Death Hags - Big Grey Sun #4
Released off label 2022
This review was commissioned through Ko-fi. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
In her ever-evolving discography has Death Hags released her brand new album “BIG GREY SUN #4”. This series of transmissions dive deep into her “post-human utopian experimental pop” plan of attack, focusing on dreamy rhythms. While some may be quick to call Death Hags indie rock or indie pop, there’s so much more to her music as she’s influenced by the likes of dark ambient textures, the darkness of darkwave projects, the oddness of experimental music, and the psychedelic nature of the universe. Like a hippy on a trip through space powered through guitars and synthesizers does she weave music to her own liking. This has always worked out very well for Death Hags, and it works to an extent on “BIG GREY SUN #4”. However, there are a couple of either lackluster, or been-there-done-that, sounds to be found on her recent outing.
“BIG GREY SUN #4” begins with a forty-three second intro song titled “Transmuter IV”. As you might expect, it’s a combination of post-punk blues, ambient sounds, and an overall space vibe. Nothing special, and I probably could have done without it, but it wasn’t even a minute. We then get into ‘Spiral’ which has the mask of an indie rock song. However, with the subtle ambient touches including Death Hags’ echoing and ethereal vocals, it becomes so much more than that; it’s like a dream-infused state. While not the most unique track in Death Hags’ discography, it holds up fairly well.
‘Star Operator’ begins with a plea as Death Hags begs the titular Star Operator to bring her up to the moons above. Primarily an ambient work at first, around the one-minute mark does Death Hags bring in a small rhythm. I wasn’t too impressed by this one in particular as the best way I can describe the beat in the track is as if it were elevator music. Death Hags voice and the way she plays with it is phenomenal as always, but the lackluster beat is inexcusable.
‘This Mind’ brings around Death Hags’ true strength. Like some of the songs prior, there’s an ambient opening with a sweet lullaby sung by Death Hags. This is before the fuzzy guitars make a stake in the track and we’re treated to yet another fairly dreamy track. I especially love the part around the one-minute and five-second mark where the drums takeover for a split second, only to send us crashing through a portal and into another trip. ‘SUPRWORM’ sees Death Hags get into a bit of 8-bit / retro sounds and drum’n’bass. A surprise, a welcome one at that, but a surprise nonetheless. I was surprised by how well Death Hags handled the material; still sticking with her sci-fi nature yet giving an ever so slight Eurodance feel.
While ‘Teleport Now’ is the usual affair for Death Hags, ‘Shadow Time’ is a welcoming darkwave inspired trip. Slow moving and melancholic, it’s a bit of a fun ride through and through. The final song on the album follows suit and allows for a two-minute, beautiful ambient outro.
What I think the downside to “BIG GREY SUN #4” is that a couple of the tracks on the album simply don’t hit a high mark that I know for a fact Death Hags can hit. I can’t say that the songs on here are the most memorable from her, even comparing it to her last release “The Alice Tape”. It’s definitely Death Hags’ music, and there’s much to enjoy on it, but some of it isn’t up to par based on what I’ve heard from her in the past. Six-and-a-half out of ten.Jun 07 2022
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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