Their first album was 20 years in the making, but US duo After Death Plan have wasted no time in coming up with a follow up to 2017’s Literature.
Clearly energised by the response to their debut, engineer Lesley Ann Fogle and multi-instrumentalist Constantine Hondroulis, have manufactured another eclectic collection of what they call American Gothic Nous Rock.
The familiar love of language is firmly in evidence, most notably on title track Psycho Social Sexual, but while the first record drew on books for inspiration, there’s a more varied spectrum of influences at play here.
Neil Harvey (see below video) imagines the experience of a haunted soul on an 18th century gunship, while the spectre of a second US civil war looms large on Killed In Days.
The primitive Blues rumble of tracks like Walking recall early PJ Harvey, while elsewhere the mix of tribal rhythms and avant garde programming brings to mind Peter Gabriel.
The classically-trained Fogle certainly knows her way round a mixing desk and she’s no mean lyricist either, her streams of consciousness poetry inviting repeated listens.
Her singing has drawn comparisons with The Kills‘ Alison Mosshart and she’s a versatile vocalist, ranging from the ethereal to the guttural – sometimes in the space of a single song.
Houndroulis’ fluid basslines provide the stable building blocks for some of the album’s more ambitious flights of fancy.
The duo’s long musical history pays dividends, with a host of friends and former bandmates from the Columbus, Ohio underground adding to the rich musical tapestry.
Earwig‘s Lizard McGee contributes glam-punk guitar to Neil Harvey and gentle acoustic to the lilting Mixing Chemicals.
Milan Karcic, of Salt Horse, lends a dazzling Balkan-inspired solo to the title track and there’s sax from Bob Ray Starker (Whoa Nellie!) on You Play Adult.
Standout tracks include experimental dance anthem Digging In The Fire, the mournful multi-track choral vocals of Emma Nation and the eerie, arid, desert Afro-beat of Sinner.
Artistic, intelligent and with more musical ideas than is probably legally allowed on one album, Psycho Social Sexual should keep you coming back for more.
- Psycho Social Sexual by After Death Plan is out now as digital download from Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, iHeart Radio, Deezer, and Google Music Store.
- For more about ADP visit their website at afterdeathplan.com.