Even if their music wasn't as excellent as it is (and it's really excellent), Lo! would have a warm place in my heart as one of the first bands I really got into when I started writing for the blog. Ever since then, I have been eagerly awaiting each and very one of their releases. It's easier to wait the extended periods of time it takes Lo! to craft their albums (Vestigial, their previous album, was released in 2017) because the end result is always so good. I am very happy to report that is also very much the case with The Gleaners, their upcoming release set for release on April 7th via Pelagic Records. It once again merges Lo!'s unstoppable penchant for sludgy, heavy riffs with their furious dedication to a post-metal groove. But why am I telling you this? You get to listen for yourself! Check out "Cannibal Culture" below and we'll chat more after.
I love how overtly political Lo! go on this one. From the band: "The album's introduction of the Caucasian vulture, this track is a hatefully vile anthem on the mass exploitation, appropriation and dilution of other cultures committed by non people of colour often naively or without thought to the devastating and intergenerational effects." In this context, the unbridled rage that has always fueled Lo! takes on a new twist here, becoming a condemnation of eveything that's broken about our white supremacist societies. The clip does fantastic working in amplifying this message, magnifiying the calousness and mundanity with which the privileged in our soceity benefit from the structures of oppression on which they rely.
Couple that with the once-again-fantastic drum works that drives this track, the signature harsh vocals which have always taken a central place in how the band has approached their heaviness and, of course, the massive, roiling, thick riffs at the center of the track and you start to get a picture of how hard The Gleaners can go. Most of the album continues this very direct, aggressive, and yet endlessly engaging style although several tracks, like the excellent "Mammon's Horn" which closes the album, are more varied and intricaet than Lo! has ever been. Whether complex or directly aggressive, The Gleaners is an excellent release, further cementing Lo! as one of the best post/sludge/whatever bands out there right now.
Make sure to head on over here to pre-order The Gleaners and, in the meantime, play "Cannibal Culture" super fucking loud.