Music as an art form is removed from the limitations of perceived reality with regard to the aural experience of what is beyond the “real world”. In the case of MEDICINE BOY’S latest offering, 'Lower', the dream noise duo acknowledges this with a collection of songs that explore and reflect what is beyond and beneath what we believe to be our known universe. This album marks the duo’s Fuzz Club Records debut (though the second release overall) and seeks to stay true to their patented sound bouncing between a dreamlike distortion and a bed of spacious reverb and echoes dancing about.
Listen to 'Lower' While you read on!
‘Lower’ does not rush at you with a big opening number, nor does MEDICINE BOY seek to overwhelm you with a barrage of high octane appetizers. Instead, opener “Bottom of the Blue” seduces with LUCY KRUGER guiding our initial descent into MEDICINE BOY’S depiction of the underworld. With a third of the song left ANDRE LEO’S menacing crooning seeps in just underneath the surface effectively setting the stage for the drift into the co-lead single “Water Girl”. There is a push-pull feel that is woven into the passage of one song to the next that feels purposely aimless yet feeds the fluidity of the listening experience.
Across the album both Kruger and Leo trade responsibilities as the vocal anchor for whatever amount of Bedlam or tranquillity transpiring beneath their respective dynamic performances. What stands out with MEDICINE BOY, and the album as a whole is the duo’s ability to convey what they need to convey as one cohesive unit as opposed to two vocalists singing together. Both Kruger and Leo possess ample ability to carry passages of songs on their own, but it is when the two come together where the magic is strikingly apparent. One prime example of this is “Diamonds” a song that also features an abrupt change of pace that feels disturbingly normal.
It should be noted for the record that the artistry on this record is remarkable. Whether it is the elegance of poetry in “Lovely Heart” or the abrupt intimacy of the last line in “One Hundred Bodies”, it is evident that from top to bottom this album is a testament to MEDICINE BOY’S artistry and musicality. The Fuzz Club Records roster boasts a robust collection of artists that dabble in the experimental side of rock music. MEDICINE BOY could well prove to be a flagship stable with their arrival to the UK-based label as ‘Lower’ is an experience to behold.
Russell Miller is the front-of-house/monitor engineer for Red Gate Sound & contributes reviews and an occasional snarky op-ed here at UNDERGROUND PRESS. If the music has a strong melody, a drive, or ambition chances are that it’ll have my attention. Knowledge. Follow Russell on Twitter and InstagramCheck out his tunes at SoundCloudWebsite: soundcloud.com/arkayem