Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive To Death
Some of Us are in This Together
Don't Stop Believin'
Released: Tuesday 25 January 2011
You know immediately that Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death aren't going to sound like S Club 7 but it's that name that makes you think that maybe they'll be some kind of teen-emo-metal thing; thankfully Triumph (as I'll refer to them for the rest of the review) are neither pop-fodder or MTV-teen-rubbish. Some of Us are in This Together is in fact a colossal triumph.
Wonderfully titled opener 'Don't Lust After Other Women' is not only a solid piece of advice for those in relationships but a tense, brilliant piece of music. The guitar parts are simple, sparse and effective much like on Slints' Spiderland, the tortured vocals recalling Steve Albini. 'If You Believe in Blood' brings the mighty Shellac to mind, albeit with a post-rock slant as they cheerfully sing, "If you believe in blood, I could tell you about my own". 'Salt' slows the pace without easing off the tension and recalls some of Mogwai's slow, hypnotic moments on CODY. 'Hey Asshole' is a two fingered salute to employment played with the relish of Big Black filtered through The Butthole Surfers' 'I Hate My Job' - it aint big, it aint clever but it's definitely a lot of fun. 'Greedy Man' is simply righteous punk rock played with conviction.
Triumph wail, scream, soar and bludgeon their way through these tracks and at turns recall everyone from Fugazi, Rites of Spring and Black Flag to post-rock outfits like Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. High praise indeed, but Triumph really have made an impressive album. 'Let's Leave the Elephant in the Room' racks up the tension even more as it rattles and stalks its way through just under six terrifying minutes as they scream, "I wanted to be respected, I don't know why, I don't know what for…"
'Issabella Rossalini's Shoe' slows things down and shows that Triumph' can do stunningly beautiful post-rock melancholy when they want to. It's crestfallen, it's meditative and it's fucking brilliant. Next track and album highlight 'No Hope Here' pulls off a similar trick as it slowly smoulders it's way through seven minutes of inspiringly impressive post-rock greatness. It's funny how the mantra of "There is no hope here…" actually becomes encouraging and rather hopeful. 'The Dirty Street' is a heartbroken duet: "…Did you find another man's boots where your boots should be at?" It's a surprisingly tender moment.
Closing beast 'Friends Do Not Fear' approaches anthemic and ends the album on a pleasingly hopeful note. Some of Us are in This Together is an impressive album which takes a selection of choice influences and creates something unique, inspiring and new out of them. It was only after listening to the album that I discovered that their singer was former Murder City Devils vocalist Spencer Moody, which was something of a surprise but a nice one. Triumph don't really make the kind of booze and party tunes that the Devils used to; it's something darker and more complex yet equally thrilling.
Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death make you want to form a band and read Our Band Could Be Your Life as well as play Spiderland, 1000 Hurts, In on the Killtaker and CODY back-to-back. Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death are so good it's worth typing their name in full. Reach for the stars!