CD title: From Which No light Escapes
Label: Carbon Neutral Digital
Genre: Post Punk
Reviewer: Steve Fearon
This album is available to order here:http://toybox.twisted.org.uk/~porl/fromwhichnolightescapes.html
Miserylab is the Solo project of Porl King, formally of Rosetta Stone, and renowned for his remixing and producing skills.
On the official site, Porl King describes his approach to music writing, and it gives a pretty good indication of what you can expect from "From Which No light Escapes"...
"miserylab is about creating with limitation .. this ensures more effort on the side of songwriting and performance in the studio - which in the past has taken a backseat to my obsession with production ..."
He goes on to say:
"miserylab is formulaic - arguably partially contrived .. but to me it works .. I know exactly what I want it to be .. it has a sonic and visual identity - I have no interest in it ever being eclectic .. it will never be a melodic chameleon .. it is linear and consistent .. but purposefully so .."
And it is this sense of "purpose" that guides the listener through the album, with the production consistent and even handed, and the melodies simple but powerful.
There is a very 'live' feel to the album, with a minimum of artificial polish to the sound. That is not to say that is rough round the edges, far from it in fact.It is cleverly produced, with seemingly minimal compression and a lack of forced dynamics, which provides a lot of energy with seemingly very little in terms of instrumental variety or synthesis.
This is not a 'rock' album, there are no heavily distorted guitars or crashing drum fills, likewise this is not a synth heavy new wave band either...instead it sits fairly close to a sort of Gothic Pop, a musical counterbalance to Tim Burton's mainstream gothic style film making.
Although it seems like an obvious comparison, Miserylab has the feel of a more contemporary 'Cure' or 'Depeche Mode' , blending the slightly melancholy and dark, with the catchy nature of pop music.
The Lyrics are powerful and a strong positive in listening to this album, talking of God, The Heavens and the world at large.Also, the lack of a chaotic collection of noise, or a busy musical spectrum, means that it is somehow more compelling to listen to what is being sung than perhaps is true with other artists, and you can find yourself listening intently as if it were an audio book.
However, despite it's charms, it's lack of immediacy and reliance on a relatively lo-fi sound may turn off fans of the harder styles, with little for the Punkier and Rockier amongst us.
Ultimately, whilst not offering much in the way of a radical sound, Miserylab have created a clever concept album, with plenty to offer fans of Old School Goth, and Dark Pop, and showing there are still some true 'artists' out there attempting to challenge themselves, and of course us too.
7/10 - Recommended Tracks "Drowning" & "Escapes"
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