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Lament Cityscape: The Pulsing Wet

When I was a teenager, I’d drive over to a high point in Los Angeles and just look out over the city. Griffith Park was an especially nice spot for doing that, but there were other cool places that provided a similar view. Wherever I was, the point was just to look out and think about the city from the biggest possible perspective. When I listen to Lament Cityscape, I often think back to those moments, at least at first. With this band, that sense of awe quickly turns bleak and thoughts turn to the ways that beneath all the layers of development and so-called progress lurks the ever-present threat of death and decay, madness and despair. Lament Cityscape captures all that in ways that are both fascinating and frightening.

If you’ve listened to Lament Cityscape before, you probably won’t need much more of an introduction than that. The band is solid and they definitely have a strong musical take on things. Although the band hasn’t changed much since their last release, they do sound a bit bigger, especially on the opening track, “Lustre.” At times, the song reminds me of the restlessness of 1980s post-punk bands like Killing Joke or maybe even Public Image Limited. I don’t suppose Lament Cityscape often gets compared to bands like that, but there’s definitely some connection there. Maybe it’s just the way the band weaves fear and sadness with wild abandon into the same song.

On “Bleedback Loop,” things continue to thunder away until, suddenly, everything goes quiet. If you keep listening, though, you’ll continue to hear the pulsating beat of noise, despair, and ruin underneath it all. I’m not sure if this is what the band means by the overall title The Pulsing Wet, but I’ve read enough horror novels to know that not everything with a pulse is friendly. The pulsing noise on this track is definitely not friendly, and the atmosphere is never completely calm. Still, there is something peaceful in the quiet. It is probably not hope, but it is an invitation to look around, perhaps even to breathe, before the darkness returns. “Bleedback Loop” is on the longer side, but it doesn’t wear out its welcome. It’s a solid track.

“The Great Reveal” closes things out with a mid-tempo turn to industrial noise, whispered voices, and subtle guitars. At first, the song contrasts a bit with the unexpected calm of “Bleedback Loop,” but it builds into another bleak musical meditation on the state of things.

It’s possible you’ve heard other bands that bring together noise, sludge, industrial, and post-punk, but I doubt any of them sound quite like Lament Cityscape. It’s hard to say exactly what it is that sets this band apart from others. Maybe it’s the persistently dark atmosphere of the music. Or maybe it’s the way each song feels like it’s working out some very dark, and very complex, thoughts. In the end, the reasons don’t matter as much as the music. I’m content to call this music an extended lamentation over the general state of things out there in the big world.

Overall, I thought this EP was strong and would definitely recommend it for those who want to hear something bleak but engaging. I’m already looking forward to more music from these guys. For those just getting to know this band, check out their Bandcamp page. There’s tons of stuff on there to explore.

Track Listing:
1. Lustre
2. Bleedback Loop
3. The Great Reveal

Added: June 29th 2020
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 1019
Language: english

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