omewhere hidden inside of the squall of this hardcore thrashing is the voice of God. There is no other explanation for this record.
It helps certainly that the lyrics are completely indecipherable, of course. But this hardcore record doesn’t suffer from the obfuscation of poor production or deliberately constructed piles of guitars, the confusion comes in the voice that speaks in Japanese. And despite a quick-run through of the liner notes, which reveals the dubiously poetic nature of the lyrics, it doesn’t have to be this way. We can ignore this. We can revel. We can let this wash over us and enjoy the moment. We can experience this, rather than merely listen.
A Dead Sinking Story is the group’s fourth album and reflects a strong step up from their first widely available album in the United States- released earlier this year on Dim Mak. And while the group doesn’t make significant strides from that release, this collection acts as a consolidation of the strengths exhibited on that release- and as a distinct set of songs that work together as an album.
To achieve this effect, the group uses some simple tricks to tie the album together more concretely. At the end of the first track of the album a drum loop emerges which continues nakedly into the second song building the foundation for new melodic developments and atmosphere to coalesce around it. The end result is a two track opus that only ends with the fading of the second song into one of the group’s two defiantly experimental noise diversions, “Evidence.” Sounding closer to E-Vax stripped wholly of melodic, the track is a ramshackle industrial drone-scape that is held together only by a malfunctioning warm bass drum and the whirrs, clicks and clanks of machine tools.
The second diversionary piece, “A Conviction that Speeds,” contains a spoken-word piece underneath a solid base of slow moving tones and a hesitant guitar that fades in and out of the background. By the end of the piece, the tones fade away, revealing a Loveless-esque ten seconds to tide the listener into submission before the final hardcore salvo is administered in the form of “Reasons and Oblivion.” But as soon as you find yourself tiring of the onslaught the song resolves into a crumbled beauty: two guitars interlock in a lulling melancholic counterpoint, reflecting the dichotomy that the group brings to the table: simplicity and complexity, soft and loud, beauty and ugliness.
“Reasons and Oblivion” is a perfect example of how the majority of the tracks on the album work. Firmly ensconced in both hardcore and the type of post-rock that Mogwai provides, the group meshes the two genres together into a neatly packaged product. And it’s a product that if they continue to sell, I will continue to buy without any qualms.