For the past couple of years, Copenhagen's Posh Isolation label has become the focal point for a new wave of Northern European kids equally smitten with P.E./noise, hardcore, minimal synth and black drainpipes. Now label co-founder Loke Rahbek, who's one half of the excellent Damien Dubrovnik and also plays in Lust For Youth, has teamed up with his old mucker and Iceage singer/guitarist Elias Bender Ronnenfeld as Var, delivering a debut album for Sacred Bones that is by some distance the most accessible and accomplished artifact to emerge from this scene yet. Recorded in New York over two weeks last summer, it's pleasingly rough around the edges but punchily, atmospherically rendered, and quite honestly it blows most contemporary synth/industrial sides out of the water. Spanning sparse, lovelorn post-punk in the vein of Faith-era Cure, pseudo-mystical ambient, throbbing industrial minimalism, rousing pastoralist neofolk and fist-pumping EBM/techno-pop, it's in total command of its influences and manages to recombine them into something that feels thoroughly individual and vital. Sincere but unafraid of camp, brooding yet free of darkside cliche - indeed at times genuinely uplifting - this is a record with balls and a world away from the ceaseless deluge of flimsy, half-baked cold wave gear that we've had to suffer recently.
A1 Begin To Remember
A2 The World Fell
A3 No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers
A4 Motionless Duties
B1 Hair Like Feathers
B2 Pictures Of Today / Victorial
B4 Into Distance