The Last Thing is one of Lebanon Hanover’s best songs yet—an arresting and sorrowful dirge, it is a song that evokes the ray of hope that lingers after Pandora’s Box has opened. And this is undoubtedly the feeling permeating the still air of silent cities and towns worldwide where human beings have never before been further apart.
The song features the most haunting vocals from Larissa Iceglass to date, like a warm exhalation of light under the veil of seemingly perpetual darkness, standing toe to toe with the passionate work of luminaries such as Marianne Faithfull, and Velvet Underground chanteuse Nico herself.
“In these morbid times once it’s over it is over.
Looking back at your life there is basically nothing that counted more than love.”
Living On The Edge, is a strong opener, with vocals helmed by Larissa, is a sighing electronic music track, with buzzing guitars droning in the distance, and the clever blue allusion instilled in the witty lyric: “Monday Morning, listening to The Cure”.
Golden Child is playful yet haunting nursery rhyme recounted by William Maybelline, that is both complex in its production and driven by that classic kind of Lebanon Hanover bassline.
Garden Gnome opens with caustic guitars that vacillate between echo-laden strumming. The song is both beautiful, jarring, idyllic, and bitter.
Digital Ocean features a melody that would be at home on early Cocteau Twins records, counterbalanced by Maybelline’s baleful growl.
Angel Face is an acoustic guitar piece that is almost neofolk in compositions, highlighting the genre-spanning dynamic range across the album, and some of Maybelline’s best crooning vocals.
Hard Drug once again tapes into that early sound championed by Ivo Watts Russell, with folky acoustic elements led by Larissa’s resonate voice guiding the way through the rueful melody.
Third Eye In Shanghai is an unsettling track whose Gothic Rock guitar riff whose detuning evokes Eastern Ritualism, with dual vocals shared between Larrisa and William that overlaying distorted buzzing, and humming sounds reminiscent of Mongolian throat singing.
Your Pure Soul is a slow cinematic journey along the pews and corridors of the religious subconscious. Led by Larrisa’s mesmerizing vocals, this creates a sonic palette of such a caliber, as only been previously explored through the early work of Dead Can Dance.
Come Kali Come, invoking the Cheif Shakti, divine mother, and destroyer of evil in Vedic mythology, is a perfect closer for Lebanon Hanover’s most experimental album to date. The song’s bubbly theremin sounds quivering like radio interference over sitar-esque strumming, with the sinister whisper of the song’s title and refrain giving way to William Maybelline’s bellowing croon.
Spanning an epic journey across ten tracks that wander through industrial landscapes, and ascend beyond the atmospheric aether, Sci-Fi Sky is Lebanon Hanover’s most cohesive artistic statement to date. With their icy hearts on their sleeves, this is the culmination of a decade’s worth of musical creativity radiating from the minds of both Iceglass and Maybelline, and altogether an otherworldly beacon of hope in a time of sheer darkness.
released October 20, 2020