EP Review: Be Kind Cadaver – Postpartum : Highly charged electro post-punk, made to dig deeper

The Breakdown

Tense and necessarily uneasy, it’s an open examination of parenthood and everyday living given voice through an angry industrial synth-rock soundtrack. Be Kind Cadaver make a big sound to take on those bigger issues.
Difficult Art And Music 8.8

Now here’s a band that don’t hold back. Brighton/Lewes electronic post punk duo Be Kind Cadaver (Daniel Hignell-Tully and Leroy Brown) grab at real issues and wring them out through their highly charged, shell shocked anti-pop songs. Their debut EP ‘Postpartum’, available from 21st July on the forward thinking Difficult Art And Music label, probes the personal and political with venom and velocity.

Tense and necessarily uneasy, the release focuses on the pairs’ examination of parenthood and everyday living given voice through an angry industrial synth-rock soundtrack. The EP’s opener ‘A Gentle Stroll Through Modern Britain’ begins ominously restrained, Hignell-Tully’s weary vocal dangling in a sub nursery rhyme jingle. Fretful and frazzled in the best Kevin Coyne tradition, his warnings are stark, bold and wry from the outset:

There’s something wrong with the children,
They just scream from the moment that they wake.
I guess that they can tell that something’s broken
from the way the grown-ups just complain.

There’s only one way to go from here, an energetic outburst via a rampant electro-stomp and soaring symphonic hooks, all gothic guitar clangs and melodramatic piano trills. ‘A Gentle Stroll Through Modern Britain’ seizes your attention as required – a big sound taking on bigger issues.

Title track ‘Postpartum’ maintains this furious momentum unapologetically. From scathing guitar shards to vocoder choirs to machine hammered, beat driven dynamism, it’s a song that quakes with desperation at being ‘endlessly defeated by such a tiny thing’. Would Ministry ever be so honest you wonder? Still, beneath the genuine anxiety that Be Kind Cadaver articulate in their music some balance is provided by their dark playfulness. Listening to the song’s air punching coda, ridiculous images appear of a bouncing Download or Reading mosh-pit deliriously chanting the closing P-O-S-T-P-A-R-T-U-M spell out on repeat. To say Be Kind Cadaver’s music is multi-layered is an understatement.

That density gets full sonic examination on the lengthy ‘The Centre Won’t Hold’, a further hard probe into everyday breakdown. There’s a prog-like sectionality framing the song that sees it sweep from a heavy-duty doom riff gravity through passages of billowing electronica and back again. The final cacophony astutely skirts chaos and control before disintegrating into a menacing whirr of electronics and robotic vocal alarms.

Closing track ‘Pressure To Exist’ underlines the detail and diligence that Be Kind Cadaver bring to their work. Perhaps more subtle and melodic than the EP’s more histrionic moments, as the duo’s experimental leanings emerge there’s an airy dream pop float to elevate the resigned ‘I’m under pressure to exist’ commentary. Inevitably, for a record that soundtracks such pent-up emotions, the tension soon breaks with an urgent techno rave rush to the finish.

At a time when post punk credentials are becoming even more formulaic and predictable, Be Kind Cadaver introduce themselves as an intriguing and at times unsettling proposition. Contentious but considered, nuanced but noisy, this might be a small scale release but it’s a necessary wake up call.

‘Postpartum’ comes as a digital release or pro-dubbed cassette with art print and photo-book. Order from: https://difficultartandmusic.bandcamp.com/album/postpartum

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1 Comment

  1. […] Kind Cadaver and their attention seizing EP from last July ‘Post Partum’ (re-check the review HERE ). A set that pulsated to an angsty industrial soundtrack with shoegaze shards and a leaning […]

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