Date of release:Buy Physical
As members of The Devastations, Conrad Standish and Tom Carlyon went about crafting some of the most understated, underrated rock of the past decade, a rich epoch of post-punk altruisms that inexplicably never took root in Australia. Now the duo is back as a pseudo-solo act, Standish/Carlyon, and their debut album Deleted Scenes is worlds apart from their previous output. From the cover artwork depicting a blurred grin coming out of pitch darkness to the ominous-yet-sleek production, the album is a masterclass in maintaining atmosphere, tipping from stifling silence to brooding menace, all wrapped up in a shiny electro veneer.
The tension pervades throughout the vagueness of Critics Multiply, the faux-R&B of Nono/Yoyo (with nonsensical lyrics like “You’re stranded in Kyoto/With nothing but a yoyo/your credit card’s in Soho/At Yamamoto’s dojo”), the foreboding isolation of Industrial Resort – all underpinned by the glacial groove, the sense that under the gloss and glamour lurks something far more sinister and febrile, embodied wholesale by closer 2 5 1 1 (fittingly a collaboration with Fuck Buttons’ Benjamin John Power).
Yet as good as the structures are, it’s Aaron Cupples’ (Civil Civic, The Drones) production that deserves as much, if not more praise for Deleted Scenes’ success. The bass is positioned in such a dominant force that when it’s absent the silence envelops. That’s the key – the disembodied vocals float above the mix, the instrumentation remains a fibrous, brittle web, so that when the silence comes back it feels like being ensconced in a vacuum, thus becoming an equally deliberate tool for nuance and emphasis. Deleted Scenes personifies dark intent and purpose, made for headphones, an immersion into a seductive silence.
Free daily music news
© 2012–13 Street Press Australia Pty Ltd