chastitybelt

Eighteen months on from ‘No Regrets’, Chastity Belt’s second album sounds like a gang of bleary-eyed friends tiptoeing over the last of the stragglers and looking for the way out of the party. Shorn of slack punk throwaways reimagining Gregor Samsa as a giant vagina, ‘Time To Go Home’ deals in dusky indie pop.

The sub-Vivian Girls STD-themed thrash ‘The Thing’ (chorus: “everyone’s infected!”) tries to raise the pulse, but fortunately it’s an exception rather than a rule. Julia Shapiro and Lydia Lund’s smoke-ring guitars shimmer and sprawl hypnotically on ‘On the Floor’ and ‘Lydia’, which should satisfy any impatient Real Estate fans. Meanwhile, the tempo changes on ‘Cool Slut’ pull as few punches as the striking message of its lyrics. At their least marble-mouthed, Shapiro’s vocals have the commanding presence of Sharon Van Etten, but for most of the album, the Seattle quartet sound too casual to bother trying to match her defiance.

By the end of ‘IDC’ – which, of course, stands for I Don’t Care – even the tape gives up.

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