[sic] Magazine

Implodes – Recurring Dream

In some ways, Chicago drone-rock quartet Implodes are insanely heavy – all that fuzz, all those doomy tom-toms, the vocals echoing morbidly through a canyon of despair. Yet, through the marvel of guitar effects, these anvil-heavy songs are lifted aloft on a shimmering cloud of delay and reverb, creating this feeling of delicious, shadowy suspension. It’s through this balance between ink-black doom and blinding-white ecstasy that Implodes work their magic.

I knew as soon as I read about the band a couple of years ago that I’d like them. When I named their 2011 debut Black Earth among my favourites albums of the year, the closest comparisons I could muster were Windy & Carl and Slowdive , the band seemingly drawing primarily from ’90s shoegaze and space-rock. While those influences are still there, Recurring Dream feels more indebted to ’80s goth-rock than anything, particularly The Cure . There’s a lot more happening on the bass, while soaring synths and searing guitar tones surge through the ominous blizzards of fuzz and reverb. (And, strangely, before those blizzards kick in, many of the delayed guitar lines are evocative of early Interpol – which, to these ears, is a great thing.)

While there are songs that immediately stand out – such as ‘Scattered in the Wind’ and ‘Ex Mass’ – as with Black Earth , it’s all about the whole, about the overall balance between vocal-led songs and instrumental interludes, each adding their own atmosphere. There’s more of a feeling of momentum to this record, which is both a plus and a minus – the record feels snappier and less dreary than its predecessor, but it feels like there’s less time to wander around in the space the band create. They’re already moving on, to the next haunted room, to the next lonely night-time traipse through a foggy woodland, where the goosebumps are from excitement as well as fear.