E - Negative Work

by Kevin Orton Rating:8 Release Date:2018-05-18
E - Negative Work
E - Negative Work

Thalia Zedek is best known for her work in Live Skull, Uzi and Come. She’s also recorded the finest version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Dance Me To End Of Love’ I’ve ever heard. With E, she’s teamed up with Jason Sidney Sanford (Neptune) and Gavin McCarthy (Karate) and together they go for the jugular. This is dark, angular Post Punk at its finest. No nonsense and positively seething with tension. Recorded in 4 days, it captures their critically acclaimed live shows like lightning in a bottle. This is the kind of stuff that puts a shiv to the neck of  Jack White’s latest blather.

If ‘Pennies’ are from heaven, they’re falling hard through the blackest of clouds. On ‘The Projectionist’ Zedek shares the vocal duties to ominous effect amidst a mesmerizing storm of clashing guitars. ‘Poison Letter’ strips it all down to a spare urgency before a tenacious onslaught of pounding drums and guitars driving the point home. Jason Sidney Sanford’s dominant vocal presence on most of the album reminds you this is a collaboration not just a Zedek side project. Highlights include a hypnotic, ‘Down She Goes’ and an unhinged ‘Untie Me’.  ‘Hole In Nature’ strips things down to the bone. “What I’m doing is negative work, everything is disappearing once more,” Sanford growls.

Zedek steps up to the mic again for the album’s majestic closer, ‘Hollow’. A song both aching and biting. “When your idols are empty, you fill them with anything,” she intones. It’s a beautiful send off to a tough as nails album. One that summons the specter of both Television and early Wire with formidable force. Negative Work is like a sledgehammer through a concrete wall. Not letting sun in so much as grey skies and fresh, rain soaked air.

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