Melbourne-based musician Steven Smith, former guitarist of Scul Hazzards and Lost Talk and actual member of noise rockers If So Why, shifted gears, during the covid lockdown, into more cold and haunting Gothic / Post-Punk leanings through his new, initially instrumental, solo project, Leaching.
The Australian act, supported over time by a fully-fledged live band with a fluid lineup, varying between a full 4 piece rock band or a duo/trio, has unveiled the first fruits in the form of the lead single/video “Radiate”, as part of a classic three tracker including a Go Go’s cover, “Automatic”, and a preview song, “Commit Then Redefine”, taken from the forthcoming debut LP “End Themes”, due to be released on vinyl 12″ via Spooky Records later in the year.
Channelling crunchy, gloomy and hopeless moods from Wire “Pink Flag” and The Cure “Dark Trilogy” periods, “Radiate” rouses fidgety, obsessive drum patterns, sparse crisp claps, jagged, ringing, sore guitar riffs, wrenching synth stabs, and murky, meandering throbbing bass lines to pulse with mechanical threatening pain over evocative, tormented vocals delivering aching sorrow into scorching pain-fueled ripples of distorted doom.
Helpless lyrics observe a loved one descending into the darkened depths of sickness and despair.
The conceptual video combines atmospheric overlays with warped performance footage to create a surreal aura of shape-shifting visions swept in detachment and bliss. Obscure tinted hues and breathing underwater sea life shift time and space into alien thought forms to arouse the mind’s eye of hidden fear with murky subliminal configurations. Negative light photography, strobing rhythms, and skewed camera angles alternate parallel perceptions into strange transmorphic shapes and translucent geometries, taking the viewer into an altered state of consciousness where fantasy and reality collectively converge.
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