Newly expanded to a five-piece, West Yorks’ premier garage-sleaze doom-grunge sludge-metallers again hire Bad Seeds/Grinderman stalwart Jim Sclavunos to produce their second album.
But singer and lyricist Harriet Bevan remains their secret weapon, a turbo-tonsilled multimedia artist who paints vivid horror-movie pictures of flaming annihilation and bohemian squalor on Set Yourself Alight and The Last Maze. The band’s 2012 debut, The Killing Jar, routinely drew comparisons to L7, Black Sabbath and The Stooges, all again evident here. But Condemned To Hope adds an extra shot of PJ Harvey-ish blues-growl, particularly on salacious sleazegrinder The Undead King Of Rock ’N’ Roll and the ritualistic, incense-drenched mantra Stinkhorn.
A little sluggish and generic in places, these churning incantations never quite combust like they should, hinting at dark depths of mystical ecstasy they cannot deliver. But sometimes the mere promise of diabolical debauchery is enough to set the imagination racing.