The Suicide Of Western Culture ‘Hope Only Brings Pain’ (Irregular)

Spanish electronica with something of the night about it

Considering not a single track includes vocals, it’s interesting that The Suicide Of Western Culture’s ‘Hope Only Brings Pain’ has such depth of expression. Many of these cuts convey a sense of struggling to make things better. A dark and laboured introduction is the route often taken, yet light edges through to rally the masses, albeit often just out of reach. 

‘Remembering Better Times’ is a joyous dive from towering storm clouds, but from here on in ‘Hope’ is a war fought on land. ‘Hey, Guys! I Know The Name Of The Culprits’, for instance, creeps stealthily towards you, never shifting its gaze before creep turns to stride, and stride to wide-mouthed, full-blooded assault. 

Where light does manage to punctuate the murk, there is never a sense that this is a permanent fixture. Flickers appear through the electro whimsy of ‘Spanish Republican Soldiers In French Retirement Homes’, while ‘Oranienburger’ pays homage to liberal Berlin through thrusting beats and basslines, half juddering, all potent. Despite the stolen glances at the dancefloor, prerequisite gloom is but a short breath away. ‘Two Lights At The Bottom Of The Ravine’ is a mechanised, steam exhaling premonition of foreboding omens, ‘When Did I Become Something I Hate’ a suffocating and repetitive macabre procession, and ‘El Cristo De La Buena Muerte’ a stoic march through veils of darkness.

The overarching qualities of this album are the endurance of trials to reach goals. Fittingly, and one hopes deliberately, this concept is best communicated in the ironically upbeat title track. ‘Hope Only Brings Pain’ indeed. As an exploration of expressive tales through sound, this is rather good. 

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