“We want this album to sound big and aggressive.”
These are the only words of guidance that Lorelle Meets The Obsolete gave to Jace Lasek before entrusting him with mixing duties for their sixth, and most recent studio album, Datura. And the Besnard Lakes man duly obliged. The sound emanating from that record is as huge as it is combative, a wall of dense, pugnacious noise, characteristics that tonight Lorelle Meets The Obsolete show they can readily transport into a live setting.
The Mexican duo of Lorena Quintanilla (Lorelle) and Alberto González (the Obsolete) are here in Newcastle, exactly halfway through the UK leg of a tour promoting Datura, a tour that began in Switzerland last week and will end at the Levitation Festival in Austin, Texas towards the end of next month.
Lorelle and the Obsolete open here at Cluny 2 with the title track from Datura, firm evidence of their willingness to continually evolve from what was the self-proclaimed pattern music of their nascence to something today that is altogether more dark and sinister. It doesn’t stop there. What follows is a similarly brutal, yet glorious assault on the senses as they tear through a further five songs from the new album.
In the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, the increasing damage and destruction elicited by climate change, and the daily toll of ongoing conflicts between states, this tumultuous music serves as its perfect soundtrack. It is destructive by design and apocalyptic in its execution. It is the sound of discordant guitars and synths grinding out industrial-strength riff upon riff, each one played out at ear-shattering volume. It all mutates into an expression of futurism, an aural depiction of a world teetering on the verge of collapse.
Yet in the midst of all of that controlled chaos, there are the occasional shafts of light, glimmers of optimism for what may lie ahead. With Lorena Quintanilla’s shimmering synths and Alberto González’s spectral guitar solo, ‘Líneas En Hojas’ – from the band’s 2019 album, De Facto – provides us with a flickering beacon of hope, though any such illumination is quickly snuffed out by the ruthless riffage of the ensuing ‘Balance’.
Lorelle Meets The Obsolete step even further back in time to end this thrilling show, when they return to their second album, 2013’s Corruptible Faces and the mesmeric song, ‘Art For Free’. With both Quintanilla and González’s guitars dancing over the relentless rhythm being laid down by Fernando Nuti and Andrea Davi on their respective bass and drums, the end product brings to mind the sound sculptures created by the German band, Neu! on their visionary debut album. The song affirms that for all of their recent shift towards a more adversarial approach to music Lorelle Meets The Obsolete have not entirely kissed goodbye to their first true loves of melody and warmth.
Photos: Simon Godley