Blackout Beach, ‘Fuck Death’ (Dead Oceans)
Frog Eyes front-toad Casey Mercer warns that the unsettling dramas on his third solo full-length as Blackout Beach are a “coward’s songs.” They also comprise a minimal synth-opera, with chilling scenes of abstract turmoil and stoic betrayal, in which a guitar amp, a drum machine, and icy echo narrate just as firmly as Mercer and his Frog Eyes bandmate Megan Boddy. Opener “Beautiful Burning Desire” is a terrifyingly seductive six-minute dirge. “Hornet’s Fury into the Bandit’s Mouth” builds into a sanity-slipping, deep-baritoned soliloquy. And “Be Forewarned, the Night Has Come” summons Nick Cave’s lounge ghost. Think Xiu Xiu reimagining Queensryche’s Operation: Mindcrime. Or Suicide soundtracking Apocalypse Now. Or the xx doing How Dick Whitman Became Don Draper: The Musical. Cheery stuff!