Screature’s “Old Hand New Wave” LP Review
With a sound as fearless as their name, Screature’s Old Hand New Wave takes deathrock and whips it into submission. The fourpiece from Sacramento recently played the West Coast Women’s Darkwave Festival in Oakland and I can’t even begin to describe how much I regret not attending. Screature are easily among my favorite contemporary deathrock bands, and needless to say I was completely blown away by this album! This is their first full length album since Four Columns in 2015.
“The New Eve” has the inherent catchiness you’d expect from such a badass band, but the dark atmosphere completely outweighs even the guitar hooks. Liz’s voice is something to behold– okay, yes, there is obviously no denying the Siouxsie element, but she sings with a guiding downward inflection. This makes it so that in “Waiting For A Light” when she does sing a higher melody, it really hits you. The vocalization towards the end of the song is beautiful. In true punk fashion these songs are relatively short
“North of Order,” the video of which premiered here recently, is more theatrical than the previous tracks and a perfect example of how commanding Liz’s vocals are. “Gone Cold” changes the tone of the album. The music itself is more dark psych in tone, but the vocals are everything, and it’s at this point I realized her sound is also reminiscent of Dinah Cancer but deeper in tone. I get chills (pun intended) from this track because of how devastating her voice is. The mood is lingered to an even darker extent with “Hit The Void” which premiered in November.
“Induction” feels like a restart mood-wise. Liz’s vocals feel more primal here, she almost seems to be channeling Gavin Friday. The guitar hook in this one is so evil and perfect, this is probably one of my favorites on the album.
“Metapsychosis” harkens back to the first few songs which lean on the punk side of deathrock, her voice carrying delightfully. Now we’re getting into my personal favorite chunk of songs on Old Hand New Wave which begins at “Last Scene Alive”. This song in particular heavily reminds me of the old school Batcave sound that fell silent in the genre for so many years and has been recently resurrected with bands like Screature and Otzi.
“Movements” has a dancier, almost beachy post-punk vibe to it, perpetuated by the cutting, banshee-like vocals. The danciness carries on with “Torn Passage” which has the most psych elements than any other song on the album and I have to say, I’ve never heard dark psych and deathrock combined in such a sophisticated way. Old Hand New Wave finishes out with “Another Mask,” a slower and more somber song unlike the rest and extremely fitting for the album closer.
Old Hand New Wave will be available on January 19th 2018, but is now available for pre-order!