New War – New War
“Come to me, oh come to me,” repeats the opening battle chant in Game of Love, over a relentless, accelerating drum salvo, establishing the eerie militial monotone deployed by Chris Pugmire throughout New War’s self-titled debut LP. At its parched and umbral heart, New War is a thing of anguish, with vocals that become reverberating cries and rhythm that hammers like artillery; where sounds are stretched thin and arid in apparent desperation or bunched up and clammy with anger.
This Melbourne quartet are not without their melody, despite the ever-present undertow of tension; the synths on Slim Dandy come bright and sudden, and even moments of the sprawling, deserted Ghostwalking carry a tuneful lyricism. With these oases, the dusty expanse of New War becomes more bearable. With a certain masochism at its heart, the journey is worth the thirst if you let it swallow you up in its fever. [George Sully]