I got their CD in the mail a week ago or so, and here is the review for this CD-release (digitally also) of Tisiphone’s first LP. It is a regular paper-jacket CD with nothing else that makes it stand out more than the weird artwork and the stilistically minimal white on black. The CD is white and etched upon it is one of their symbols.
So what about the music then? It starts off with a song titled “Looking Down“, which has one of those dark eerie intros that almost sound like it’s going to be an industrial record, but then moves away from that in the short intro and fits perfectly into a kind of no-wave take on post-punk. Minimalistic is the key to this song and it is a perfect whirr of melancholic lyrics that in the chorus descends into a whirlwind of power. Basically, this song starts off with a soft but rough edge and then gradually descends into perfected chaos.
Their next track “Where are you” is more of a ballad and percussion-oriented gem with an atmosphere which takes you into the jungle of Tisiphone. I must say that their English is almost perfect but it’s got that regional touch which makes it more genuine. This is probably one of my favorite songs as it lays off most of their no-wave elements and put on their amelodic post-punk outfit, striking you with well-composed melodies and a structure to die for.
With their third song, “Black Velvet“, they almost transcend their post-punk territory and move into death-rock. The “ah” in the beginning reminds me a lot of KaS Product if they had been more non-electronic. The singer’s got that cold sincere touch to the lyrics that Mona Soyoc of KaS Product had on their first album. Personally I think the song is too short but I’m reminded of how this little serenade is a bridge from the first tracks on the records to the even darker side of their later tracks.
Here comes “The Feast” – one of their more emotional songs on this record. It’s well-laden with soft riffs and a darker baseline to go with everything. Here’s where the singer’s lyrics and song-style descends into a more beautiful and ambitious area. She prooves that she’s not only here for those quick, eye-gouging moments of no-wave splendour. She can actually sing – for real – which is not something you’d associate these genres with unless you’d pick out specific, talented bands.
“Empty Streets” is their longest track on the record and it’s weird how it almost descends into electronic territory. It almost sounds like something ambient. Cut off all the other instruments and you’ve got a beautiful ambien song. Here’s where it slows down on the record and never really picks up again. I don’t mind, it’s all beautiful for me, especially this song – it has something their other songs don’t have.
Enter a more bombastic sound with “Blind” – for now it gets more experimental. The no-wave influences seep through the seams and this is probably their more no-wave-oriented song on the album itself. There’s a certain sense of urgency between the lines of the lyrics and the instruments themselves, I’m feeling way stressed out by the faster-paced riffs and the general rhythm of the track.
“Desire” really doesn’t give me anything. Here we hear a more punk and rock’n’roll-oriented song which really doesn’t add up to the other, better songs. I’m almost forced to shut this one off, not that it is that bad – but it doesn’t get me anywhere emotionally – as the other tracks have.
“Spiritual Objects” is a worthy closer. It almost sounds like Siouxsies other band The Creatures at times, and I love their tribal experimentalism. It’s so soft you can almost sleep to this one. It’s a lullaby of some sort. A worthy end to a spectacularly good album that could’ve been even greater had they pinned every track down, but I’m satisfied with what I’m hearing.
You can buy the CD and stream the release down below.