Lifting the Curse
Desolatevoid’s years of bad luck (hopefully) end here
2012 (incredibly!) marks the 10-year anniversary of Desolatevoid. And if 2012 ends up auguring the downfall of humanity, you won’t find one hair upon their disheveled heads out of place. In fact, it would be par for the curse. In what may be one of the greatest understatements thus far this year, drummer Tim Smith concedes, “As a collective, we’ve certainly had a run of bad luck.” From the banal (equipment malfunctioning before key shows) to the downright freakish (guitarist Mark Stolp being struck by lightning), form the ominous (mega magazine Metal Maniacs ending a decades-long publication spree as the Desolatevoid story was about to go to press) to the terribly tragic (founding member/former guitarist Patrick Sova’s car accident confining him to a wheelchair), I’d be inclined to say the bad luck seems “unusually concentrated,” that is if I were a superstitious person. No wonder they named their brand new 7” Northern Aggression.
Each of the three tracks is quintessential DV, though long-time devotees will be treated to a few surprises. Opener Excuses Solve Nothing is as complex an arrangement as we’ve heard from the group, Stolp’s crunchy thrash riffage especially appreciable. The Problemsolver picks up the pace and places listeners in more familiar territory with its rollicking punk underbelly. Release highlight is B-side live favorite Deaf in that Ear. Its fist in the air groove, all chords creating appropriate shivers, replete with solos that verge on the harmonizing, easily makes this the catchiest DV song yet. In fact, it sounds like the band is (gulp) having fun. “Yeah, we hope to alienate what few fans we have left,” jokes bassist Nick Carroll. Levity aside, vocalist Andy Howard (whose shrill shrieks would not sound out of place in the bowels of an abattoir) affirms, “We love music. It’s what we know. We’ve always been true to ourselves and unwilling to cater to what people want to hear.”
Ironically, given that it is the band’s 10-year anniversary, and it has been four years since their last full length, one could be forgiven for expecting a more substantial celebration, but Satan bless ‘em for this aural middle finger in the face of how things “should” be done.
Comments Smith, “Nobody buys CDs. Everyone wants music for free. We’ll see what happens. If we sell enough records, we’ll do another one. If not, I guess I’ll take up crocheting.”
Get the album at Desolatevoid’s Jan. 28 show at The Mousetrap or at The Local Store.