"Mesmerized, you inhabit a moment free from time and place."
Petrichor: the scent of rain on earth, and the state inhabited by Ars Phoenix’s Violent Rain. The latest from Gainesville, FL’s synthgaze goth lovelies (and headliners at Velvet Lounge on March 28), it’s a record that takes you somewhere dark and damp and deep, only to awaken you abruptly with a 7-minute spoken finale.
It’s dangerous to compare any band to Joy Division, but Ars Phoenix is what Ian Curtis’ band might have sounded like had he had a female backing vocalist on every track, a lot more synthesizers, and a reference to post-rock’s cinematic climaxes. Much of Violent Rain is cold, but not callous; it calls you in out of the drizzle and lets you gaze out on it from behind slightly frosted windowpanes. It’s a dark place but so beautiful you barely notice, barely feel the chill creeping in.
That state can’t last forever, though. So we arrive at the title and closing track, a confrontation between what’s inside and what’s out—and when, ever so subtly, the boundaries were dragged through the fresh mud. Violent Rain is unsettling, yet it speaks to something so fundamentally true—how life is lived in gray areas—that it will be hard to stop yourself pressing “play” again.
A thoughtful and glowing review of our new vinyl LP out on Etxe Records, Violent Rain, from District Beat! Thank you! See you at Velvet Lounge!