LORN – Ask the Dust

A mouth, a jawbone, a grasping hand, an open wound; the cover art for Ask The Dust is just as gray and creepy as the haunting tracks. But it’s the way the images combine that shows the fine craftsmanship Lorn has to offer. “Mercy” sets the mood nicely with a creaking door turned grinding buzz that interjects with attitude. As you focus on the murky strings or the minimalist beat it becomes deceptively deep. This can be said for the album as a whole, too. The disc is nothing if not dark, but never sulking (the beats are too mean for that). In fact, listen to “Chhurch” as you walk and see if it doesn’t make you swagger. No track overstays its welcome.  “The Well” clocks in at 6:22; “This” a mere 43 seconds. Lorn knows when to let a heavy mood linger and when to let it lift and his restraint makes for a surprisingly accessible album. Lorn’s underused voice adds a welcome presence to already strong tracks. From the ghostly growl of “The Gun” to the inner dialogue of “I Better,” the sparse vocals make for some of the most memorable listens but the operatic hook of “The Well” makes it my favorite on the album. To call it a soundtrack to a nightmare would be selling this disc short. More accurately, it’s a futuristic film noir: beautiful, bleak and arresting in atmosphere.  Most importantly, the darkness woven into every number never distracts from the dynamic arrangements or distinct melodies. It’s an album to sink into. (Ninja Tune, ninjatune.net) Matt Dyck

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *