Inter-city Canadian industrial/experimental band Post Death Soundtrack is set to release their upcoming sophomore album entitled The Unlearning Curve on May27th. Consisting of two-thirds of the Music as Weaponry lineup, Post Death Soundtrack has shown little growth in the eight year absence between studio releases. In fact, in a lot of ways The Unlearning Curve regressed in ability to transcend and convey authenticity to the listener. What the trio of Steve Moore, Kenneth Buck and newly appointed producer/bass player Jon Ireson gain in overall production value and layered soundscape, they lose in emotion in a series of easily forgettable and quite frankly dated tracks constrained to limited vocal harmony.
Listed as “experimental”, PDS does not seem to experiment much of anything new or even beyond their list of influences cited on the group’s Facebook page.
It is not until a third of the way through track on The Unlearning Curve on “Our Time Is Now” do the band venture away from the almost robotic monotone vocal delivery fraught throughout the album, only to quickly slip back into the vocal comfort zone from whence they came.
Gone is the raw, but emotive texture achieved in 2008’s debut Music As Weaponry on songs like “Axe of Fiction”. While at times The Unlearning Curve flirts with an energy all it’s own, more often it’s pacing and derivative structure comes across as contrived.
Not to be considered a total write-off Post Death Soundtrack succeeds impressively on “Little Alice”, as music’s second most widely used literary character gets taken down a violently naked path we have yet to witness her on. It is on this the sixth track of The Unlearning Curve that we learn that eight years between albums did yield some semblance of bonafide angst and multilayered thoughtfulness. “Little Alice” feels like it could have existed as a B-Side on Faith No More’s Angel Dust successfully fusing no fewer than three genres in a hybrid of buzz saws right out of Nine Inch Nails 1989 debut album Pretty Hate Machine, with that of Ministry’s A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste or Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and a Way To Suck Eggs.
“Little Alice” is followed up with “Through The Gates” which is best described as an homage to Maynard James Keenan, specifically his work with A Perfect Circle cira 2003’s Thirteenth Step, somewhere between “The Nurse Who Loved Me” and a first draft of “Noose” that never actually crescendos the way APC’s track succeeds in doing, 13 years prior.
Post Death Soundtrack’s nine song Music As Weaponry follow up “The Unlearning Curve” succeeds in living up to its title.
Producing a hair over a song per year since their debut, Post Death Soundtrack’s upcoming release does actually get better as the album continues. Seemingly orbiting its most emotive material around track 6 “Little Alice”, The Unlearning Curve does little in the way of being experimental or extending beyond the shadow of any of the influential artists the trio cites on their website,least of which Tom Waits. Tom Waits of course having 21 releases (I count Orphans as 3 albums) spanning five decades could rarely be accused of contrived or derivative and though often lost in the delivery, wrote varying melodies throughout most all of his extensive works.