The Vacant Lots – Interzone

Interzone is the third full length LP of post-punk duo The Vacant Lots. This album takes you into the liminal space between disco and electronica, between psych rock and goth, together with all the rich possibilities and in that world. It’s music for the club goer or on your own via headphones, dancing while society at large is crumbling outside your door. Jared Artaud and Brian MacFayden filled this eight-track with quick hitters that are both dance stompers and mesmerising synth tapestries. It’s soundscapes are moody and foreboding, but filled with energizing beasts that make you want to get off your feet or take you to a hypnotizing trance-like state. 

The album opens with the groovy synthesis of “Endless Rain”. Each element in this song seems minimally composed with its neon-wound strings and steady pulsing arpeggios. The pieces are strung together so well that when the flashy riffs come in you can’t help but get stuck on the groove. “Into the Depths” follows in the same vein, transporting you into a dark nightclub with lights that flicker with blinding phosphorescence. An atmosphere that aptly matches its lyrics that sings of a world breaking down in front of our eyes.

“Rescue” and “Exit” are in line with each other. The first is a fusion between rock and roll and electronica. Where hard rockin’ riffs are progressively subdued and transfigured synthetically into a glimmering tesseract. An aural experience unlike anything I’ve experienced before. The second is shrouded in a dark motorik disco beat. Both sing about wanting to escape the confines of a place that’s becoming increasingly hostile.

Interzone’s surprises keep coming in the second half, “Fracture” is a synth pop song that delves into a relationship that’s becoming increasingly polarizing. Foreboding riffs and ghostly vocals paint a picture of being conflicted by love, feeling increasingly uneasy as the song progresses.

The album concludes with “Party’s Over”. A surprisingly bluesy riff opens this record while every other element gleams with a subdued shimmer. Haunting vocals caress the top of the mix, slowly fading away to a sobering end.

This record covers a lot of ground despite its short runtime. The Vacant Lot expertly shifts through styles and sounds that are familiar while adding in their own additions that keep things fresh. It’s these unique flourishes that makes this their best album by far.

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