Tungsten Beach The Dead City
In the wake of the events of 2020, there have been a number of albums released with hopeful, forward-looking vibes. That’s not the reality for everyone, however. That’s not to say there is no hope on Tungsten Beach’s newest EP The Dead City, but there’s certainly a dose of darkness to be found. Austin Fender, who handles vocals and all instruments except the drums, notes the songs on the record “are concerned with death, change, being mentally unwell, and finding the courage to accept oneself.”
Most of the music on The Dead City was already written when the pandemic hit, during which Fender was a delivery worker, but the band had to contend with a robbery and the loss of their instruments and recording equipment on top of everything. According to Fender “the events of the pandemic fundamentally changed the way the songs would be recorded. Everything became slower, more depressed, heavier and just different.”
And so now, lyrics rewritten, they have resurfaced. The album is characterized by sludgey, droning guitars that wend their way along slowed arpeggios. The doom and gloom of the seven minute first track eventually gives way to a chaotic, violent verse from Bronx rapper Todd The Surfer, before moving on to “Violence Is For Everybody (Non Binary)” where crashing slashing snare and cymbal work highlight the considerable talents of drummer Lukas Hirsch. Also included is a doom-driven cover of the Cure’s “The Drowning Man,” a track off Faith, one of that band’s darkest albums. “OK Rambo (PTSD)” is the final song on the EP, a chanting track that picks up the energy right at the end. Fender’s vocals are at their best here, and I think it’s a good direction for the band.