[a]Zan Lyons[/a] - London's answer to... well, the question usually is "what the [I]hell[/I] was that?"...

It's the dissolution of the monasteries as executed by H-bomb. Low chanting, Gregorian vibes - then the sound of someone splitting the atom to a disco beat. Zan Lyons - London's answer to... well, the question usually is "what the hell was that?" - might not be the man who springs to mind when you need some jokes for an after-dinner speech, but as a guide through the clichis of urban angst, both ancient and modern, he's the authentically bubonic master.

Tufty-headed absinthe drinkers might bite at this album initially - there's enough in the way of Brit-gloom beats to make Lyons the new grimly unsmiling face of electronica - yet such misery is never going to soundtrack a big night out.

While moments veer dangerously close to doom parody - Kweku Aacht's vocals on 'Serial Killer Stories' and 'Demons' come on like a supermarket own-label Tricky - but at best - the carotid crunch of 'Suicide', the superb God-vs-Satan heavyweight bout of 'Warring Factions', the teetering Babel rock of 'Existence Apparently' - it's orchestral manoeuvres in a long dark night of the soul. Turn up the desolation row.
7 / 10

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