Parlor Walls' new album Exo. Available here on Cassette.
Alyse Lamb's guitars churn a thick anthem. Think Wire's playful guitar ache coupled with Siouxsie Sioux's understated angst. Drums and synths propel. Both delivered in tandem by Chris Mulligan, one limb cranks industrial riffs on a synth while the other catapults dancing beats. And it is that seamless balance between synths and drums that inevitably informs his sound, both equally unorthodox and always imperative. All this is underscored by new addition Jason Shelton's hazy clarinet and Eno-esque ambience. Tortured loops and sneaking vibrato oscillate the space into a smoky noir. With Lamb on lead vocals, her delivery is thick with defiance. But if you listen closely, encased in this tight warble a crack in the shell appears. Like the arthropod between skeletons, this crack exposes a vulnerability, often so heavily guarded. Take the bludgeoning "Low Vulture" when she dares you to "get out in front of it," you don't know whether to run away or to share a tender moment together.
Tape - Standard Cassette.