For some people, life is just too much....
FOR SOME PEOPLE, LIFE IS JUST TOO MUCH. ‘East Of Monument’, the debut album from San Francisco’s [a]Half Film[/a], arrives shrouded in a sense of dark despair that reaches far beyond gentle melancholy, but its overbearing sense of defeat sometimes makes it a harrowing experience.
Quite what the world needs with yet another American slo-core band is debatable; [a]Half Film[/a] owe everything to Low and Joy Division, so there is precious little that is new here, but singer Con Devlin‘s personal trauma is so delicately articulated, it barely matters: tracks like ‘The Arrangement’ and ‘Hang’ capture Ian Curtis‘ utter resignation to chilling effect. What does matter is that these feelings of hopelessness too often cause [a]Half Film[/a] to lose themselves in ponderous self-pity, Devlin mumbling barely coherently as the band stumble blindly into self-parodying miserablism.
What ‘East Of Monument’ lacks is drama or defiance. It has an album-as-suicide-note finality to it: confused and slightly pathetic. Some sense of direction is required, but without the faintest glimmer of light to be found, such hope seems futile.