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Haldol: Negation 12"

Haldol: Negation 12"


Tags: · 20s · death rock · goth-punk · hcpmf · melodic · post-punk · recommended
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Under normal circumstances the writing, recording and production of an album is at once exhausting and exhilarating/ wish fulfillment and catharsis. To record an album in 2020, in a time of pandemic, heightens this dichotomy and incorporates elements of isolation, self doubt and the feeling that you're playing in a vacuum. In addition to being stud musicians, Haldol fearlessly tackle these obstacles with ease and precision. Shifting from Pornography era Cure to Miami era Gun Club within a single song ( Taphonomy) they totally blur the concepts of punk, post-punk and goth until none of them matter, till none of them can lay claim to the song. Taphonomy is the best song I have heard this year and has replaced Universal Leash as my favorite Haldol song of all time. The mid song drum break that sends Taphonomy careening into another direction is brilliant.
Despite the difficult times, or maybe in stark contrast to them, I find Negation to be less dark ( not necessarily lighter ) than previous Haldol releases. Bull's Blood uses vivid religious imagery to describe the end of a relationship. Once the facades are removed its easy to see why the break up occurred and why it serves as a release.
Because I adore the band, I have tried to be as objective as I could possibly be. Given the material, given the musicianship, given the times we live in...I find Negation to the perfect tonic. 95/100. -Richard Brown, The Proletariat

Our take: Negation is the fourth 12” from this band that started in Nashville, Tennessee, but has spent most of their time in Philadelphia. I’ve listened to all of Haldol’s 12”s, and I’ve liked them all. Their self-titled 12” from 2015 is a phenomenal record, and predated the current death rock revival by several years (there’s currently a death rock revival, right?). While I was lukewarm on their previous record, The Totalitarianism of Everyday Life, Negation recaptures the fire of that self-titled record by pushing past its sound rather than returning to it. While Negation still has death rock-isms like chorus on the guitar and tom-heavy drumming, the guitars are janglier, the singing more expressive, and the songwriting more pop. Once again, Haldol is ahead of the trend; while everyone else is going Christian Death, they’ve gone full 4AD, sounding more like something you’d see on 120 Minutes in the late 80s than a band on a flyer for a Madame Wong’s gig. That seems to imply a softening of Haldol’s sound, but that’s not the case at all… they play with the revved-up energy of bands like the Cult and the Jesus and Mary Chain… it’s pop music as much as it is art project, and listening to it provides all the immediate pleasure that pop music is meant to.