WL//WH Track Of The Day: COALTAR “Criteria”

Track Of The Day  Coaltar

Coaltar is a new enigmatic project from France, that has just released its debut 3-track EP, “Alas”, with strong hints to the 80s coldwave, as is apparent by the successful cover of Oto‘s “Anyway”, a minor cult classic, quite popular lately in the underground DJ sets, originally appeared on an obscure 1984 compilation from the Les Disques du Soleil et de l’Acier, in addition to a strained and edgy 6-string minimalism in trademark, around “154” period, Wire style.

The band, that instincts and the deft production makes me perceive as not a newcomer, builds alienating, oppressive and magnetic atmospheres, pervaded by gloomy moods and creeping, brooding tension, fueled by ominous mechanical rhythms and angst-ridden gripping vocals.

With the more jittery, bouncing and electronic “Dirty Boy” one of the two original songs, the immersive “Criteria” is driven by an incessant punchy drum machine and hypnotic kicks along with menacing buzzing undulating bassline, steadily tormented by sharp strains of chromatic guitar slivers, to burst with a looming sense of claustrophobic anxiety, embodied by intense and organic dual male vocalizations combining cold, curious, and numb melodrama with warm simmering, emotional cries in a dynamic interplay of falling echoes, back-up chants, and a final burning scream to ponder the confusing notion of self in present dystopic blues.

A definitely above average debut, let’s see if the instinct, as often happens, rarely gets it wrong.