YOU. / SGNLS :: Double review (Blind Prophet)

Blind Prophet continues to explore some extremely interesting sounds. Toeing the lines between acoustic and electronic, the barroom and back alley basement, Blind Prophet consistently promises intrigue and experimentation.

Sean Ragon’s Blind Prophet Records is now three years old. Since its inception Ragon’s imprint has focussed on the sounds of Minimal Synth and Post Punk, clocking up some excellent releases across its back catalogue. It’s all caps and strong lines for the appellations  for the latest duo of releasers.

YOU. return to Blind Prophet for a second installment via the Brick LP. The Detroit group, now based in Brooklyn, deliver deep melancholy. Distance is doubled and divisions amplified. Vocals trail and fade amongst guitar rifts, electrical twangs and rumbling bass.  Their sound traverses the lines of Post Punk and early Synth Wave. Clipped machine drums are employed whilst hollowed vocals ache with lost love lamentations. Track titles like “Exit Exit Exit” and “Pressure” are emblematic of the disorientation and dissatisfaction contained in YOU.’s sound. Factory Records and Mute are obvious sources of inspiration, the group throb with the anguish captured by these pioneering imprints. There are moments of lightness, sparks of hope pinpricking the darkness as in the soothing keys of “New Prize.” But the ashen aspect of the record is undeniable, “Deep Cuts” leading out with swirling industrial memories and ever removed lyrics.

SGNLS debut on Ragon’s label with their self titled LP. This Philadelphia Synth Punk outfit inject energy from the outset. Guttural chants clash with guitars whilst synthesizers bring an element of depth. “Double Edged Sword” sees string and synth combine for a powerful and edgy piece. SGNLS sound definitely leans more in the direction of Punk but it’s interesting how they utilize electronic sounds to compliment, and at times taper, the rawer scrapings. But there are mainstream elements to this outfit’s sound. “The Two Shall Never Meet” is full bodied but has a hearty pop feel embedded in the soaring chord and 80s style breaks. Throughout SGNLS subtly bleed genres without leaving that Punk slant behind.

Blind Prophet continues to explore some extremely interesting sounds. Toeing the lines between acoustic and electronic, the barroom and back alley basement, Blind Prophet consistently promises intrigue and experimentation. Emotions are laid bare with unadulterated instruments and primal passions.

Both releases are available on Blind Prophet.

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