Friday, July 11, 2008

Have A Nice Life - Deathconsciousness

Front and back of DVD case

Have A Nice Life - Holy Fucking Shit: 40,000

So here's a band that is 1: from Middletown, Connecticut which is right next to my home town (yeah!) and 2: really tough to describe. Tough because no one else is doing what they're doing (at least not nearly as well) and also because some of their songs sound so different from others. That makes for difficult review writing, in case you couldn't tell.

Deathconsciousness is Have A Nice Life's debut double CD-R release, packaged in a slim line DVD case with a portion of Jacques-Louis David's The Death Of Marat as cover art. It also comes with a sizable book supposedly written by a Professor of Religious History at UMass Amherst. I say supposedly because every instance of his name is blacked out, therefor not allowing anyone to actually confirm or deny it. I haven't read the book yet, but it's also titled Deathconsciousness and I believe it has something to do with Medieval history and religion. These guys sure went all out for their debut release.

"But the music," you ask. "What does it sound like?" Start thinking Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine, throw in some metal, then you're in the right ballpark. But not that metal-gaze stuff like Jesu and whanot. Well, maybe sometimes, just a lot fuzzier. And less metal. I told you it was hard to describe. Anyway, take a quick look at their influences on their MySpace page (sometimes that's just so damn handy, and others...well, let's just say not everyone takes it seriously) and we see Earth, Xasthur, Sunn (I'll assume of the O))) variety), and lots of other bands that you can definitely tell Have A Nice Life enjoy listening to.

The first disc, The Plow That Broke The Plains, is a more easy going, poppy affair than the second (The Future), which is the louder and heavier of the two. The Plow opens with a nice dreamy, spacey track titled "A Quick One Before The Eternal Worm Devours Connecticut." Did I mention these guys have the best fucking song titles? Like, ever? How about "Waiting For Black Metal Records To Come In The Mail" or "Holy Fucking Shit: 40,000." Great stuff. But that "Black Metal Records" one is a bit misleading. It's not very metal, especially not black metal. It's a great song, though. One steeped in '80s reverb and super rocking with a great riff and metallic (not metal) industrial drums.

The Future is where you'll find most of the metal influences. Not much is overtly metal, but it's more metal than, say, New Order. The last track on The Future is an epic 11 and a half minute closer titled "Earthmover" and it certainly feels like it will at least shake my house, if nothing else. But no matter how much I say about Have A Nice Life, I'll never do them justice. And I filled up this review with superfluous words that barely describe the music and I haven't expressed my enthusiasm nearly enough. Deathconsciousness is a supremely unique and gorgeous album that I love whole-heartedly. It's that simple. This record is fucking awesome. It's certainly one of the best records of the year by far. Go download it for 5 bucks from the Enemies List website (it's sold out otherwise and you still get the book, digitally of course). I promise it'll be the best 5 bucks you spend all year.

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