By Victor Guevara
The second full-length album by Karaoke (a fairly new collaborative band based out of Atlanta) is nothing less than hypnotizing.
Before even listening to the album, the title alone already sets the tone for the kind of experience you are in for. While the album still shows elements of the band’s dream-pop sound from their debut album How to make you Boil, the new album took a much more different approach.
Blood, Piss, Religion, Pain can best be described as a complete embrace of disarray and dissonance sprinkled across the 36-minute listening time. But this is where the true beauty of the album lies.
Ranging from exposed tritones, ominous strings, wailing guitars and murky chords, the album chooses a theme and sticks with it throughout.
The eerie atmosphere the band creates is filled with depth and space, but just as the listener settles into it, a sharp rhythm or groove change completely changes the mood and adds to the chaos of the sound. These mood shifts constantly keep the listener’s attention.
Examples of this can be seen towards the end of the “Bad Christian” and “How to make you Boil,” where the percussion leads the ensemble out of a sharp dissonant atmosphere into a more psychedelic type of groove.
In contrast, “Heaven,” the longest song on the album at 11 minutes, is a more cinematic experience mixed with various hums, vocals and instrumentals that show the vulnerable themes of the album.
One of the highlights of the band and the album is Grace Bellary’s vocals. Bellary’s angelic voice serves as the focal point for most of the album, and even amongst the disarray and chaos, the mixing of the album has the softer angelic voice sitting perfectly on top of the multiple layers of songs.
This serves as a more ethereal dream-like contrast to the chaos and dissonance the rest of the ensemble is maintaining, creating the savory-sweet type of flavor that completes the album.
After listening to the entirety of the unique album it is evident how much potential Karaoke has. Their second debut album really separates the band from others, with their unique sound and defiance of categorization and customs.
Karaoke is a band that deserves much more recognition than they currently receive, but I wouldn’t count them out and would be on the lookout for any work from them in the future.
You can check out Karaoke’s newest album on YouTube Music.
Featured Image via the album cover of Blood, Piss, Religion, Pain by Karaoke