The new Fotocrime (the dark wave project of R. Patterson from acclaimed hardcore punk band Coliseum) full-length album South Of Heaven, the second full-length chapter in the project’s narrative, finds comfort on the fringe. This is the backlit highway slithering from 2018’s Principle Of Pain, which bowed at the altar of post-street punks Blitz while nodding at the megawatt gleam of Depeche Mode and churn of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. The stories comprising this latest are winding and boundless, unfolding with unexpected paths and hairpin turns. Touching the myths of Saturn and Phaethon and mining the lives of Bruno Ganz and Francis Bacon, the album carves a landscape that spans both earthly and astral planes.
It is a record for late night drives, a soundtrack for headlights illuminating the horizon. Produced by J. Robbins (Jawbox), with sessions recorded by legendary engineer Steve Albini (Shellac, Big Black, Nirvana etc) at Electrical Audio in Chicago, South Of Heaven features guest appearances by Hayden Menzies (Metz), Nick Thieneman (Young Widows), Janet Morgan (Channels), Erik Denno (Kerosene 454), and Rob Moran (Unbroken), and continues with a swim in the open wounds and spilt blood of heartbreak, a harp-tinged appeal for care and company, and a postmortem of derailed destinies. Crackling guitars and stutter-stepping synth make songs on here bona-fide grunge-wave burners.