Review: Skinny Downers – Into The VoidTweet
Black Robots and Percolator player Deenosaurus has taken a loose and progressive approach to proceedings with Skinny Downers, a collective based on the idea that songs are changed and re-interpreted with each new performance depending on which members of the group are on hand at that moment. ‘Into The Void’ is every bit as bleak as the title suggests, recalling Liars at their darkest with vocals that edge around Ian Curtis/Paul Banks territory.
This is the sound of a landscape where jarring alarm sounds ring out as if in a metallic, industrial factory or echo over a deserted post-apocalyptic city. An over-arching feel of unease and isolation permeates these songs, where the sound is often cold and harsh, complimenting the subdued vocal. No-nonsense opener Breeze comes on like a klaxon, pulsing and dense before relaxing into an echoing guitar riff over percussive static as Deen sings “I’d rather die than let you know/ Each part of you is a black hole.”
A programmed beat heralds Little Shadow and its nice repetitive feel with “Gone away all that’s here is your shadow” repeated joylessly, the narrator lost in darkness. Hold Direction follows with more discordant electro-synth typical of the EP, the title line chanted over and over before scattering into frantic alarm-tone like segments. Deen sings of being disembodied, these two distinct sections adding to the feeling of disorientation.
Do You Still Say You Do? contains yet more ominous, insistent synthetic sounds, ending with a voice repeating the title question before running into This Bet Is Long Term. On this criminally brief highlight vocals fade in and out over each other, receding and re-appearing over a heartbeat rhythm and off-kilter instrumentation. Like the vocals that come with it, a final track is buried at the end of the EP, reminiscent of a 70’s British horror film motif, rounding things off in disquieting style.
‘Into The Void’ almost feels as if it is presenting mere previews of what these songs could be – long, meandering tracks where the listener can wallow in the repetition, particularly on those siren-like sections on Hold Direction and on This Bet Is Long Term. It is a fascinating, evocative collection enveloped in terrific darkness – absolute, suffocating, and completely absorbing.