PREOCCUPATIONS – ” Arrangements ” 

Posted: September 10, 2022 in MUSIC

Calgary band Preoccupations understand that as bleak as post-punk styles can be, they are also inherently sexy. While they don’t exactly look the part — aside from drummer Mike Wallace, these are normal looking, normal dressing dudes who would never be confused with Interpol — they imbue their songs with a dark romance that’s hard not to get swept up in. Their fourth studio album finds them restoring their roots with the singular, guitar driven, dissonant yet anthemic washes of intricate noise that has brought them international acclaim since their basement beginnings.

They loosen their collars even further on “Arrangements”, arguably best album. While the tension between the four members remains one of their best qualities, they’ve relaxed just a little, giving the songs room to breathe and slowing tempos enough to take things from rigid to sultry.

Those subtle changes allow for more range in bassist and frontman Matt Flegel’s vocals, and he’s never sounded more natural in the lead role. His gravelly pipes can go from warm and inviting to harrowing and menacing in an instant. It all comes together on tracks like “Riccochet,” one of Preoccupations’ best-ever songs that shines with thrilling guitarwork, Wallace’s monster drumming, and Flegel seething out lines like “Everything tastes like the bitter end.” While that is the high point for the album, “Arrangements” features the band’s best batch of songs to date, with big hooks and burrowing melodies to go along with the always impressive musicianship. They may not have lightened up — Flegel says the album’s about “the world blowing up and no one giving a shit” — but the band are taking it all in style.

The Calgary post-punk band relax just a little for their most effortless, appealing record yet.

released September 9th, 2022

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