Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Algiers "There Is No Year" (2020)

The southern American outfit Algiers have been on my radar since their remarkable The Underside Of Power. This retro intensive sound has the hauntings of Soul and Gospel playing out in a Post-Punk aesthetic that has been remarkable in the past. This third chapter is inherently bleak and downtrodden, a clear stylistic aim into an oppressive darkness. Its rather burdensome with little relief in its run time. Gloomy depressive atmospheres play out with a sense of unyielding dread looming.

In its intelligent self realization, this record fails to give a little leeway on groove and melody for any uplift or reprise in pursuit of its vision. Instead it plays like a grey rainy day without an end in sight. Its damp and miserable, the fog never clears and the injustice mounts. Its mechanical pattering percussion, atmospheric upheavals of guitar noise and the pained soulful singing of Franklin Fisher keep the harrowing mood sharply focused on its descent, the feeling they forge forever grieving.

The tracks roll out with various themes and temperaments. The degrees of desperation tweaked and any composition or aesthetic of interest feels chained too its sunken, defeated feeling. Its a beautiful vision into a shade of darkness but without that uplift my appreciation could only go so far. It took a while for me to make sense of my lack of enjoyment. A lot of the dark music I like channels these things with energy and a counteracting force but There Is No Year is too consistently bleak for me.

Rating: 5/10