Planning for Burial, the project of guitarist and keyboardist
Thom Wasluck from New Jersey,
aimed for a cross-stylistic hybrid on
Leaving (Enemies List, 2009), placing the
slocore litany Wearing Sadness and Regret Upon Our Faces next to the
distorted shoegazing tornado of Oh Pennsylvania Your Black Clouds Hang Low, that becomes a savage rave-up in
Seasons Change So Slowly,
and injecting the gloomy atmosphere of doom-metal in
We Left Our Bodies With the Earth, the prototype for Wasluck's aesthetic of infinite melancholy.
Alas the longer pieces rely too much on repetition.
Being a Teenager and the Awkwardness of Backseat Sex (8:47) shifts towards a symphonic sound but then contaminates it with a tedious (and barely audible) elegy.
Likewise, Verse / Chorus / Verse (10:49) is bogged down by repetition for the sake of repetition.
The album closes with the mysterious droning rumble of
Leaving (13:17), revealing also a talent for ambient music.
Overall, the instrumental pieces and sections fare a lot better than the sung sections.
Wasluck draws inspiration from post-rock, psychedelia and ambient music and
basically expands the aesthetic of Have A Nice Life.
Quietly (Flenser, 2013), originally a three-song cassette EP later exptended to seven songs for the Internet version, is devoted to slower music.
The slocore ballad Bleached Body sounds like a slo-motion cover of a Lou Reed threnody with Jimi Hendrix on guitar.
The eight-minute Nightswimming is a gentle organ-driven lullaby that exudes a romantically hopeless feeling: finally a long piece in which repetition works.
Among the bonus pieces, only one stands out: the
distorted harmonium serenade She Won't Always Miss You.
Desideratum (Flenser, 2014) veered towards
metal-gaze with the
violent, distorted and pounding eight-minute Where You Rest Your Head at Night
and towards a harsh fusion of doom-metal and shoegaze-rock
with the 16-minute Golden.
He embraced the song format on Below the House (Flenser, 2017)
for his fusion of slocore and shoegaze that yields
noisy crawling creations like Threadbare
as well as more upbeat dances like Warmth Of You.
Far from being cornered in one style, Wasluck crafts
the gothic ambient interlude of Past Lives as well as the
hypnotic somnolent mantra of Below the House.
Unfortunately the 12-minute Dull Knife Pt II, that should have been the centerpiece, is rather predictable and disposable.
The singing remains the weakest element.
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