Divorcer: Espionage EP 7"

Divorcer: Espionage EP 7"

Tags: · 20s · Canada · hcpmf · indie · melodic · punk
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Wonky pop group tells all —“Who am I?,” they scream into a puddle.

On Divorcer’s vinyl debut, the group spits into their own reflection, stomps their rain boots into the mud, and breaks open their multitudes. With major synth, big guitar sound, and pleasing vocal harmonies, Divorcer examines such topics as: the Kafkaesque experience of carceral systems and the medical industrial complex, the feeling of absolute dread toward the state of the world, and the demons creeping inside each and every one of us.

The 7" is titled Espionage, poking fun at national security and facing the fact that collectively the group holds very little power beyond their ability to produce rock hits. Undoubtedly, there is an allure to lies, secrecy and the unknown, but mostly they are embracing the overt camp of spy aesthetic (think childhood cartoons, Y2K-era Charlie’s Angels, or Kids in the Hall’s Sex Girl Patrol.) Divorcer is still making light of Earth’s grim corners, only this time they are donning pleather jumpsuits.

"Divorcer formed in late 2016 in a booth at Duffin's Donuts in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and that's perfect, because just like a donut, Divorcer is a treat. And after two cassettes — Debt Jubilee (2019) and Nutty Grotto (2022) — the band has made a delicious donut of its own with Espionage, their vinyl debut. Arty and aurally reminiscent of the Raincoats, Rose Mercie, Young Marble Giants, Marine Girls, and Dolly Mixture, Espionage’s four playful tracks swell with unanticipated changes that leave the listener wondering if this is still the same song, or even the same band. But the ingredients are there, they're just mixed up a little differently each time. There's call-and-response singing, whisper singing, singing in rounds. All four band members sing, and the straightforward instrumentation all works to serve the lyrics. Frank, funny, sharp, and skewering, the lyrics are a highlight, and Divorcer knows how to emphasize them. They have a lot to say, some of it serious. But while they're stuck here in this weird, messed-up world, they're going to have some fun — and take a bite out of it, too." (Erin O'Hare)

300 copies pressed, offset printed full-color fold-over cover, two-color risographed insert, includes Bandcamp download code. DD-06

Our take: I love it when a new record on the Domestic Departure label lands. Their release schedule is sparse, but the quality is top-notch, full of great music in beautiful, small-batch packaging that is pleasing to hold in your hands. Domestic Departure’s latest release is the vinyl debut from Vancouver’s Divorcer, and it’s another worthy addition to the catalog. Like most other artists on Domestic Depature, I hear a lot of the late 70s and early 80s UK underground in Divorcer’s sound, particularly on the dub-y “Crying,” which reminds me of Vivien Goldman’s classic “Launderette.” Divorcer isn’t retro, though. In fact, the two songs on the a-side sound as much like contemporary Australian punk as anything else... they might make you think of Parsnip or the bands that connect to them. While there isn’t a lyric sheet included, the songs sound dense and poetic, yet they’re also politically confrontational. Four excellent tracks, beautiful packaging... another win for one of my favorite labels in the underground.