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Hangin’ Freud – Sunken


Hangin’ Freud‘s Sunken has been lurking around like an illicit bruise on the interwires for a while now. And now it’s got a proper release on a CD, the sleeve all soft-focus dirty purpley hues and malevolence. The release made me quite pleased, for two reasons: first, I forget to listen to things if they’re not physically in front of me; second, it’s too good to be languishing in the aesthetic no-man’s-land of hard-drives

It’s one of those records that feels like you’ve heard lots of, put can’t actually remember anything that sounds like it specifically – I keep wanting to write ‘PJ Harvey meets Oval‘ or ‘a less shimmery, more skaggy 4AD group’ but essentially those are both bollocks comparisons.  It’s one of those records that makes me want to whip out some of my best purple prose, viz: “skag needles drawn by dawn and the lurching headache for a bad red wine at 1130AM.” being one. P Borges, Hangin’ Freud’s singer-cum-instrumentalist has a voice in some hinterland between frailty and malice, and has that great habit of making that scant third note in a motif really count. There’s a bucolic grind and some achingly jarring dissonances to the music which leaves me thinking of a sort of goth music less concerned with shit make-up and snakebites outside of supermarkets and more… a witchcraft voided of earth mothers and vainglorious hippies.  The vocals tend to live around the same level as the rest of the music, meaning making out lyrical content is difficult. Which leaves this impression of a battered wife’s curse in hypnogogia, slurs in terror.

There’s a lot more going for this record than kicking some life into goths though – though it’s ostensibly guitar music, there’s a lot of micro-house type electronic production, there’s elements of the sort of timbral attention to detail you get in EAI or top-notch concrète stuff. The sleeve and press release don’t shed any light on the roles of the band, and neither do the band (thanks guys), so I’m going to assume that Jonathan Perez is handling much of the production-side wizardry while Borges is doing the guitar/piano-y bits.

Oh! And it’s short. Only 30 minutes. So probably more an EP than an LP. But whatever – short records are important. Get in there, make your point, run away with the spoils. Like sonic muggers.  Good work, The Freuds (I can only imagine that’s how the hip kids are shortening the band’s name. Do they still do that? Anyone?)

-Kev Nickells-

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