Lea Porcelain - Hymns To The Night

by Rob Taylor Rating:5 Release Date:2017-06-16

Being derivative isn't, prima facie, a bad thing. Lea Porcelain will fill your head with post punk, shoe-gaze and new age references from Interpol, S.C.U.M, Joy Division, Ultravox, The Cure and The National. A tour de force on an old formula ; an occasionally spellbinding and cogent wall of electronic and post industrial sound that ultimately fails to convince because the band never exudes any definitive character of their own. 

It’s as if from the very first track they seem to inhabit someone else’s music. The same accusation was levelled at Interpol with Turn on the Bright Lights, but at least at that point in musical history no-one else was harking back to the gloomy insouciance of Ian Curtis and Co. 

After a while the sheer weight of doom and lack of inventiveness starts to grate. Take for instance the particularly meaningless piano recital with belated vocal which is ‘White Noise’, followed by a heavy duty bank of synths on ‘The Love’ that works overtime to keep the whole repressive enterprise afloat. 

‘A Far Away Land’ is initially The Cure’s The Forest slowed to a snail pace, a swampy mix that segues off into a shoe-gaze reprise which is a lovely wall of sound but tracks far too one-dimensionally for my liking. ‘Remember’ is a dull monologue, all black and white noir, lurking shadows and stylised poseur post-punk nonsense. Like The National on valium. ‘12th September’ is more low-brow monochromatic new age crap.

Thankfully, there are tracks like ‘Warsaw St’, possibly a reference to Joy Division’s earlier band name. At least this one has gravitas, a blanketed synth over ascending and descending bass chords, and ‘Similar Familiar’ recalls early The Cure (again) and also has allusions to Midge Ure and Ultravox.  

So, who the hell are Lea Porcelain?

 

Overall Rating (1)

5 out of 5 stars