Published May 05, 2015One of the many, and varied, horrible things about suffering from anxiety is the way that it destroys stillness. Any softness in a moment of peace or rest is immediately invaded by a shock of nervous energy, like the edges of broken bones grinding together, glass under the skin; there is no way to get comfortable, no way to let go. In their latest release, Anxiety's Kiss, Kentucky noise-wranglers Coliseum have proven that they profoundly understand this kind of disordered thinking.
Their aesthetic has been something in constant motion and evolution from the busted-up hardcore punk of their origins, and they've gradually added elements of post punk, noise, goth and alt-rock, becoming ever more complex and varied, like an anxiety-riddled sonic Katamari. The result is a fifth full-length full of whip-smart songwriting and lots of blood and guts in the vocal hooks, a lot of cleverness and a lot of dirty textures all at once. It's hard to pin down their aesthetic and character, when they can mood-swing from mournful, lugubrious Waits-esque spoken-word on "Driver At Dusk" to the ragged, virulent noisy hardcore of "Comedown."
It's the discomfort, the restlessness, and inability to settle that makes Anxiety's Kiss hang together, and while it's a hard way to think and live, Coliseum do it exceptionally well. (Deathwish Inc.)