Words About Music
Have a Nice Life “The Unnatural World”
Back in 2008, Dan Barrett and Tim Macuga graced the physical realm with a post-punk/shoegaze/electronic/post-rock masterpiece known as “Deathconsciousness.” The music they created under this Have a Nice Life group is characterized by numerous guitar effects, machine generated drums, airy far-off vocals, and heavy bass lines. These two have done their own things since the release of “Deathconsciousness,” most notably with Dan running his Enemies List label and performing under the moniker Giles Corey, and it took six years for them to return with a proper followup. “The Unnatural World” is the highly anticipated second studio album from this band, and while it’s not as lengthy and ambitious as “Deathconsciousness” was, it is still incredibly dark and intense.
This album only runs at eight songs, but it feels quite a bit longer and remains exciting and moody for its entirety. Songs like “Defenestration Song” head into high-energy chaotic post-punk territory whereas songs like “Emptiness Will Eat The Witch” remain mostly ambient. The two members of this band are incredibly versatile and hold a style all their own, even when they’re re-imagining Joy Division bass lines. They change up the scope of post-punk by expanding it rather than compressing it. Bands like Iceage pride themselves on making their brand of post-punk sound notably claustrophobic and in your face. Have a Nice Life prefer to expand the sound immensely, creating some sort of huge atmospheric space of terror and fear.
There isn’t too much about “The Unnatural World” that I could possibly dare to complain since I like pretty much the whole thing from front to back, but I wouldn’t mind if it was a bit longer. It’s hard to go from 80 minutes to 50 minutes, especially when you’ve been gone for six years. I will pride Dan and Tim on creating music that’s even sadder and more stark than any they’ve ever crafted previously. The album itself just has this New England witch trials type mood that really goes with the kind of thing that Dan fascinates himself with when he performs as Giles Corey, and that is something I’m definitely okay with.
For an album dense with instrumentation and atmosphere, it’s really hard to come up with more to say. It’s an asylum of samples, drones, punchy bass lines, and noisy shoegaze assaults unlike anything that’s going on in music now. If you enjoy industrial music, black metal, post-punk, shoegaze, drone, and all things experimental and terrifying, you need to give this band a good hard listen because they’re easily one of the most exciting bands ever created. Feel free to fall under their spell, if you will.
SCORE – 9.0
FAVORITE TRACKS – Guggenheim Wax Museum, Defenestration Song, Burial Society, Music Will Untune the Sky, Cropsey, Dan and Tim Reunited by Fate, Emptiness Will Eat the Witch