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The Drop - The New Horror Guidelines (Loveless)

Great. Just what the world needs. More miserable music. Ian Curtis of Joy Division must be rolling his eyes from his early, self-induced grave at another joyless young band, riding no doubt on the influence of his legacy. Why can't these people just take a happy pill?

The first song, 'Candy Colored Bedspread' certainly indicates all of the above. However, things pick up slightly on 'Into the Red Red Room', which sounds like The Pixies in screaming mode or what an early REM track would've sounded like if REM were angrier. It's one of the few songs that grab the listener's attention. Then it all goes downhill. Heavily guitar-based, monotonous and dark as a Goth at Halloween, The Drop are seemingly not concerned with the lighter things in life. The only song on the album that hints at a sense of fun among the band is Chelsea - "Chelsea come home cause I miss you/and take off your top when I'm not alright." A twisted love song, its lyrics would seem more at home on a throwaway punk rock track.

It's not that this music is offensively bad - it's just boring as hell. I have no doubt it's full of passion and tension, but it fails to grab me by any part of the anatomy. Even a hardcore miserabilist may be dubious about embracing "The New Horror Guidelines". The soundtrack to an unpleasant death, you may have to check your pulse afterwards to make sure you're still alive… or not just asleep.

Anne-Louise Foley

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