Lost Houses, the debut disc by The Curtains of Night, is so insultingly bad that it doesn’t deserve an opening line better than this. Its sole purpose is to torture the ears and confound the brain with its merit and motive. It’s a continuous, repetitious plague of feedback, unimaginative chord changes and some annoying girl screeching. That’s really it, but if you want to know the specifics, read on. Just don’t actually listen to the thing.
The duo consists of Nora Rogers (guitar/vocals) and Lauren Fitzpatrick (drums). The fact that it is only two people does somewhat explain why their “work” is so unimaginative and basic, but on the other hand, The Fiery Furnaces are also a duo, and they’re brilliant. The Curtains of Night describe themselves as a mixture of Ghettotech, Death Metal and “Healing & Easy Listening” (whatever the hell that means). However, they are none of these. Instead, they provide a half hour’s worth of some of the most bland, poorly recorded and uninspired noise I’ve ever heard.
Since all the songs segue into each other with excruciating feedback, I suppose Lost Houses is meant to be one long piece of art broken into six stages. Oh, it’s a piece of something alright, but certainly not art. Also, all the tracks sound exactly the same, so there’s no reason to discuss them individually. The album is nothing more than muddle guitar chords, basic drumming (ok, there’s some minor syncopation) and the incessant screaming of Nora. If the “music” is supposed to represent shifting emotions and affective situations in the tradition of Post Rock, this band fails miserably, and could learn a lot from acts like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and 65daysofstatic (who are brilliant).
As for why they don’t fit into their declared genres, I’ll explain. Ghettotech is a form of electronic dance music that combines hip hop and techno. Lost Houses is not even close to that style. Instead of Healing and Easy Listening, this disc is infuriating because it showcases another untalented, undeserving act that has a record deal while many unique, struggling bands don’t. Not to mention that easy listening music is usually quiet and peaceful, which this muck isn’t. Finally, The Curtains of Night are certainly not Death Metal. For one, this isn’t metal. It’s too shortsighted and simple (even the worst metal showcases impressive musicianship and speed). It’s more like alternative rock. Finally, it’s not the Death variation because Nora isn’t conveying guttural, demonic tones through her voice. She’s just screaming at a normal pitch like a whinny, spoiled teenager. Also, Death Metal represents anger and evil, and this doesn’t. If The Curtains of Light are daring to compare themselves with the genius of Opeth and the like, they have added much salt to an open wound.
This band and their album also don’t deserve a better conclusion than the following: this is one of the worst things I’ve ever heard, and its creation is something I’ll never understand. I welcome the hate mail I’ll get for such a statement, but it had to be said, as there are too many people who actually compliment the band. Lost Houses is so useless, boring, repetitive, annoying, ugly, bland and horrendous that I immediately took a shower to wash away the stench of failure.