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Her Despair - Exorcisms Of Eroticism

Her Despair
Exorcisms Of Eroticism
by Kai Naiman at 08 October 2019, 6:40 PM

HER DESPAIR is a London-based band, which, according to their Facebook, classify themselves as a Dark Rock band; and while that description throws me off to artists in the likes of NICK CAVE and STEVEN WILSON, HER DESPAIR, with their sophomore EP, “Exorcisms Of Eroticism”, are definitely a different kind of fish. Their rather, gothic ambience, clearly conveys the band’s intentions to create a stale, almost shoegazing-esque flat, atmosphere, which feels rather heavy on the average listener, and attracts the very specific audience that consumes this sort of music.

The EP’s opening track, “Pandaemonium”, kicks off with a mid-tempo, synth-focused intro that plays an ambulance-siren-like melody, that runs up and down on the scale of the song. Once the keyboards rest, vocalist J takes control. His vocals seem to be focused on the low-mid range throughout the entire record, in a rather monotonous and, frankly, boring manner. It sounded like he was focusing on singing in the exact same notes the backing keyboard played, which, at moments, sounded rather painful, and essentially, lacked any garnering moments that could be seen as ‘gems’ by potential listeners. The guitar players tried to rescue this track by exchanging solos, but were reluctant to add to mediocrity, on account of amateur, if not to say, juvenile, amplifier sound and production. There was a brisk moment of ‘oomph’ in “Pandaemonium”, though. At 3:51 minutes in, HER DESPAIR included a nice break that followed the highest, mid-range, note, J managed to reach in the entire record, and further traced back to the emergency-synth escapade, and through to the outro.

The sole salvageable track in “Exorcisms Of Eroticism” is the second, Gothic banality-induced, track, “The Exorcism”, and while it is, ultimately, a dull, B-side material track, it seems to be the only track that breathes oxygen, if that makes any sense. There is a rather pleasant, reprising melody on this track – which, to my surprise and liking, gets me to feel an sort-of attachment to it, ending up with me singing along to it. This is, thereupon, the only lifeguard of the EP, and is fairly enjoyable until, it too, becomes a nuisance.

The last track that’s worth mentioning on “Exorcisms Of Eroticism” is “Like A Crucifixion”. On this track, HER DESPAIR decided, apparently, to pull a mimicry on PAIN, RAMMSTEIN, or their inbred-child, LINDEMANN. That’s bluntly true in the intro and outro, where the synth melody, which the band built the entire track off, almost sounding like either of the mentioned above bands’ unreleased side-B demo. On this track, vocalist J is at his peak of note-by-ceminotes approach, virtually backing the backing keyboards, which guide him to his own vocal line. It did feel like that, at that point of writing the songs, the Brits decided to roll the dice on whether to forcefully write ‘anything’ that comes up or ending up with an EP much shorter than expected – a choice that, at the end of the day, should've probably been chosen.

Frankly, the already existing fans of this ‘Gothic’ or ‘Dark’ Rock subgenre will probably appreciate “Exorcisms Of Eroticism” much more than myself. HER DESPAIR, if targeting new audiences and spheres, seem to find themselves at an impasse; with “Exorcisms Of Eroticism” being as edgeless and tiresome as a record can get. Yes, “The Exorcism” saved the day, bigtime, and still – an EP based on it, instead of whatever it was that HER DESPAIR took as building stone, would have been a much better choice.

Songwriting: 3
Originality: 1
Memorability: 4
Production: 4

1 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Pandaemonium
2. The Exorcism
3. In That Moment
4. Like A Crucifixion
5. Beyond The Veil
6. Final Rest
Lineup:
J – Vocals
Dan – Guitars
Vikki – Bass
Jord – Guitars
Lee – Drums
Toby – Keyboards
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 21 October 2019
 

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