Lorelle Meets The Obsolete

(Sonic Cathedral)


The sixth Lorelle Meets The Obsolete record represents something of a genre shift for the Mexican duo, with their previous albums’ extended psych jams making way for a lean, grinding and often confrontational form of industrial post-punk that makes few concessions to listener comfort: the album slams awake to the sound of apocalyptic crumbling, all sweeping buzzes, powering-down synths, and dead-behind-the-eyes stomp, and even when the component parts coalesce, a thick, astringent treacle coats everything in earshot.

Tracks proceed in much the same vein – dour, bass-heavy soundscapes, locked into a rigid pulse but featuring almost an anti-groove, topped with alternately panting and detached spoken vocals and wilfully atonal guitars and synths – for the entire first half, and the sense is one of an impressively combative mess, where competing riffs and toplines don’t so much jostle for position as fight for life. Side two, however, dials down the antagonism and offers more shape, with nods towards pacy techno (‘Golpe Blanco’), surprisingly catchy melodicism (‘Ave En Reversa’) and, on closer ‘Dos Noches’, some euphoric redemption via rich, warming synths to counter the bleakness of much of the previous half-hour.

Datura also appears to serve as a calling card for Lorelle Meets The Obsolete’s stage incarnation: almost all of this short, prickly record was recorded live, and the subsequential first-thought-best-thought, semi-improvised feel cuts through everywhere. Indeed, viewed through that prism, the album is incredibly effective: for every sense that this is an unyielding LP as far as home listening goes, there’s just as strong a counter-sense that experiencing this level of forceful, bullish noise-making in the kind of small sweatboxes the band will play in the autumn will be completely thrilling. On those terms, it’s a success: Datura may not suit its format, but it deserves to shift some tickets.