Buried Finch [CS; Sanity Muffin]

Sanity Muffin boss (<— new favorite phrase) Billy Sprague is back with a new album under his Galena guise following a very excellent LP release called Grave News for You from way back in the stone ages of 2011. A couple of key differences find their way into the unique electro-acoustic setup Sprague continues to bring to the table (working here with the same core instrumental setup that includes a bevy of synthesizers and some baritone guitar), not the least of which is the album’s exceedingly dark demeanor. Galena has been known to spelunk in some dimly-lit caverns of groove, but this stuff ditches any kind of buoyancy for some truly sludge-ridden affairs. Imagine a gondola boat ride through the sewers of hell and you’re getting close. That is to say that bass tones prevail of course, seismic waves of them rolling in as a tide of muck with scattered beats along the shores. Vocals are more prominent this time around, but man are they buried, covered in a muddy mucus and slowed down to a crawl or chanting creepy spells. But the thing that really sets Galena apart, and indeed one of the few things that did carry over from his previous record, is the music’s gentle touch. It’s deep, dark, bleak and menacing, sure, but there’s a softness here, a certain grace that’s tough to describe and even tougher to deny. The j-card indicates there’s a Soft Cell cover in here, but more often the album really reminds me of the way I felt after listening to the Moëvöt collection Sprague released on his label sometime last year, and if the specific genre of that guy’s music itself didn’t rub off on Galena for this outing, the feeling of forgiving blackness sure as shit did.

Links: Sanity Muffin


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