On this fourth full-length from the ever-creative Rasputina, it’s becoming evident that these ladies are running out of ideas. Appropriately titled Frustration Plantation, I felt as if I was on a “frustration plantation” as I listened to this. I expected more, and was rather let down.
For those of you who have never heard of Rasputina, they are basically a power-goth-rock band, with female vocals and the instrument of choice being the cello. The cello is often distorted and overdriven, making for a coarse and nasty (in a good way) sound that complements the angelic vocals of Melora Creager. This strange formula worked incredibly well on the band’s first two albums, Thanks for the Ether and How We Quit the Forest.
As noted before, such cannot be said about their latest release. The opening track, “Doomsday Averted,” is classic Rasputina: dark, plodding and delicate, with things equally spooky and pristine frolicking about. Unfortunately, that level is never achieved again on this album. There is more late-1800’s southern American imagery on this album than in the past, and it comes off rather campy and silly; several tracks are wasted on pointless tributes to this era. The majority of the lyrics are uninspired and tired, and I found myself digging out my copy of Thanks for the Ether to try to wake myself up. It’s always disappointing to watch a hero stumble, and Rasputina has really tripped up with this one.
Instinct Records: http://www.instinctrecords.com/