Haldol: The Totalitarianism of Everyday Life 12"

Haldol: The Totalitarianism of Everyday Life 12"


Tags: · 10s · clearance · hardcore · melodic · post-punk · recommended
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Haldol continues to evolve and explore the many facets of deathrock and post-punk on their newly released 3rd LP “The Totalitarianism of Everyday Life”. It’s difficult to pigeonhole Haldol’s sound to one particular band or style, because with every song they evolve from the last and put new twists and turns onto their style. They’ve always tending to shy away from the mundane, predictable or anticipated structures and sounds of post-punk. Instead, they tend to draw musical inspiration from a farther flung range of styles and approaches. “The Totalitarianism of Everyday Life” is a sonically haunting, decomposing and pained album with bursts of layered noise aggression, constantly pushing forward and unyielding.

Our take: Haldol’s previous LP (their second) was one of my absolute favorites of 2015, and it’s one that I still revisit frequently. Everyone at Sorry State loves it, and I’d be willing to wager that it’s one of the all-time most-played pieces of vinyl on the shop’s turntable. So, to say that I was anticipating this new album was something of an understatement. However, as with most great bands, Haldol don’t quite give us exactly what we expect. While the overall sound and vibe haven’t really changed, The Totalitarianism of Everyday Life strikes me as a much more complex and perhaps even difficult record. It’s not so much that it’s off-putting or difficult to listen to, but rather it’s so dense with ideas and so original that you can’t really wrap your head around it quickly. I’ve probably listened to this LP a dozen times already in the 5 days or so since it showed up in the mail, and each listen still provokes the same feelings of discovery and slight disorientation as the first. It reminds me of a Rubik’s cube… when one idea twists into place and starts to make sense, it means that another one that you weren’t paying attention to shifts out from underneath you and when you return to it it’s not quite what you remembered. Sound-wise, this is very much in the “death rock” meets hardcore vein… if you like the sound of bands like Rudimentary Peni, Part 1, or early Christian Death you will like the sound of this record. But for me, it’s not so much about the sound as about the songs themselves, and I feel like these songs would retain their cryptic beauty no matter what kind of window dressing you put on them. It’ll be interesting to see how the scene reacts to this record… I could see its complexity causing it to pass by with little notice, or I could see Haldol becoming a huge punk band off the back of this record. I suppose time will tell, but I can assure you that, like their previous LP, The Totalitarianism of Everyday Life is a record that I will remain captivated by and continue to treasure for a long time.