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June 11th, 2014 CHRIS STAMM | Album Reviews
 

Album Review: Arctic Flowers

Weaver (Deranged)

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[DARK PUNK] Punks have never been as immune to pandemics as they’d like to think. So it’s not surprising that the past few years of black-metal shoegazing and other such trends have seen the reanimated corpuses of goth and death rock bleeding into the punk scene. Arctic Flowers, a beacon in this new gloom since 2009, has so far avoided succumbing to the gray sameness of its cohorts with a wily aesthetic as indebted to classic anarcho-punk agitations as it is to 45 Grave-robbing. Although the Portland quartet’s dour new LP is short on the sort of chant-along stretches that made 2011’s Reveries such a cherishable anomaly, Weaver is by no means a rote pledge of allegiance to de rigueur dark lords. Singer Alex Caroccio summons familiar but discomfiting goth visions, her clean, wintry croon bringing “sullen chests” and “strange loops locked” and “hollow skin” to brittle life. While the band is willing to give her a bed of retro flange to fall back on, the funereal vibe is constantly teased and subverted by a riotous devotion to punk’s rousing past. It reveals a subtly unnerving truth more vital and lasting than anything on Reveries: The black rest that eventually claims us all may not be as peaceful as previously believed.


SEE IT: Arctic Flowers plays the Know, 2026 NE Alberta St., with Criminal Code and Bellicose Minds, on Saturday, June 14. 8:30 pm. Call venue for ticket information. 21+.

 
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