“Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds)” by Yves Tumor (Warp Records)
Yves Tumor’s new album starts with a scream. The first song, “God is a Circle,” quickly layers in heavy breathing and a propulsive beat. Tumor never lets up — the artist’s fifth studio album is a thriller from start to finish.
The title, like the album itself, is grandiose and a bit inscrutable: “Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds)” delivers a unique blend of electronica, glam, goth and new wave.
Like many artists, Tumor partly reinvented during COVID and spent the period designing and upholstering furniture. The earlier albums were experiments in densely curated noise, mixing industrial, droning and found sounds. The post-pandemic work has not abandoned these roots but instead builds irresistible hooks on top of the more abstract soundscapes to strike an effective balance between experimentation and accessibility.
Still, this is heavy music throughout. As with Nine Inch Nails and Joy Division, Tumor offers just enough pop sensibility to pull it toward the mainstream.
The bass playing is warm and organic, lending buoyancy on otherwise cool tracks. And although vocals sometimes feel like an afterthought, on songs such as “Meteora Blues” Tumor sings with a grinning brightness evocative of Tricky and Lenny Kravitz.
The instrumental track “Purified by Fire” opens with a cinematic, '70s-style instrumental that fully deconstructs and then rebuilds to an apocalyptic clamor. Tumor has a mastery of mood palates that could lead to a second career in Hollywood scores.
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