PREOCCUPATIONS – ” New Material ” Best Albums Of 2018

Posted: December 28, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Image may contain: 4 people, people on stage, people playing musical instruments and indoor

Preoccupations kick things off on a decidedly ‘80s note with “Espionage,” the synths, skeletal beat, and Matt Flegel’s dramatic vocals sounding like a twisted, bleaker version of Depeche Mode. It’s dark and grinding, but still so danceable it could be an alternate soundtrack the scene in The Breakfast Club where they’re all gettin’ down cue Judd Nelson hanging off of that weird hand statue thing. On “Decompose,” the unrelenting, singular beat from Mike Wallace’s drums and the solitary, swiped chord of some kind of eastern harp are softened by Flegel’s pointedly dreamy vocals, the only relief from the cyclical, driving rhythm getting beaten in to your skull. Sonically, “Disarray” takes a nod or two from the “Disorder” version of Joy Division. Lyrically, it’s a study in harnessing the chaos and discord of life, while acknowledging the futility of doing so. Flegel sings the title over and over, making a pattern of a word whose definition means exactly the opposite.

The members of Preoccupations have always confidently followed their own rules as they straddle the line between humanity and the brutish force of their music. Examinations of creation, destruction and the ways that we often practice the two in vain have regularly been tethered to the Canadian post-punk band’s work—even going back to their days as Viet Cong. And while that’s quite a downcast undertaking, it’s one that goes hand-in-hand with Preoccupations’ dystopian-future-sounding music. With their third LP, New Material, they dive into it headlong, kicking things off on a decidedly ’80s note with “Espionage,” the synths, skeletal beat, and Flegel’s dramatic vocals sounding like a twisted, bleaker version of Depeche Mode. It’s dark and grinding, but still so danceable it could be an alternate soundtrack the scene in The Breakfast Club where they’re all gettin’ down—cue Judd Nelson hanging off of that weird hand-statue thing.

Preoccupations – “Espionage” from ‘New Material’, out March 23rd, 2018 on Jagjaguwar Records.

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