1. There’s No Future
3. Wailing Wood
4. Tell-tale H…
5. Biting A Spectrum
6. Dead Souls
7. The End Of Times
8. Peter Gabriel
There’s No Future is the latest release from Hong Kong based Mexican duo Deer Mx. Following up from 2018’s debut EP Portraits, Adriana Martinez and Miguel Bastida add a grungier and more complex nature to their dark electronic rock sound.
Title track There’s No Future shows us straightaway there’s more going on this record than last year’s Portraits. The strong rock percussion leads this track alongside the familiar electronic sound we know from the duo. Lyrically there’s isn’t a lot to get your teeth into here. It’s almost like words are a minor addition to add to their overall sonic statement. The accompanying music video to this track is something to watch perhaps after the kids have gone to bed.
Deaf evokes feelings of the edginess of early Cranberries and Adriana’s voice has a real menacing nature which I like. The stripped down piano based middle eighth brings a beautiful brevity to the song. The album’s recurring similar time signatures and rhythm starts to feel a bit samey on Wailing Wood as does the near sanitised use of electronic instrumentation. However, Deer’s music shows real beauty when they bring contrast as shown in the instrumental outro.
Tell-tale H… comes out of nowhere for me really. Just as the record was starting to lose my interest, their sound really clicks. The more simplistic arrangement, coupled with the stirring vocals creates space for real deep, uplifting emotions. Dead Souls dips into dance territory and Miguel’s vocal brings a welcomed layer of interest. The slowing of the rhythm to the again simplified piano based sound, now a regular trick, again adds dynamism to the track. But their blueprint is becoming quite clear.
Closing track Peter Gabriel seems to reference a well-known piece of classical music I can’t quite place, I could be wrong. It’s more an opus or classical composition that just simply a song. The synths here are wonderfully uplifting and the vocals compliment the sound as an instrument more than a vehicle for lyrical communication.
An incredibly ethereal record with countless layers of darkness and complex emotions. There are pockets of upliftment but on the whole it’s that sombre, dark essence which drives the sound of this record.
Deer Mx are a Wolf Alice for HK times. If Forrest Gump is your favourite movie and your mad for Disney, they’re not likely to be for you. But this record lays complicated feelings to a dark sound. An end of the musical spectrum we always need.
– Simon Donald Jones