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Freaky Stylophone

Dyr Faser’s – “High Lightning” Reviewed

Reading Time approx: 2 minutes

Seven new tracks from Eric Boomhower and Amelia May, Boston’s answer to the newspaper ad asking for musicians creating music that creeps. Dyr Faser are always a hair’s breadth away from the perfect release, always inventive and irreverent but often drifting just a little too near to Shoegaze, the tolling bell of warning to any band who mistakes atmosphere for rambling. Their latest album has largely eradicated the flab and has a tweaked soundset which elevates mood ahead of emotion, allowing strangled keyboards to gasp and occasionally roar, with vocals and guitar providing a Greek chorus. This is Dyr Faser at their most deliciously twisted, comfortable in their own scaly skin and conniving in their compositions.

Lead single, ‘Sun Worship‘, is Dyr Faser at their spaciest – bowed guitars chant subserviently as Amelia’s voice sings to the heavens, the scant percussion sounding like a threshing machine. A flute brings the ceremony to a close – a cult’s funeral service to a glowing star ends as it begins – stifling yet chilling. Continuing the gas planet theme, ‘Burning Star‘ has some drowsy wasp-sounding stylophone that brings to mind Brian Eno’sAnother Green World‘, however it has a spikiness which leaves the ooziness feeling a bit abstract, which is a shame.

Faye’s Clue‘ is a glorious track: haunting; driving, unsettling – if a gialli film were ever to be set in space, here’s the ideal theme. An occasion when Eric’s voice fits perfectly, the song is judged superbly, a psychedelic lament with the suggestion of a sideways glance. ‘Knife Inside the Night‘ sags a little at the sides, too lo-fi for its own good, it lacks the body and atmosphere of the other tracks, with only the track’s ending blending together the elements so that an air of menace looms large. The same cannot be said of ‘Overwhelm or Destroy‘, Amelia’s vocals delivered like an incantation and some soupy synth work adding to the quasi-religious tone, like a backstreet ceremony for down-and-outs. The track stays with you. It feels like a threat – an ominous warning and the track’s end leaves you feeling curiously lost and ill at ease.

Screaming Reckless‘ is positively murderous, yawning synths and buzzing guitars churn to make a Lon Chaney-toned fugue with some skull-clacking percussion which reminds me of Suicide’s glacial backdrops. The album’s closer, ‘Heavy Vibrating R’s‘, is the album’s longest and the one which takes the most listens to really glean anything from. It has the kind of relentless lurch of Amon Düül II but with the flesh ripped from its bones. Rather like the album as a whole, it builds up an intoxicating mood but leaves you hanging rather than imparting a wholly satisfactory final blow.


What do you think?

Written by Daz Lawrence

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