Reviews

Lithics
Mating Surfaces

(Kill Rock Stars)

9/10

Now that we’ve had enough time to retrospectively digest it all, let’s face it: the would-be ‘revivalism’ of post-punk in the mid-2000s dredged up some insufferable trash from both sides of the Atlantic. With a name directly referencing something that consists of stone, Portland, Oregon, quartet Lithics are, forty years on, a rock solid pay-off in the genealogy of what once made the architects of DIY post-punk – from the Slits and Pere Ubu to Devo and Gang of Four – so compelling.

Released via Olympia, Washington, indie imprint par excellence Kill Rock Stars, Lithics’ sonic cubism consistently intrigues on their second album. From fist-clenched opener ‘Excuse Generator’ to breakneck closing blitz ‘Dancing Guy’, it’s an unfurling tapestry of interlocking DIY minimalist art-punk where precision and abandon prove uniquely compatible.

Despite pinning early 1980s Fall worship a little too visibly on its sleeve, the bobbing ‘Still Forms’ is a real triumph early on, while the five-minute ‘Boyce’ – the longest track by some distance – wields dissonance with remarkable aplomb. Elevating promise to certain brilliance, Aubrey Hornor’s languid vocals are fully present yet deftly unemotional on ‘Mating Surfaces’’ dozen combustions. On each of them, Lithics, bona fide post-punk revivalists, have zero dearth of confidence and it really stands to reason.  

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support the costs of what we do (the printing and server fees, the podcast and video production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for is a recurring payment of £3 per month for UK subscribers. If you really start to hate it you can cancel at any time. The same goes for European subscriptions (£6 per month) and the rest of the world (£8 per month).

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door, and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.