Lovechilde – Doorway to Cesspit review

Lovechilde - Cesspit 600Lovechilde are London-based multi-instrumentalist Thomas Eliot Dodd and producer James Dashwood. Their first full-length album Doorway to the Cesspit is released November 24th via Childe Records. A dense yet wildly creative listen, Doorway to the Cesspit’s is as unsettling as it is explorative, with its gaze fixed squarely on reinvention. Produced by Lovechilde and Misha Herring (with drums from Virginia Wing’s Sebastian Truskolasky) the album mirrors its abrasion with intuitive instrumentation and a forward-thinking approach to songcraft. Made without thought to traditional genre convention, Lovechilde’s music touches on elements of krautrock, leftfield electronica, drone and shoegaze.

When it comes to music that chooses to defy convention and genre, it’s incredibly hard to compare its quality to anything; by it’s own definition, this is where experimental music falls, and it’s a sound more down to personal interpretation that any conceived ideas of “right” and “wrong”. That doesn’t make it un-reviewable though, and before I go too political on you, this isn’t the sound of a couple of guys bashing about with instruments; it has a sense of intention, it’s simply challenging to those unfamiliar with the music.

If you’ve no idea where to begin with this genre, Grease will do you just fine; it’s the closest to more popular music and not too shocking on the senses. Tracks i, ii and iii distributed through the record seem to move away from the experimental style, and settle as spoken word – almost – poetry, a gramophone-esque tinge to the sound the only trait that ties the songs to the rest of the album. Eclectic doesn’t do it justice.

In among all the doom and gloom that seems to settle over the majority of the album’s thirteen songs, there are lighter moments flecked in between with a tribute to the synth-pop influence wound into the music, clear in opening single Ergot on Rye. For a way to commence the record, it’s remarkably representative, not fixing on a  certain stance straight away, with darker vocals feeling somewhat incongruous to the almost optimistic backdrop of the song.

True to the hypnotic tendencies of krautrock, Author of Dreams touches on something you’d expect deep in the underground scene, bizarre lighting and pulsing bodies of a club to accompany it. Other tracks slip into the kind of music you’d hope for in a horror house on Halloween, and Seance for St. Sebastian ropes in straining vocals alternating from the drone-esque voice that accompanies much of the album. Second Lacuna seems like a synthed-up version of Paint It Black; if you expect consistency from this record, you’ll be highly disappointed.

If you’re willing to suspend disbelief and entertain the idea of “normal” structures and manners to music, to simply let go of what you might expect, you’ll find a highly enjoyable record among the confusion; it’s an album for delusional late nights, coffee-filled days and three am determination to try something new.

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