I’ve never known Spencer Hazard or Dylan Walker to be satisfied for long. Despite the success of their major creative collaboration- Full of Hell- the pair are constantly trying to take the next step and look around the next corner. On our long drives on tour together, almost anything but death metal played on the stereo. From Whitehouse and Incapacitants to Aphex Twin and Steely Dan, the van was always a place to replenish after the hours of sweat, boredom and oversaturation of life on the road. Their shared need for stimulation and their hunger to reapproach music from fresh vantage points has reached a new height with SORE DREAM. Inspired by the rich vein of 00’s Midwestern industrial and the perennial Bastard Noise adoration that remains the touchstone for much of Hazard and Walker’s experimental learnings, the new project is immersive, fascinating, and filled with textures and details I’ve never heard from them before. Opener “Failed Biome” presents ghastly wheezes fluttering between suffocating pulses, with eruptions of mangled vocals emerging out of a rustling sheet of rusted metal. “Clattering Debris In The Forest” paints an unsparing portrait of a world choked by negligence, neglect and failure. While the tattered remains of a melody fades into obscurity, otherworldly howls and a ceaseless clattering beat grind forward through the mist. “Burning Fields Of Moss” roars and swirls, the wet smoke invoked by the title filling every corner of the recording. On “Lucid Depths of Felled Pines,” distant oscillations wail while croaks and thick fluttering dance in the foreground. If Full of Hell is renowned for its immediacy, the creeping evolution of SORE DREAM’s sound over its debut release is more like a magic trick, a horror movie, or a carefully constructed trap. Each step forward is somewhere deeper, darker, harder to emerge from. The horror truly sets in in the penultimate track, “Gears Clogged,” as the onslaught heaves and mutates like a rotting lung belching thick clouds of phlegm in a series of shuddering waves. With album closer “Final Dream,” the theme of ecological destruction is realized in a horrifying climax. Beyond words and beyond music, the sickness of a species who can willfully, eagerly lay waste to the natural world is explored in exacting, agonized detail. Catharsis has no place here. Freed from riffs and choruses, Walker and Hazard are free to directly confront their greatest fears. With SORE DREAM, we’ve never been closer to understanding them before. -Josh Landes (Limbs Bin)
Tracklist: 01. Failed Biome 02. Clattering Debris in the Forest 03. you Burning Fields of Moss 04. Old Growth, Laid Low 05. Lurid Reality 06. Gears Clogged with Blood and Honey 07. Final Dream
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