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(48:14; Last Things Records)
Charlie Looker (vocals, guitars, synth, programming), together with Ron Varod (bass) and Keith Abrams (drums, synth) (both from Kayo Dot) is back after some four years with their latest album. This is the first Psalm Zero album to feature “live” drums, and also the first without guitarist Andrew Hock but fans will be pleased to know that Looker’s distinctive baritone vocals are still there – in some ways he reminds me of Pete Steele in his approach – and although they have moved away from the black and death metal influences they previously used, the band are obviously still heavily influenced by the darker sides of Depeche Mode combined with the melancholy of the likes of Katatonia. This is definitely not music to listen to if you need cheering up, as it there is a sadness throughout, which brings a gloom and dankness all of its own as takes the listener from the sun and instead puts them into a dark place. If Talking Heads had all of the joy and staccato of their approach removed then they would probably sound something like Psalm Zero, as this art rock outfit have much in common with Byrne in many ways. This is experimental art rock with gothic tendencies and is something which is dark and needs to be taken quite seriously. The bringing together of different genre styles sometimes creates moments of magic, while at others it is quite unsettling, especially with this singular vocal style over the top, as one really does not expect that voice to be matched with the music underneath. To be treated with care.
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