Wednesday 12 October 2016

Review: Bestial Mouths – 'Heartless'

Los Angeles' Bestial Mouths are an uncompromising act. Blending avant garde electronica with sinister industrial dance machinations, the band have set about making a name for themselves. And with the release of their third album it is easy to see why. 'Heartless' is an intelligent mix of cold wave, darkwave and industrial with a strong experimental edge that frames vocals that are somewhere between Siouxsie Sioux, Diamanda Galas, and Kate Bush courtesy of vocalist Lynette Cerezo. It is a formula that has already see the band take on an EU tour and a show-stealing performance at Wave Gottik Treffen.

Heartless is a dark and haunting album that challenges the listener to engage their brain as they navigate the complex but still dance-friendly contents. Songs such as 'Greyed', 'Heartless', 'Faceless', 'Down To The Bones', and 'Earth' show just why the band are building a serious buzz about them.

The songs have an air of frenetic sonic invocations about them as tribal rhythms give way to hard dance beats while Cerezo wildly whips her vocals into a frenzy amidst a veil of addictive synth melodies. It's like the soundtrack for the witching hour on the electronic sabbat.

Though the stand out tracks on the album have to be the sumptuous haunting industrial of 'Worn Skin', and the brilliantly re-imagined cover of 'Being Boiled', which between them perfectly sum up the band's raison d'être.

The album has an undeniable retro slant to its sound. With cavernous vocals, and an almost John Carpenter style sense of atmosphere holding sway throughout. But at the same time it is a perfect example of modern underground electronic music done right, and under the watchful eye of Die Krupps' Jurgen Engler, the band have produced something accessible and fresh while maintaining the experimental edge.

'Heartless' is a very strong album that shakes you out of your complacency and forces you to listen to it. The band have masterfully found the balance between their experimental and accessible sides, and while this is easily their most accessible effort to date. It is also their most enjoyable and well-rounded.  

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