There are three stages of coping with this self-titled EP from Brighton’s newest misery peddlers, We Never Learned To Live. The first is surprise, “Oh, it’s only three tracks?”. The second is confusion, “Hold on, how do those three tracks add up to twenty-three minutes?! Is this prog? Please don’t be prog”. The third and final stage is mourning. Fear not, though, because it’s the best kind of mourning. You’ll just be absolutely gutted that it didn’t go on longer.
Catharsis is the name of the game here, and it’s never sounded so appealing. Where many bands will tackle moody ambience with the same doomy, down-tuned guitar lines, these guys have managed to create it by dominating the pace from the off. Instrumentally, you’re dragged down to the exact level they want you at before stepping it up and barraging you with Pianos Become The Teeth-esque emotional gut-punches.
They’re definitely at their best when they really go for it, and there are some slightly weaker moments when the vocals go clean, but it’s far from enough to really detract from the experience.
Powerful, moving and immersive, We Never Learned To Live do more to manipulate your mood (probably for the worse, this isn’t cheerful stuff at all) in these three tracks than most bands can on the entirety of their full-length albums. These three tracks might demand a fair bit of your time, but it’s worth every single second.
Written by Ryan De Freitas
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.