THE SUICIDE OF WESTERN CULTURE – Hope Only Brings Pain

Irregular 2013

THE SUICIDE OF WESTERN CULTURE - Hope Only Brings Pain

THE SUICIDE OF WESTERN CULTURE –
Hope Only Brings Pain

A follow-up to the best Spanish electronic album of 2010 moves the operation forward to make it actual.

With its dancefloor squint, computer-derived music rarely marries a finger-popping groove to cerebral message, and when it does, melodies lose their pull. But, given the current state of their homeland, this duo address much more serious matters than those on their acclaimed debut. Alluding to PINK FLOYD there and having supported the likes of ORBITAL and ANIMAL COLLECTIVE, now there’s a nice application of a prog rock idiom to the machinery, which should expand the band’s audience and makes the record an immersive experience.

The keening opener “Remembering Better Times” unfurls into a multi-strata piece of cinematic proportions, yet its Vangelis-like solemnity get punctured with a gentle, if insistent up to the march, beat, while “Love Your Friends, Hate Politicians” chimes with an infectious folk tune and “Hey, guys! I Know The Name Of The Culprits” adds riffs to the mix without spicing its pop agenda with angry pointing as the title suggests. More MOBY than APHEX TWIN, then, with a crystal buzz in the dense “Spanish Republican Soldiers In French Retirement Homes” and an optimistic, almost guitar-like crunch of the title track, although the dub of “El Cristo De La Buena Muerte” has a sharp edge and heavy menace seeps out of “Oranienburger”, as angular as it’s mellow. At the same time, “When Did I Become Everything I Hate” turns the tables on the inner self: that’s where the anguish is revealed.

A snapshot of its era, this album possesses a timeless air. If it’s a valediction for our civilization, we have a funereal song to go by.

****1/4

April 16, 2013

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