Review: Abandon – House Of Cards

On the face of it, Blindsight Records seem to be just a normal independent record label. Further investigation, however, reveals nearly all the named artists seem to feature label founder Umair Chaudry as a contributing member. Abandon is one of his solo projects.

‘Cower’ does little to hide the fact that Chaudry is representing the darkest of slowcore outfits. Lumbering guitars, grumbling basslines and Chaudry’s monotone change little over the course of its fourteen minute length, with only an ambient segment and glimpses of melody offering the merest chinks of light.  ‘Clapping Hands’ is close in mood, spirit and vocals to the uncompromising post-punk sounds of Crispy Ambulance whilst ‘Buried’ coaxes the best vocal performance from Chaudry as he reveals some humanity above some marginally more uplifting guitar patterns.

‘Washed Ashore’ is the most ambitious moment and the most riveting too. A repeated mantra of “Just you and me, beneath the ocean” can be heard as the grinding guitars align themselves to an accompaniment of deathly percussion and subtle electronica. Chaudry gives a convincing portrayal as a lost sea dweller; doomed to a lonely life until the end of his years.

Despite its almost overbearing sense of misery and sloth-like pace, ‘House Of Cards’ has an elegant gothic style and air of vulnerability which makes it strangely appealing. Needless to say, his other projects appear to possess a similarly downcast outlook but are well worth investigating for genre fans.

Web Sites:
Abandon MySpace
Blindsight Records Home Page

Further Listening:
Crispy Ambulance, Lowlife

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