Monday, October 4, 2010

Lonesummer - "Satisfaction Feels Like A Tomb" (2010) [Starlight Temple Society]

Shit's a bummer.

I mean, let's face it, the world is dying, people suck, and the only things that make anyone truly smile anymore are cat pictures that can be found on the internet. Sociability is dying, limited to sparse interaction with people at maybe a few shows a year, and yet people say they're happy. In reality, the only satisfaction we feel comes from inside our bedrooms, behind our desks. To be ridiculously punny, our satisfaction truly entombs and defines us.

Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, raw black metal band Lonesummer seems to understand that. The solo project of internet enigma “Drew”, Lonesummer can best be described as black metal, noisepop, and shoegaze being digested by the one and only noise legend Merzbow, and with his latest release, Starlight Temple Society's “Satisfaction Feels Like A Tomb,” this concoction is furthered deeper into obscurity.

Satisfaction...” moves like a rollercoaster, with the terrifying noise introduction of “Mundane Dreams of Flash Floods” breaking even the most sturdy of headphones. Those of us who are patient soon realize that this song turns into a swirling, dreamy, distant black metal syrup with distant, fragile clean vocals, soon ending on a dime, just as oddly as it started. “Odd” seems to be a key word in describing this release, with tracks like “Demerol Smile,” which is essentially a lo-fi synthpop song, complete with 16-bit drums, with Bethlehem-type howling in the background. Of course, as odd as that seems, it is surprisingly catchy; I sometimes find myself humming the (what appears to be a) “guitar” lead that comes in towards the end. Throughout the album there are even more, far more terrifying noise romps (“We've Lost A Day”, “Hyalophagia”, “I'm Sorry/It's Ok”, and more), as well as more experimental, even shoegazey tracks (check out the almost Alcest-like “North Point Misery” for a good, twinkly time).

A real high point for Lonesummer's material, at least for me, has been the vocal performance. They're absolutely maniacal; almost inhuman. I normally use the word “desperate” when I hear crazed vocals, but, in this case, it's as if Drew's just completely given up on his sanity. Along with reserved clean vocals, distant whispers, and other sounds where I'm not exactly sure what he's doing, it's safe to say that Drew is definitely a modern black metal vocal talent, at least in the originality category.

Overall, I really do like this demo; it's something I really feel like I can relate to. I'm a 20-something year old college kid whose spent all of his time in suburban and/or gentrified areas. Everything seems so cold, modern, and harsh. These raw, yet endearing recordings are definitely an accurate representation of where the world is right now, at least on our side of the pond. The packaging supplied by Starlight Temple Society is very elaborate, with various inserts and sleeves; I almost had a little difficulty getting to the actual CD at first.

So, obviously, this demo is very raw and was probably recorded in a bedroom in someone's (probably Drew) apartment, but that makes this whole experience a bit more intimate. Anyone can go get a big studio and record their perfect album in it, but it really takes guts to take home recordings and release them, and for that I thank Drew. There are only a few copies left of this 125-copy-run demo, so get it while you still can here.


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