by Tiana Feng
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Label: Arbutus Records

I remember seeing Doldrums over a year ago. It was just Airick and his keyboard of strange samples at the time in a half-empty room. I had said to myself “This is fuckin’ weird” but there was something intriguing about his music and semi-awkward personality that made me stay.

I listened to Lesser Evil 20-30 times over few weeks before I could find the words to write this review. Beginning with “Intro” it resembles that random interlude in the beginning of Grimes’ video for “Genesis”. It remains short enough that it doesn’t scare us off and cleverly beat drops right into “Anomaly.” The word “Anomaly” is an ample way to describe Airick himself; peculiar and different.

“She is the Wave” is clusterophobic genius with laser fast synths that juxtapose Airick’s screaming falsettos. Between clusterphobia he teases with seemingly brighter tunes “Sunrise” or “Holographic Sandcastles.”

“Egypt” like the overall theme of Doldrums and Lesser Evil explores the evil dream place that is as strange as the song sounds. Despite aberrant sounds there are still hooks and repeated phrases (like the word Egypt) to draw attention along with the soul sucking beats.

“Singularity Acid Faces” is another weird interlude that keeps up the theme of being unsure of the real world. The title track “Lesser Evil” continues to ponder this with the line “If I don’t see it, it’s not there/ you want to live forever but only in thin air.” It questions religion and the afterlife but thinking becomes an impossibility over the paranoia created by the layers of noise so helplessly we follow Airick’s sonic exploration.

Interestingly, Doldrums finishes off Lesser Evil with “Paint Black”. It is the slowest but maintains the dark, creepy evil tone of the rest of the album. Perhaps Airick is the devil and he has convinced us to come spiraling down to the darkness of his hell.