Hailing from Australia, the mysterious post-punk artist Jon Edifice released his LP of the same title late last month. The album includes all four tracks from his previous Distant Gardens EP, plus six new songs! Let’s jump right into it.
Label: Funeral Party Records
“Park” opens up the album with a beautifully disenchanting guitar line and absolutely kills it with the cold, monotone vocals. There’s some enchanting harmonization in there as well. My favorite line is: “Exploring the possibilities of failure might make you stronger, but in the end you might not escape your prison” – I’m not sure what inspired that particular lyric, but it hits home for those of us who were never allowed to fail. Compared to the whole LP, “Stranger” almost feels like a Part II to “Park” due to its similar sound. While it opens up slower and more ominously, the guitar is slightly more uplifting. As the song goes on it seems to reel around like a fever dream, not unlike the feel of early 80s Cure and Cocteau Twins.
A highlight for me is the third song, “Water In The Graves.” It’s way dancier than most of the album, and the guitar lines are among the best of Jon Edifice. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a dreary song, but it has this minimalist bounciness I’d kill to hear at the club. It feels like an instant hit in the realm of Joy Division. “Cold Condition” has more of a deathrock sound to it while maintaining a minimalist approach, even down to the fade-out. The guitar during the chorus heavily reminds me of early Siouxsie and the Banshees.
I can’t get over that driving bass which sets the tone for “Fine Point.” Honestly, the entire album is extremely lyrically driven and the lyrics should be the main takeaway of Jon Edifice, but “Fine Point” literally puts a fine point on the significance of the words. “Distant Gardens” (originally released on the EP of the same name) is nothing like the rest of the album. It has a significantly more positive vibe and at times borders on shoegaze. It has a Faith/Seventeen Seconds feel to it.
“Gunman” jumps us right back into the grey and melancholy, although this song has a faster, deathrock edge to it which contrasts nicely with the previous track. The lyrics also have a dark theme, just listen! Similar to what happened at the start of the album, “Manufacturable Living” almost feels like a Part II to “Gunman” because of the similarity in sound, but the lyrics and theme are completely different: “Don’t practice what you preach if it seems out of reach”.
Another favorite of mine is “Morbid Community.” If someone showed me this song with no context and told me it was some obscure band from 1979, I wouldn’t question it. It comes off as an old classic (both lyrically and sound-wise) and it’s also one of the more danceable songs on the album. We’re drawn to a close with the 7 minute song “Lonely,” which has more of my favorite guitar lines on the whole album, it’s absolutely beautiful. This is another one that completely stands out for the rest, but I recommend listening to the LP in its entirety and waiting for this finale to really appreciate it.