Perhaps the most prevailing quality of post-punk is its prevalent sense of anxiety, or urgency, be it in the synths of cold wave, the longing guitar riffs of goth, or the breakneck drums and bass of dark and brooding anthems. But for Bichkraft, the crucial mood determinant is something to be stretched and manipulated, to don the mask of something else so it can hide in plain sight. It’s still very much there, just not necessarily in a way that’s immediately recognizable. As the Kiev-based four-piece readies their new LP for Wharf Cat Records (their third with the label), the notion of a traditional post-punk nervousness becomes more and more obsolete.
The record, entitled 800, is a shapeshifting stress dream, a multi-faced boa constrictor that lures you in seductively, while simultaneously coiling around you in a chilling embrace. Their single, “Yonder,” acts as a defiant dance track, drum machines and pop sensibilities making it very easy to move to, but with a certain toughened confidence. It’s agreeable, but only so much. There’s something in the tone of it all, the liquid slickness of the bass tone like an unknowable tongue, singer or Jenia Bichowski’s jabbing vocals sounding like he’s telling off god, or maybe just that one reverberating “ooh” at around the 1:27 mark. There’s an attitude reflective of everything cold you’ve ever felt. By the last fifty seconds, yo who cares? (This is where it becomes most apparent that Carson Cox (Merchandise) was the producer for the record.) The rhythm pops off and soloing guitar dissolves any and all cares of prior admonition. It approaches, but never meets, the verge of disarray, like dancing too close to a desert fire when you’re high on peyote. Or maybe it’s not.
800 is out March 3 on Wharf Cat. Check the track list below:
4. Introducing Yourself
5. 13 Again
6. Night Lamp
7. Some People Have All The Luck