June 19, 2024

Sanford Parker – “Lash Back”: an album to darken and crush your soul

MY PROUD MOUNTAIN RECORDS               22 July 2016

Sanford Parker normally sits behind the mixing desk, producing and creating sounds for a variety of brutal and experimental metal bands. With Lash Back, he strikes out on his own with his self-assembled brutalist nightmare.

Heavy big synthesized crunches accompany clanging in the background, dragging beats and doom-laden arpeggios. Sometimes sparse, sometimes slow; beats stutter sibilantly and sounds skitter eerily. Cracks appear.

Much of this is not music as normally known, except to fans of Scott walker’s last two albums. Filmic slabs of atmosphere alternate with experimentation. Droning backdrops shade impelling sharp beats. This is the post-disaster world of Alec Empire, minus the almost-optimistic propulsion and hectoring. This is a grey world of contrast and shadows – cold, brutal, gruesome and unsettling. Heavily-processed sounds, crystalline at times, murky at others, make this an uncomfortable listen.

I chose to listen to this numerous times on the way to and from work. Make of that what you will.

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