Adelaide has always been a fixture of fantastic music that thrives on being rejected by the mainstream. From Wireheads to Bitch Prefect to Blood Plastic, if you want something that blossoms in the dark, then unleash your inner horticulture specialist, and dive into the great music that our Southern cousins have to offer.
Case in point are the deplorable sounds of Rule of Thirds. This trio must lead the lives of the Abominable Snowman/Yeti. Call it what you want, but they are freezing and terrifying. Their sound is a blizzard of gothic horror, churning, machine-laden vocals growling and alluring vocals driven along by lurching bass lines. Each second is colder and more treacherous than the one that precedes it, leaping into a blizzard of blocky, tortured goth rock.
The stuff here is powerful, there’s no doubt about that. When Rule of Thirds get evil, they get real good. A song like “Fingerprints”, with its howling chorus that paws at the conscience, is as hard to resist as a schoolboy is to a priest. Bowing down with a Cure-esque riff that snarls and terrorises like a pit bull would outside a junkyard. There’s plenty of goodies behind that chain-link fence, oozing cool riffs that pulsate and glow, but those vocals won’t let you anywhere near. Stick a pinky in, go on. Get that little bit closer. And now you’ve lost a finger.
Same goes for “Pleasure Hive” and “Blue & Red” – baying, stretched vocals are rolled around like an endless hump of tobacco in the mouth of a grizzled soldier. It’s ghostly, creepy, a Wez Craven wet dream. The amount of hairs the spring forth from your neck when listening to these swirling monstrosities is enough to make a passerby think that Pinhead has sprung forth from Hellraiser into real life.
There’s plenty of anguish here, however, that sometimes doesn’t translate into the most fantastic listening. There’s a certain sameness to some of the album, and the aforementioned tracks are the only ones that seem to really jut out from the murk. Don’t get me wrong – the album is good to sit back and soak up. But in terms of a record that has the same sort of punch as the first Rule of Thirds 7″ did, this LP lacks that distinction. You can’t help but feel like an EP would have been more in order here to get the blistering effect that Rule of Thirds show they are capable of.
Still, the album is worth a listen to – a stumble doesn’t mean that Rule of Thirds aren’t a formidable force in Australia’s goth scene. There’s meat here, and if you like yourself some Multiple Man, Gazar Strips or GLOSS, it’s recommended that you sink into what this record has to offer.
Rule of Thirds S/T LP available from NO PATIENCE RECORDS here.