For those drawn to doom and gloom, the most affecting music sometimes takes a while to reveal itself. In 2008, the happily named duo Have a Nice Life released Deathconsciousness, a messy yet fascinating double-album fixated on the darker side of life and endowed with a gauzy, shoegaze-drenched underbelly. As time went on, I'd continue to see Deathconsciousness pop up in RSS and Twitter feeds from those just discovering an album too weird and too bleak for its time — or any time, for that matter. I should know; I was one of them a few years ago.
Six years later, in early 2014, Dan Barrett (also of the ghostly folk outfit Giles Corey) and Tim Macuga will finally return with a proper follow-up called The Unnatural World. It's massive in its scope, with production that reflects the heft of the material more than ever. "Defenestration Song" is our first peek into its realm.
With a driving rhythm and distorted bass line out of classic Bauhaus, "Defenestration Song" sounds restless and ominous in its movement. (A fitting title, as defenestration is the act of throwing someone or something out the window.) A two-note guitar riff is barely heard above the dank din as warming feedback permeates the whole affair, like the kind that lulls you to sleep just before an icy death. It's a far cry from the thin-sounding version that appeared on the Voids demos and B-sides collection, that's for sure. And, on an album that maintains a plodding pace, "Defenestration Song" is the kind of pitch-black, post-punk party-rocker that'd really turn up at any Goth Night dance.