Sweaty, sleepless and surly, sometimes in summer you just need something fresh and sweet to sip on. Ghettoville is not that palate-cleanser. It is dark, relentlessly repetitive, and could well be designed with the express purpose of pissing off such feeble-minded music fans as myself.

 

The mood is set by the album opener ‘Forgiven’, and the uneasy feeling the album gives, like it’s the soundtrack to a ferry ride down the Styx, barely abates over the course of 70 minutes. ‘Forgiven’consists of two chords and one bar of drum beat that loop for seven minutes while a subway train thunders somewhere beneath. Wonder how track two finishes? Listen to the first bar, repeat it in your head and fade out. Track three? Repeat –  and there are few exceptions to this rule across the 16 songs. The uniformly dreary tone brings to mind Burial’s Untrue, but even in the depths of that record’s darkness there is always something beautiful to hold on to. 

 

Ghettoville’s palette is more consistently dark, and it might take holding out until winter before I can try again to wallow in the cold, muddy waters of this record and find some mutant beauty that has survived the apocalypse.

 

3/5 stars

 

Ghettoville out now on Werkdiscs/Inertia

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