REVIEW: La Ville – The Underground

La Ville seems to have taken a page of out of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s book of Apocalyptic, Dark, and Brooding Atmosphere, the backing track on their album The Underground’s first and main song “Tolling Bells” is lush with sirens, drums, heavy bass, and bells.

Moments of brooding atmosphere are broken up frequently but cuts in backing, loops ending out of nowhere,a guitar that seems to come of out nowhere at random times, really keep this track from achieving the textural mastery that it aims for. At its best, its an abrasive, dark, and moody song that conjures images of highways, football fields, and graveyards. At its worst it feels like a mash of sounds with no purpose, leading toward a climatic crescendo that ends abruptly. The last moments of the song are filled with a lone drum, that may just rattle on a bit too long.

The second track on the album, one of the two self proclaimed “filler tracks” works almost as an extension of the first, the bass is very similar albeit fuzzier and the sirens have been replaced by the staccato of bells, sharply pressed into the ear. It does well to end the ideas presented in the the first song. It too ends with a drum solo.

The last song on the album, the second of the “filler tracks” is actually the most interesting. Beginning solely as textural noise and building up into a quick, glitchy, post-rock interlude, the song disregards all of the lessons learned by the previous two tracks in favor of something that is wholly experimental – the song is grimy and almost dirty, the textures clash and scrap against your ear drums for a solid 2 and a half minutes before fading out into a sample reminiscent of the motorcycle present of Death Grips’ Hustle Bones, it too ends with no conclusion, leaving me to wonder whether or not the album had even been completed.

The album, of only 13 minutes long, is more of an exercise in texture and atmosphere than a cohesive body of work.

6/10

Listen here: https://laville1.bandcamp.com/album/the-underworld

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