VIDEO REVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCxVhPSwDJQ
Black Dresses' music is an intense blend of extremely good and extremely bad things. For the positives, they present a unique concoction of abrasive industrial influences with quirky noise pop, awesome chemistry between the musicians, and wide variety of solid creative decisions made throughout their discography. On the flipside, the singing is pitchy and often comes off as lazy, the production is sloppy as hell, and the mixing will hurt your dang ears. It's no surprise why this music is so polarizing.
The "bad stuff" on this album, however, are clearly intentional choices. The sloppiness in the vocal performances aren't a sign Devi & Rook are totally incompetent; rather they simply demonstrate an aim to put rawness, honesty, and emotion above technical perfection. Same goes with the rough and sometimes painful production-- this music is intense, the production ought to be as well.
I like a lot of the creative decisions they're making here, even if it's not technically perfectly executed. The vulgar lyrics in "Bulldozer" which will will surely catch your attention, the dreamy singing in "Heaven" as an extreme contrast to the abundant harsh metalcore moments, and the way "(Can't) Keep it Together" wonderfully develops throughout its runtime are just a handful of moments that demonstrate these are talented musicians who are interested in pushing their creativity to the limits. And I really appreciate that.
However, at the end of the day, I can't fully get behind this record. The "bad" decisions, as intentional as they may be, don't sit with me well at all. The vocals bore me to death when I'm not too busy finding them grating, and the abrasive and frankly bad production is seriously headache inducing. When I listen to this album, I feel sleepy yet extremely irritated, much like a middle schooler sitting through math class.
I like this album, but I don't enjoy listening to it. Maybe my ears are too weak for this, maybe my IQ isn't high enough to fully grasp it, or maybe I'm being too generous with my rating despite this album's shortcomings. But weighing all the pros and cons, I think this album deserves a rating right in the middle. That's how I've felt about most of Black Dresses' music, and that's how I feel about this album too.