Devastations - Yes U
The harrowing "Rosa," the best track on Yes, U by the London by way of Melbourne based Devastations, is a good entry into their sound, and their intentions. By turns abrasive, moody, detatched and berserk, the tune shows a band picking at wounds but working toward some healing. In that way the record is romantic, its cool electronics vying with occasional scraping guitar for pathways to the heart.
Singer Conrad Standish has that kind of smoky, perverse drawl that saved a lot of 80s electronic bands, and the slow creep of "As Sparks Fly upward" is pure Talk Talk. His vocals alos elevate the acoustic, Floyd-esque "The Face of Love" into a true whistful dirge. And where would this kind os smoky, sexy slightly deranged mood be without a nod to other masters? Both "Avalanche of Stars" and "The Saddest Sound" prove that Leonard Cohen is also in the house.
"Yes, U", however, rides on its own merits, despite its moody ancestors. Danceable, dark and desolate is hard to pull off when you are merely imitating. Devastations are the real deal because they play with different styles and genres and find the chewy center within each. They hear the things that make them wanna shout, and their graceful delivery of what they hear is something to take in and pass on.
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