Deathlist, Fun (Self-Release)
[DEATH DANCE] Given goth rock's success over the past three decades, it's easy to forget how post-punk, the genre it splintered from, was originally tailor-made for the club. Jenny Logan toggles seamlessly between both on Fun, her third solo record under the moniker Deathlist. But the grooves that propel the album are far too buoyant to allow the inherent gloom to envelop its danceability. While prior albums employed live drums to underscore splashier dynamic shifts, Logan uses the metronomic precision of drum machines to give her compositions perpetual motion and plenty of headroom for other instruments to explore. The record's first half is one taut and sultry stomper after the next, with the rubbery grooves of "Want It" and the interlocking riot grrl guitars of "Until You're Mine" making excellent use of the space Logan leaves between her dour crooning and the canned backbeat. Things take a sour turn on the record's second half, with the trifecta of "Machine Bright," "Thaw" and "Live for You" channeling the downer vibes of Nine Inch Nails, PJ Harvey, and Siouxsie and the Banshees, respectively. The upbeat guitar on closer "Window" is a major detour relative to the rest of the record, but the track's five straight minutes of reckless shredding still offers something meaningful. Whether it was a last-minute addition or a concerted effort to assert her status as one of Portland's most sought-after bandmates is uncertain, but Logan sticks the landing regardless, wrapping up yet another album filled with subtle brilliance and an impeccable distillation of influences.
SEE IT: Deathlist plays the Fixin' To, 8218 N Lombard St., with Months, Wave Action and Bohr, on Thursday, March 8. 9 pm. $7. 21+.