foreboding omens, “When Did I Become Something I Hate” a suffocating and repetitive macabre procession and “El Cristo De La Buena Muerte” a stoic march through veils of darkness.
The overarching qualities of this album are the endurance of trials to reach goals. No light before dark. Fittingly and one hopes deliberately, this concept is best communicated in the ironically upbeat title track “Hope Only Brings Pain”. As an exploration of expressive tales through sound, this is rather good. Available now on Irregular Label.
This review first appeared in Issue 1 of Electronic Sound, a new magazine dedicated to electronic music past and present, with a diverse mix of genres and an eye for emerging talent. Grab your copy here: http://electronicsound.co.uk/