Murk and mystery are the keys to Mosquitoes’ unique ability to suck the listener into a wormhole that pulses with menace. Little is known about this new-ish UK unit, but all signs point to an intriguing future. The proof resides within the grooves of Drip Water Hollow Out Stone, Mosquitoes’ 5-song 12” EP on New York City’s fearless Ever/Never Records. Yes, the record’s title functions as a concise explanation of a timeless natural process -- but it also reveals the name of each track, small gestures that gradually erode the listener’s sense of physical bearing. The murk radiates and pervades.
“Drip” tosses you into the deep end and taunts you to try to swim. Strangled vocal cries and seemingly random guitar/drum patterns suggest the disorienting tactics of avant-rock legends US Maple. There is a disturbing logic afoot, even as the sounds seem to disappear into a maelstrom of their own making. “Water” quite literally buzzes with a malevolent grace as rhythms click and sounds reverberate like deep-sea sonar. “Hollow” channels the throbbing and whirring anxiety of latter-day Sightings, an all-too-rarely seen influence on contemporary noisemakers. It’s a testament to Mosquitoes’ peculiar aesthetics that they can hold their own in such rarefied company.
On the flip, Mosquitoes’ put their heads down and burrow deep into into the listener’s skin. “Out” is an amorphous mass of distended sonics featuring short-circuiting guitars, unpredictable sound-swells and stuttering vocals attempting to communicate in an unspoken language. A
perfect place-setting then, for the molten eruption of the final track, a fitting cap”Stone” on a mesmerizing outing from Mosquitoes, courtesy of Ever/Never Records.
Our take: I rely on New York’s Ever/Never Records for a respite from my usual listening diet of punk and hardcore. Whether it’s the baroque post-punk of Patois Counselors, the chaotic no wave of Preening, or the cold, semi-industrial noise of Housewives, I know that the music coming out of a new Ever/Never release will be surprising and challenging. Their latest release is this debut from the UK’s Mosquitoes. The sound here is minimal, but the real watchword is "creepy." Listening to these tracks is like peering through the keyhole of an abandoned house in the country, glimpsing a dark, dusty, and sinister world that doesn’t revolve around the regular rhythms of the modern world. I don’t have a strong frame of reference for this type of music, but I’m reminded of the Eraserhead soundtrack, This Heat’s more abstract passages, or Duck Stab-era Residents, all of which share Mosquitoes’ unsettling minimalism. Like most Ever/Never releases it requires an adventurous and engaged listener, but it rewards that investment of time and attention with a listening experience you won’t get anywhere else.