Disorientations- Memory Lanes

Photo © Kris J. Y. Verdonck

We don’t like repeating ourselves but there is one phrase we never tire of offering and that is saying “one of the year’s most essential encounters” and it is time to make that declaration once again. Memory Lanes is the debut album from Belgium post-punk band Disorientations, a release which draws on the seeds which originally brought the genre to life but forges its own fresh individuality and new invention of temptation. It is also a contagion of dark imagination and emotive shadows uncaged in a virulence of rhythmic and sonic consternation; quite simply one of the most compelling albums heard here period.

The Antwerp hailing trio emerged in 2018, the threesome of lifelong friends Lukas Van Camp (bass), Tomas Serrien (drums) and Niels Elsermans (vocals, guitar) taking experiences of playing in bands such as Melting Time and Lagüna to their new project. As their collaborative writing process gave birth to ideas and songs so it summoned a resonance of eighties post punk but soon revealed its own raucous breath as the trio equally drew on more noise rock bred essences. As Memory Lanes proves, it has grown into a raw almost feral yet skilfully designed incitement, an emotive tempest with a contagious cunning and nagging which our instincts could not resist.

Imagine a mix of Crispy Ambulance, The Slow Readers Club and Shellac and you get a hint of its voracity, dark tension and predacious tempting. It is melancholic and cheerless bordering on the grim yet has an inspiriting prowess and captivation quickly established by album opening Wandering.

A sonic wash instantly infests ears out of which the gnarly lure of Van Camp’s bass presses its edacious nagging. Swiftly, the heavy jabbing beats of Serrien start their persistence too, a trespass contrasted by the melodic if chilled tones of Elsermans though the sonic and melodic enterprise of his guitar is less warm. That inherent catchiness we mentioned entangles every aspect of the track and its creative drone like tempting, the album getting off to a striking and compelling start.

It is an impressive beginning which continues and to be honest never stops across the release, the following Words revelling in the untamed breath and urgency which is another potent aspect of the Disorientations sound. It also has a strong Gang Of Four hue which only drew us further in but a lure also managing to escalate the uniqueness the song bears upon ears, an eventful and hungry surge of enterprise set on persuasion while next up Don’t revels in the darkest emotive angst and controlled but anxiety thick tension of their songwriting and music. Its gait is controlled but again with that almost harassing tempestuousness which simultaneously seduces and trespasses with clamorous energy.

The band’s latest single, Watching You Go, immediately commanded attention with its rapier beats and wry bass line, impassioned vocals offering angst thick lyrics as the melodic wiring of guitar added to its quick enslavement of ears and appetite. The song epitomises the band’s dexterity in merging eager catchiness and a cyclone of noise which leaves ears ringing and the senses resonating, its successor in Allied similarly but uniquely concussive and seductive as it solemnly strolls and emotively roars next. Not for the first time within the release, fellow Belgians and the now sadly demised Raketkanon is brought to mind a touch, the way Disorientations’ music is as emotively dramatic in touch in voice and sound yet edaciously consuming in noise.

Waiting For had us keenly bouncing as our senses resonated next. We found ourselves joining the band on a canter through sunless skies and dejected hope, the threesome unleashing a rapaciously animated and resourcefully invasive clamour of sound and again thick temptation before Head took the reins. Its own movement and orchestration of our submission is as hungry and dextrous, the band’s crepuscular hooks and voracious enterprise around despondency bound reflection pretty much breath-taking.

The more reserved but no less fervent and lively Leftover with its Leitmotiv like pursuit of attention and the commotion driven Close To Disappearing ensured there was no let-up in our enthralment for Disorientations’ creative uproar, the greed escalating pair leaving album closing Zinfandel to feed another wave of hunger. It did that and more, the song buoyant in its rhythmic coaxing and subsequent manipulative persuasion and also sonically intoxicating to the point of numbing. Yet it is an undiluted infection of incitement, a virulent slice of feral rock ‘n’ roll with vocal wildness to match though again the craft and creative cunning of the band is composed and masterfully accomplished as it grabbed our ultimately favourite track at the very last minute.

It is fair to say that we found everything about Memory Lanes irresistible though, every moment pure temptation to personal instincts and tastes. We will not be alone, this is a release which will call out and be a beacon to not just post punk fans; an encounter as we suggested right at the beginning which for us is an essential musical moment of 2022.

Memory Lanes is out now via [PIAS] Recordings; available @ https://disorientations.bandcamp.com/album/debut-album-memory-lanes

https://www.facebook.com/Disorientations   https://www.instagram.com/disorientationsband/  

Pete RingMaster 03/03/2022

Copyright RingMaster Review

Categories: Music

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