Readership Hostile EP
Vintage scythe-mastery on guitars, vocals teetering on the edge of insanity with punkish energy and theatrical abandon, cymbals close to collapse and moody bass setting the standards for the infection. So far so exciting for the Deathrock devil worshippers. But, beyond that, Readership Hostile's self-titled debut EP revamps its cross-and-bones legacy by merging it with early British Goth, old-school Punk, updated Psych and some refreshing overtones assimilated from their native Los Angeles' underground scene. Obviously Christian Death casts a shadow over this ensemble, even more when some of its members were part of the Californian legend. However, this is just one of the multiple coordinates outlining their style. Precisely, it's in the well-matched pooling of musical backgrounds where this gang's attraction lies. Just take a look at the line-up: Adrienne Pearson (Radio Vago/Shoot Out The Lights) on vocals; Benn Ra (Hatesex/Frank the Baptist/Diva Destruction) on guitars; Christian Omar Madrigal Izzo (Christian Death/Rozz Williams/Shadow Project/Chokebore) on drums; and Paul Rogers (Jonneine Zapata/Arithmetic of War) on bass. Indeed the alchemy works, allowing Readership Hostile to channel their inherent frenzied passion through flawless, cunning mechanisms which make a difference. Not to mention the skills and charisma shown by its female singer - one-third rebellious, one-third possessed girl and one-third banshee - who oftenly ends up by imposing herself upon the structures. As if that were not good enough, the 6-track EP has been recorded and co-produced by the famed Bari Bari (Christian Death/Mephisto Walz/Scarlet's Remains). Sounds like an imperative purchasing? Definitely, it is. Furthermore, you can easily visualise Readership Hostile blasting off on stage while the crowd is getting its mosh on. Just pick up the ferocious opener, "Shadows Of Pure Delight", which blows up a punky whirlwind since the starting seconds, based on towering, saw-like guitar sound and rhythms that pound along like horses in the battle rallied by Adrienne's warcries - which somehow brings to mind Dinah Cancer's (45 Grave) deathly allure. "Snowflake On My Tongue" - accurate metaphor - comes through churning riffs swarming out to attack, while the steady rhythmical section begins the demolition from the bowels of the track. Mercurial wails and staccatos emerge out and fade back again into the horror backdrop, conveying strong feelings of sorrow and abandonment. Although vocals find a way out when the song downshifts to a lower gear. Then, twisted Surf-esque twangs mark the inflection towards a dreamy passage where some pleasant memories are evoked for a brief moment. "Ghost Lived Fire" ignits on all its cylinders and the word barricades can be read on the GPS route-finder screen. It's a neatly punkrocker and leaves behind it an intense Los Angeles flavor. For its part, "Failing Fools" looks like a present-day vision from a classical written by The Cult or Skeletal Family at some point in the 80s - or virtually by a collaborative project between both of them. "Damage Parts" plunges us again into gothic terrains: heavy deep bass, drums propelling all with tribal dexterity, dirgy, effects-laden guitar riffs and Adrienne's scary timbre wriggling with paranoia as if she were a devilish flesh&bones doll. In contrast, there's an icy, dense gloom raining over the closer, "Tainted Pale". Jagged distortions and nightmarish, whining guitar solos progressively inject their tocsins to the track, while the mournful singing ghostly unfolds to the ominous cadences. Widescreen darkness, artistic wealth and proficiency in moods and textures. Essential Deathrock qualities which make so many of their contemporaries unmask. Self-blessing with unholy sounds to polish off this impressive baptism which leaves clear that Readership Hostile certainly scores high in both the intuitive and the refined matters of goth.
Review by Billyphobia