After a perfectly humane cull, Dyr Faser return as a two-piece, the flexed biceps now being Eric Boomhower (vocals, guitar, synths) and Amelia May (vocals, guitar). Eric’s skill at choosing his collaborators is to be noted – the relationships he makes with his fellow musicians is more akin to a biological merging of personalities and talents than a process of painstakingly calibrating musical styles. The result, as here in this four-track EP of new material, is fiercely apathetic of your opinions, though is content to stun you, drag you into its den and stab you in the face, whilst still expecting a ‘thank-you’.
A case in point is opener, Glass Oceans, a master class in soporific enchantment, the vocal harmonies reaching deep inside you and delivering the kind of deliciously agonising cramp you get in your leg into your eardrums. They find a sweet spot in their sound and wring the bejesus out of it. By the four-minute mark, something feels wrong: the devil notes they return to again and again start to feel like wasp stings, a relentless barrage of tones which is relieved only by a blessed fade-out…only for the music to fade back in again. I can’t remember the last track I heard that faded back in. It’s a welcome return.
Deep Well, with its rattling plastic drum beats and quacking pedalled-to-the-guts guitar sound, offers a less dangerous ride on the surface, though this is inevitably a false dawn as Amelia’s towering falsetto launches into Edda Dell’Orso-esque vocals to create a disorienting landscape. There are flashes of Velvet Underground in Dyr Faser’s work but only their more devilish side and with rather more glee in the results of their labours. The track doesn’t fade back in but your brain will have already admitted defeat.
All By Heart is more gentle with the listener – an attempt to revive their audience before their last supper, perhaps. I forgot to mention that each of the tracks on the EP come with accompanying videos. As you might expect, they are not Saturday primetime – All By Heart’s featuring a spidery silhouette of a cowled puppet scarecrow with dinner fork hands. It’s both more intriguing and unsettling than many horror films I’ve seen of late. What it says about the track specifically I don’t know but as a two-pronged assault, it’s magical and upsetting.
Closer, North East Rising Sun, offers slightly more hope and less vindictiveness. If Sunn O))) is early February, Dyr Faser is mid-June. Their treatment of sound is similar – an understanding of tempo and space; less is more; more is euphorically punishing. This is at least the second time you’ve been told and eventually you’ll listen – one of the best things you’ll hear all year.