Linear Downfall Sufferland
Published Nov 06, 2015Nashville's Linear Downfall are experimentalists who bring a variety of tools to the task, including electronic music, field recordings, sound effects and samples. However, these are all used on the periphery; the band may be into deconstruction, but they are not into complete destruction of the conventional song structure. Rather than strand you in free-form oblivion, Sufferland places you in a familiar room, with the game being that a few everyday items are removed here and there, and substituted with something decidedly out of place.
Hence the Beatlesque song "It's Always Ending," which features an ominous industrial rumble happening in the background, the high energy noise-rock number "Finger Diet" interspersed with muffled electronic interference and the beat-driven electro tune "The Question," on which a distorted, disembodied vocal track lends a gloomy anti-club air. So, they're clever. But does the music actually work for the listener?
For the most part, yes. Linear Downfall are masters of the compelling contrast, matching serene beauty with discordant noise, well-ordered track structure with confusing mayhem, and recognizable genres with experimental sounds. It's enough to compel listeners to grant them some indulgences, particularly the repeated sequenced passage at the very end (which borders on folly). You'll just smile and nod knowingly at around the five-minute mark — even if you skip the remaining 31 minutes. (Independent)