[DARK ELECTRONICS] Most bands go for the lapel grab, insisting on your attention from the first notes of the first song of a live set or album. The rare and often more interesting bands prefer to sidle up alongside you, put an arm around your shoulders and slowly seduce you. At least that's the impression that the new EP by self-proclaimed "cyborg gospel" outfit Mattress left me with.
No beats get above the pace of your average heartbeat, and the drum patterns tend to hide in the background to provide a buttress between the Suicide-style synth drones and godhead Rex Marshall's basso profundo vocalizing. It's an amazingly effective formula that works over your senses with an intoxicating fervor.
Where does the gospel part of Mattress' sound come in? Marshall seems to inhabit the role of a futuristic tent revival preacher, all sweat and insinuation. He chastises the listener on the skittering "Lied Again," falls to his knees imploring the Holy Spirit to "Shake Me" and closes this six-track EP with an agonized reminder that "only lonely souls go to heaven."
As slowly as Lonely Souls will sneak up on your senses, it will quickly rattle you around and leave you spent at the end. Just thank whatever God you pray to that it is only 25 minutes long. Any more, and you might not make it out alive.
SEE IT: Mattress plays Holocene on Wednesday, Aug. 24, with Religious Girls, the Crow and Jizz Wizard. 8:30 pm. $8. 21+.