Less Art - Strangled Light album review

Bringing post-hardcore back to its embittered roots

Cover art for Less Art - Strangled Light album

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Less Art’s supergroup status gives them a pedigree to live up to, and their raw, depressive debut record does this and more. Driven by the impassioned howls of Curl Up And Die frontman Mike Minnick and the rhythms of Thrice’s Breckenridge brothers, it’s an album that finds its bread and butter in blending ever-building musical power with vitriolic lyricism. Entries such as Wandering Ghost, Shapeshifter and anarchic lead single Pessimism As Denial begin with clean guitars before descending into unadulterated, mid-paced hardcore. Strangled Light’s undisputed attitude alongside dingy, dirt-under-the-nails production and punk inspired guitar tones make for an experience that harkens back to the origins of subversive, anger-fuelled rock. Unlike fellow post-hardcore contemporaries, Less Art seem intent on eliminating the ‘post-’ suffix as much as possible. As Mike wails out such refrains as ‘What is it in man?’, it’s impossible not to note the abrasive inspiration from socially conscious trailblazers like Minor Threat.