A horrible hack

-(16)-

Dream Squasher

Year Released: 2020
Format: Download
Label: Relapse
 
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Jun 14, 2020
Dawned on me recently that I've been listening to -(16)- for close to 25 years. 25 years! Impressive, really, how they've kept my attention, but also quite bleak in that none of us seem much happier. 'Dream Squasher' continues a run of records that seem the band expanding their sound while retaining a core of deep-felt misery. While the riffs are grindingly insistent and near-hypnotic in their singlemindedness the tone, pace and timbre shift here and there, with the familiar mid-paced stumbles intercut with the hardcore stomp of 'Riding The Waves' and the epically glum 'Sadlands', which gives off some serious trad doom vibes thanks to its morose, liturgical tendencies. Despite the stylistic shifts, however, this remains very much a -(16)- record: bitter, diseased and ugly of sentiment, and with the kind of head-kicking delivery necessary to ensure all the shitty messages hit home exactly like they should.


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