Music Reviews

Chromatics

Plaster Hounds

Gold Standard Laboratories

Remember when horror movies used to have great indelible theme songs? Think about how Halloween, Friday the 13th and Psycho are all inextricably linked with their scores. Today, through some marketing equation gone awry, “metal bands” seem to equal “horror.” The faceless thrash groups on the Freddy vs. Jason soundtrack should be enough to convince you of this. There’s nothing frightening or menacing about this type of music, just an overabundance of aggression and testosterone. It falls completely flat and is totally ineffective. Consider The Chromatics’ “Monarch” as a replacement: its thumping heartbeat synths and whisper fades, ambient noise spasms and indecipherable lyrics, howls and muffled screams would make it the perfect score for a horror film.

The remaining songs on Plaster Hounds fall into a sort of asylum indie/claustrophobic new-wave area on the music spectrum. It’s all red-eyed stares and nervous twitching. The low end, especially the bass, is pushed to the forefront of the mix, creating an oddly danceable threatening wall of sound. The guitar, keyboards and other odds and ends are relegated to skittering around in the background. Singer Adam Miller sounds lost in his own mind, mumbling and shouting incoherently against the echoes of his effect-laden voice. This is probably the best intentionally creepy music I’ve heard in quite a while, certainly the most sophisticated. It’s the seedy, psychotic dance-punk foil to The Rapture’s pristine trend setting, and is all the more memorable because of it.

Gold Standard Laboratories: http://www.goldstandardlabs.com/


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