Under Review

Sex Church

Somnambulist

12" Instant Pleasure / Psychic Handshake

Review by Mark PaulHus



Sex Church’s new 12” EP Somnambulist offers up three deep tracks that will pull you close, swaddle you in resounding noise, and guide you on a dark journey through a fractured dreamscape.

The rolling drums, unfaltering bass line, and droning guitars of “Hidden Hand” are entrancing, as the weighty, brooding track lurches and surges. Levon Olsen howls desperately through the cavern of sound, until its storm breaks in a slight glimmer of hope as it trails towards its conclusion. As though carrying on from where this last track left off, “Slipped” is immediately more buoyant. Jangling guitars are set to an lucid tempo while forlorn vocals reverberate from behind, creating a song that sounds like the Gun Club crossed with the less bleak side of Joy Division.

This brief flicker of light is quickly extinguished though, as everything slows to a near halt for the last eight minutes of the record. Guitars buzz and drone, and the beat drudges into a grim yet intriguing night terror entitled “Wrong Side.” The wail of a saxophone periodically breaks through the cacophony, taking you to the backwoods of Louisiana to witness a voodoo ritual. The vocals are even more distant and reverb drenched than the previous tracks, as Olsen presides over the dark rite. As it progresses the track becomes more and more invasive, the volume steadily increasing, slowly consuming your psyche until suddenly with a resonating howl the music comes to a crashing halt and you are startled back into consciousness.

Another solid release from one of Vancouver’s most interesting and unpredictable bands, Somnambulist is sure to garner deserved acclaim and entrance a few new Sex Church disciples.