Reviews

MXLX
Serpent

(Kindarad)

7/10

Matt Loveridge takes no prisoners on his latest record. The Bristol-based producer, songwriter and sound artist operates within the thick of the city’s burgeoning experimental and electronic music scene, having been a founding member of Beak> alongside Geoff Barrow and working with rising acts like Giant Swan and Scalping. Serpent is a record that testifies to the calibre of the creative company Loveridge keeps. 

Like his previous LP as MXLX, the superbly-titled Kicking Away at the Decrepit Walls til the Beautiful Sunshine Blisters Thru the Cracks, this is a monster of a record, all leaden feet, oppressive weight and destructive power. Droning synths course through the body of each track, Loveridge’s half-spoken, half-chanted vocals contouring the otherwise amorphous instrumentation into something that feels surprisingly focused once you’ve adjusted to the gloom. There’s nothing here that quite measures up to the face-melting grunt of the previous record’s opener, ‘Your Bastard Mouth Is Open and Will Not Stop Howling’ – another absolute winner of a name – but the cumulative effect of Serpent packs just as much of a punch as that of its predecessor. 

The Bristol underground scene is among the UK’s most exciting at the moment, and this album is yet another reason why.

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