Review Summary: A perfect album.Sexless //No Sex
is Iron Lung’s third full-length to date, and it doubles as a monumental achievement for the band and possibly hardcore in general. Despite Sexless
only being twenty-one minutes in length--and it even includes twenty songs--and Iron Lung being only a two-piece, this album manages to be more emotionally stirring than albums three times its length, and the band makes more noise than most orchestras. It’s evident that Iron Lung is much more than the sum of their parts.
Sexless //No Sex
basically destroys. Iron Lung took a sharp left turn from the crazy-fast powerviolence found in their previous albums and perused a sludgier, doomier musical direction with this album, often resembling fellow PV stalwarts Man is the Bastard. The results are magnificent. Ridiculous riffs pepper “Pressure” and “Cancer”, and tempo and dynamic changes make these songs more memorable. “Politics of Science” is another instant classic, alternating from speedy hardcore to slower, more atmospheric regions and back, all without breaking a sweat. Sure, Iron Lung aren’t the first to make a connection between hardcore and sludge (Cursed, Dystopia), but Sexless //No Sex
proves that they may be the best out there at establishing such a connection.
Despite the sludge metal influences, Sexless
doesn’t find Iron Lung really abandoning their hardcore roots. High-octane tracks such as the caffeinated “First Night In” are as fast and relentless as Iron Lung’s earlier material. Also, many of the sludgier tracks have brief moments--often no more than just a couple of seconds, really--of eardrum-shattering hardcore, as found in songs such as “Leave as Ashes”. These moments, while being brief, add a dynamic edge to these songs, which cover more ground in their minute-length than mostly anything.
Both members, Jon Kortland and Jensen Ward, contribute vocals to Sexless
, and their throaty gasps are perfectly suited for this type of music. Whether they’re spitting fiercely against blazing-fast walls of distorted riffing, moaning loudly over the slower, crunchier portions, or just letting their excellent instrumentation do the speaking, this Seattle-based duo simply do a hell of a job. It doesn’t hurt that the lyrics, which hit on themes such as materialism, paranoia, and fear, perfectly match these guys’ vocals.
Listening to this album again for the umpteenth time, I find that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. Sexless //No Sex
is just simply a perfect twenty-minutes of relentless hardcore, and is so fast and pleasurable that you’re certain to replay this again and again. The other day, I had a friend tell me this album was like rape: it’s a bit too brutal and unwelcoming at first, but you start to really like the feeling after a while. I’m aware that that doesn’t make any sense at all, but that statement somehow really manages to sum up this album.