Review: FINAL – It Comes To Us All

RELEASED BY ALTER.

Justin Broadrick has regularly exposed the sombre energy at the core of pop music: most obviously through Jesu’s combination of melodic earnestness and steamroller forward drive, but also in Final tracks that crushed and reversed samples of mid-00s indie pop. It Comes To Us All is reminiscent of the latter, taking pop melodies and smearing them into delays and muffled harmonics, before feeding them through incinerating fuzz. Each sound begins its decline from the moment it appears, demonstrating how even the most jubilant choruses are founded on the guttural knowledge that the euphoria is already passing. What makes this record compelling is the sense of hapless defiance; each piece attempts to stall the onward flow of time, managing only to salvage mere seconds in the form of slowed tape spools, or dreary delays that slip through the fingers. The colours have already faded, the edges already worn.

The distortion that smothers this album feels like the output of this failed resistance effort, born from the friction between flowing time and the desire to halt it. The entirety of track five is sent into overdriven shudder, the eerie synth bells crumbling as they crash into eachother, while the symphonic swirl of the opener – like a twister of waning tape – is set ablaze, leaving the high frequencies hissing and splintering. The third track stands as a personal highlight, and perhaps the only piece that retains the semblance of pop chord sequence (albeit 100x slower). It’s like the ripples of a phantom string quartet from a sunken ship, with fuzz crackling like foam in the ears; a wry inversion of pop music’s bubbly energy, where the source of the effervescence transpires to be the gaseous emanations of time in decay.

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