Lorn's debut album “Nothing Else” has never been far from this writer's audio system – a bona fide classic of speaker juddering heroic melancholia and cracking wide screen production. “Ask The Dust” follows and finds Lorn in a sombre, malevolent mood. Gloomy undertones and distorted snaking basslines are thrown across rattling live drum breaks - angry synths and face slapping snares jut and thrust whilst track titles like “Dead Dogs”, “Ghosst” and "Everything is Violence" imbue a further doom laden feel.
The hint of vocal work on "Nothing Else" is expanded upon in various forms with "Weigh Me Down" introducing a newly terrifying Lorn intoning 'Watching you sharpen knives' over a devastating beats and bass rinse out.
'Diamond' sees low slung beats accompany deep, pitch shifted vocals whilst a huge growling bass crawls across epic tremolo strings. I'm beginning to get properly scared....
"Dead Dogs" is as funereal in sound as in title. Wide panned drums roll around morbid choirs and a dark synth honks dementedly. I feel like I’m on Charon’s ferry as ghostly clown dogs pant up and down the opposite shore....
Picking up on a previous blatant disregard for structural norms, Lorn has some tracks fade away without notice – others seem to end before they even get going. It all adds to the strangely dislocated, paranoid feeling that permeates this release.
Final track “Ghos st(s)” carries a falsetto voice across warped strings and broken beat patterns. The vocal hook is oddly accessible yet before you realise what's going on it disintegrates back into the filthy underworld murk it originated from.
Wonky, terrifying music for a visit to the other side...
“Ask The Dust” is out on Ninjatune, June 18th - http://ninjatune.net/release/lorn/ask-the-dust
For a free 2011 release of “unfinished / unreleased / demo / don’t remember music” from Lorn head here:
Review by Andy Gillham