The Arthur Rackham illustration on the cover of Nasty Little Lonely’s latest musical outing should give some idea to the uninitiated of what lies within. The dark fairy tale nature of the artwork reflects the juxtaposition of the industrial-gothic music vibe that the band does so well with the often-girlish yet sometimes sinister and warped vocals of Charlie Beddoes. But those in the know have been here before and relish these nightmarish soundtracks and broken dreamscapes.
And whilst the term gothic now seems to have been re-appropriated into just another sub-genre of metal by a generation who want to live in the Sunnydale of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, this gloriously grim gang manage to pull referential strands from the older, darker heart of the punk-gothique and industrial genres. Snake Oil is a wash of darkwave patterns that Bauhaus would have sold their soul for, if indeed one could have been found, and around this understated centrepiece they build their dark-art.
Tribal rock beats power on growling bass lines and wilfully savage razor cuts of guitar and between defined musical structures eerie atmospherics and Stygian sounds vie for attention and the end result is a heavy, claustrophobic and nebulous musical collection. Few do it better, it unites the dark hearted followers of earlier musical ages with todays children of a colder, more clinical night and as always this latest atramentous crusade has not only had me turning to the thesaurus for suitable descriptive words but is yet another fantastic set of songs by them.
Rack and Ruin is out on 22nd April.