Clusters of Fornication, Loss For Words
(self-released via Bandcamp, 2021)
R.I.Y.L.: the more electronic Clan of Xymox, Void Vision
Sean Cook, a rare veteran of the 1990s Arkansas darkwave/industrial scene, has released music as Clusters of Fornication (a sly reference, that name!) in recent years. His fourth EP, Loss For Words, refines Cook’s vision, moving forward and reverently looking back.
Kicking off the EP, “Hate is a Carnivore” is a good example of the CoF sound – insistent beats, icy synths, and brittle, introspective vocals.
The opening moments of “Pandemica” marries an electro pulse with truly of-the-time subject matter – the rage and sadness that has tarnished the idealist’s vision for America.
“A God in the Reflection” is an effective condemnation of organized religion, with a beat reminiscent of The Cure’s “A Hundred Years”. The house-style bass supports the beat while remaining understated.
The EP proper wraps up with the minimal Kraftwerk-esque “Moscovium Element”. The beat diverges from straightforward mimimalism – like something Front Line Assembly might sample for their own work. Loss For Words concludes with a short demo called “Each Time”.
One’s first impression might focus on classic reference points – the high drama of the best Sisters of Mercy tracks, the foreboding of Clan of Xymox and contemporaries like Void Vision – but further listening will reveal contemporary relevance. It’s ponderous and simultaneously comfort food for darkly attuned ears.