by Tirhakah Love (@GoonTherapy)
If Mortal Kombat ever needed a third party to construct a soundtrack for their umpteenth sequel, contracting Post Death Soundtrack (PDS) might be a smart move. The Canadian band’s latest release, The Unlearning Curve, is a suspense-building leg sweep — a record of distortion that capitulates to an abrasive uppercut of industrial pop. The result is a deeply mysterious record that may be a tough listen for the tender-eared, but just right for thicker skinned punk rockers.
The Unlearning Curve, if anything, is an addendum on the necessity of payoffs in music. PDS, which consists of Kenneth Buck (vocals, engineering), Steve Moore (vocals), and Steve Ireson (bass), has fine tuned the art of anticipation. The collected whispers on the terrifying track, “Our Time is Now” come only after grungy drum rolls that build intensity as the song growls to its peak. Anarchy boils over. Buck’s demonized vocals place palpable tension on the record as listeners are urged to fight a system meant to “derail shit.” Even more so, the off-tempo percussion licks on “Arrhythmia Dreaming” appropriately voice the violence and loathing that encapsulated in Buck’s pining, “I spent my life suffering from delusion.”
Yeah, it’s some dark shit.
Space for beauty is made, if only, to starkly oppose the bleak. The adept and paced polyrhythms in “Beauty Eyes | Adore” blend nicely with the outta sight electronic guitar riffs but heavily oppose the lyrical content: “I feel your eyes draining my soul.” The lyric/sonic dissonance is propped up by workmanlike eclecticism similar to that of The Dirty Projectiles but with a horrorcore disposition. The eerily beautiful harmonies on “Through the Gates” capture how poignant the band can sound with simplicity. But even with that knowledge, PDS bucks simplicity. It’s not an easy listening experience — and it cannot be. For PDS, their incorporation of terror is a reflection of the messiness of their experiences.
The Unlearning Curve is a highly-developed and focused album that has a rich (and sometimes fear-inducing) energy. The album will be released on May 27, 2016, release date available for purchase here