This new offering from Brooklyn band Russian Baths is an absolute monster. Not in the usual sense, not something wild and relentless that claws for your attention, but something that makes the hairs on the bank of your neck stand up, that makes you feel small and insignificant. ‘Tracks’, taken from their forthcoming debut album, deals in the kind of existential dread you get from staring into the void and feeling the void stare back. The echoing beat that opens the track, like your heart pounding in your ears, gives way to a mighty post rock wall of sound that towers over you and seems to obscure the whole world around you in its shadow. The sweet crystalline vocals juxtapose this wonderfully; a siren song to lure you into the abyss. Though the song seems more like a soundtrack for summoning Cthulhu, it actually deals with a more familiar horror in seeing the worst in ourselves and others, and the subsequent search for forgiveness and self-respect that follows. Russian Baths are not a band for the faint of heart, but time and again they have proven to be masterful at what they do.
Sometimes there’s real beauty in chaos. In the waves crashing haphazardly upon the shore, or the unpredictable flicker of flames that we find so bewitching. The new single from Brooklyn’s Russian Baths is certainly chaotic – it’s wild, and fierce, and uncompromising – but also beautiful. ‘Slenderman’, taken from their Penance EP, is an exhilarating ride wherein each element plays a key role. The wild percussion teeters on the precipice of disorder, imparting such a volatile vibe to the track. The relentless pounding bass is like the footfalls of some unseen horror rushing towards you, while the whirlwind guitar bursts forth and spirals towards the heavens. At the centre of it all are the serene hazy vocals, the calm at the eye of the hurricane. Really, this whole track is as mental as it is marvellous.