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Devours – Iconoclast Review

Blurring the line between notes and dance floor etiquette

Vancouver based Devours is the moniker for Jeff Cancade – a mash-up of warped disco, angsty punk leylines and a chewed up GameBoy on tape. With his second full-length album ‘Iconoclast’ released last month, the disco drama is one of the finest cross over albums I’ve heard in a good while.

Devours opens with ‘Curmudgeon’ and its twisted, detuned, skittish synths and beats. It feels sleek, sexy, dark and sweaty. The whole album has a vibe that you’d go clubbing to like Fischerspooner’s alternative electronica feel. European and viscous – it draws you in – as the lyrics tell of a yearning for olden days. There’s a wonderful sting in the tail of most lyrics on the album if you choose to listen to them. For those looking for anthems though, the opener and its punk disco follow up ‘Garnet Gardens’ are classics in the making. The latter reminds me of some of Soft Cell’s darker moments.

Devours

The album as a whole leans its ear towards the darker depths of electronica. ‘Beyond Love and Beneath You’ plays with tolling bells in a sea of synths that feel empty and brooding. Devours simply feels like he wants to wash his hands of much of this world and it channels through every pore and note. I love how everything has a falling apart tape chew tweak to it too. ‘Off the Grid’ warps notes ever so slightly in random places and its retrowave feels evoke those empty 80’s perfectly. Taking that neon-soaked underworld to the dance floor is ‘Vivaldi My Reptile’. It’s catchy chopping up of vocal samples into a breathy melody that wraps around the bass synth lines is genious.

Things move towards the more theatrical with ‘Taxidermy The Musical’ and ‘Gimp Mask’ which both start off ethereal synth landscapes before bursting into life with dramatic dance-off moments, whilst ‘Forbidden Gloone’ encompasses the best of the vaporwave genre. The album as a whole reminds me of one of my other favourite new discoveries of recent years ‘WE ARE TEMPORARY’. In terms of tone and misery, Devours is on par. Jeff saves the most maddening track to close the album out. ‘Iconoclast’ sounds like my Atari having a nightmare in a horror movie as Devours chants ‘I’m sick of feeling hopeless – release me!’ Its sentiment is echoed throughout the album as it closes out with theremin freakouts and choppy beats. A hidden song gently echoes a dystopian clanging melody afterwards as if the curtain that falls at the end is an iron one.

I am blown away from start to end with Devours’ Iconoclast. There’s tons to chew on and plenty of rousing calls to arms for the gay community too, where perhaps you’ll be hit extra hard by the lyrical content. I’d go as far to say that the entire album intentionally pitch bends and warps notes to show that people aren’t easily sorted into one box or another. We are messy. We do not fit. Life isn’t neat; but we’re going to go out in a blaze of glory even if the world doesn’t want to see us.

Recommended track: Curmudgeon

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Devours - Iconoclast

10

10.0/10

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