FP005-3 Lebanon Hanover - The World Is Getting Colder 4RTH EDITION LP
The World Is Getting Colder
The release of Lebanon Hanover's debut album in 2012 was a watershed
moment in the post-punk music scene internationally, and highly
influential on all the music European darkwave music to follow
throughout the decade.
Fresh from relocating to the German Capital of Berlin from William
Maybelline's hometown of Sunderland off England's Northeast coast, Both
William and Larissa signed to Athens-based label Fabrika to release
their debut studio album The World is Getting Colder.
The album is icy, playful, and irreverent, it is both a bitter laugh and
sorrowful grin etched on Conrad Veidt's face.
Each song is unhesitant and unselfconscious with its compositional
minimalism and emotional candor, which in its simplicity belies the
album's cohesiveness in theme, a trend to unyieldingly continue in
subsequent records, especially Lebanon Hanover's first trilogy of LPs.
The album beings with the Die World, led by its minimalist instrumental
overture of guitar and bass, with sparse echoes highlighting the
isolated nature as Iceglass recites the chants "Die Welt." Haunting
strains of synth are peppered throughout the track with despondent
urgency through lyrics alluding to a dying love adrift at sea like a
Ice Cave, the album's de facto title track as it relates to the sleeve,
reverberates with peculiar and sonorous echoes effects, with
Maybelline's bellowing vocals resounding off the cavernous walls of ice,
while the bass relentless pulses, ominous guitar chords While his
thundering voice brings a gravitas to the track...he is trapped in the
No1 Mafioso is Tarantino Gothique. This is a crime noir thriller, about
a made man being interrogated. The song's bassline ties the track
together like Lebowski's lamented rug. Eerie guitar effects resembling
Dick Dale meet The Munsters are woven in conversation with Larissa's
deep-throated declaration of "I'm just doing my job," augmented by her
cavalier swagger in the song's music video.
In defiant contrast to the rest of the album, Sand, and its accompanying
music video, is a day at the beach. A melody ensues that is slow and
bubbly like the foam of waves dissolving on the shoreline. This reverie
is Led by a languid Gothic-rock bassline and a jerky and spasmodic
interplay between the treble and low frequencies. As a result, the song
evokes a windswept atmosphere that borders on No Wave instrumentation
but is brought down to earth with Larissa's stoic German language
"He's dead, Jim." Totally Tot is trademark Lebanon Hanover wit,
refurbishing valley parlance into uber goth sarcasm with Maybelline
bellowing the Chants over and over that he is dead. Ghostly synths march
in quickened procession reminiscent of 70s BBC sci-fi soundtracks,
lurching around on the dancefloor, cumbersome yet confident. This is
underscored by the accompanying video where Maybelline convulsively
gyrates in the woods, while Iceglass voyeuristically watches from behind
a tree with an unsettling grin on her face.
Kunst is a more shimmering and artful offering of minimal lo-fi beats
with sleepy vocals, and the kind of cathedral-esque keys that often
found on the baroque soundtracks of 80s horror. The song is hypnotic,
operating on a trance-inducing synth frequency interspersed with
space-age sci-fi pulses. Larissa's German-language vocals come to an
uncomfortably abrupt conclusion as the song ends.
Die World II is a reprise of Die World with the same instrumentation,
but now defiantly resistant, while led Maybelline's hopeful vocals,
which emerge from the desolation of glacial sorrow, asking if the world
outside still exists.
-, is an untitled track that works as the album's poetic interlude. The
song is laden with frosty quirks that harken to the minimalist surf
guitar elements of Mafiaso, yet with barely discernible German lyrics,
over crisp drum machines and pulsing synths.
Cannibal is plodding and suspenseful with haunting strains of wailing
ghostly incantations led initially by William Maybelline that given way
to a vocal interplay between he and Iceglass like a phantasmagoric
version Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood. This is set to the melody of a
plodding drum machine; distorted guitars shedding white noise, like an
EVP infused with infants' interspersed crying.
Einhorn is imbued with a more dreamy, mysterious gothic bassline,
quavering synths, and a classic post-punk guitar melody. This comes
together in a woeful melange, much like the song's elusive unicorn
itself, which ends up drowning at the end, evoking the fates of Equine
characters from childhood dreams.
The album closes with the hometown lament Sunderland, an atmospheric and
evasive narrative track, peppered with a captivating and energetic synth
arpeggio and ethereal vocals bringing in a sweeping musical landscape
and narrative about a rampaging wolf that gives way to bizarre shouting
at the end, reminiscent of Alan Vega's wild poetry.