Review: Lament Cityscape — The New Wet


The sky outside is full of smoke and dust and smog, the color of cellular death. The bulldozers are running round the clock now, pushing the bones of the city into the flesh of the Earth, powered not by fuel (there is no more fuel) but by the sweet milk of dead futures. A mountain of hominid skulls is flattened and crushed into fine white flour—for what purpose, well, don’t ask stupid questions. The crust breaks, the mantle shoots fiery ejaculate into the heavens. Sirens wail, although all emergency response vehicles have been disabled, all personnel liquidated. The walls of the apartment tremble like the hands of an alcoholic who has run out of poison. I have a headache. The product of the slow grinding of two useless thoughts against each other: 1) We must go on; 2) We probably shouldn’t. I went out looking for food and there wasn’t any. Nothing packaged, anyway; nothing imperishable. There were animals about that could be snared and killed and cooked or eaten raw, but all of my instincts toward this end have atrophied in the divine lights of Grub Hub and a Netflix subscription. Is there anyone out there? No one has liked a single one of my Instagram posts in weeks. (There must not be anyone out there.)

I tripped over the corpse of someone’s child—or maybe just a burned and half-dismembered doll—and fell face first into a pile of rubble. Broke my fucking tooth. There’s grit and blood in my mouth and I’m surrounded by the tangled, semi-molten skeletons of jungle gyms. (The fresh air is horrid and my lungs ache but they say exercise saves lives.) There is a cathedral up ahead. Nope. False alarm. Just a Jack In The Box. The Capital was vaporized and most people’s heads are on pikes now and the center of the Earth was sucked out to build yet more paper clips (the fucking thing won’t stop building paper clips) but hey, Jack In The Box is open and eager to serve. Not food. (There is no food.) But you can peruse the menu and place an order and sit in a comfortable booth to wait.

That is what this new three-song EP from Lament Cityscape feels like. What it sounds like is industrialized sludge compressed under a million megatons of distortion. Like a Godflesh record and a Merzbow record playing at the same time. Has such a thing been tried before? Doubtless, yes. Why does it work this time around? A) Because Lament Cityscape knows how to take an almost laughably simple idea and build it up by adding layers of little half-melodies and noise, ratcheting up the vertical complexity until the whole thing threatens to topple under its own absurd gravity, and B) Because I said so. The band seems to have undergone a powerful transformation in the wake of their encounter with noise artist Theologian (reviewed myah), because before that encounter they were just a run of the mill sludge outfit whereas now they’ve seen fit to add a whole heap of electronic hubbub to the mix, producing something that is not only heavy in volume but in texture. A triumphant evolution, I’d say. The New Wet (please, there are ladies present) is an infectious little appetizer for whatever else is to come (two more EPs for some reason), with high repeatability. It’s almost a good thing that it contains only three songs, because after just three of these bludgeonings I kind of feel like I need to go to the hospital.

EPs don’t get toilet ratings unless I feel like it and today I don’t feel like it. So.

The New Wet was self-released on 31 January, 2020. Purchase here (digital only, nooooooooooo).

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