Review Summary: less is more
On his last EP, Deconstructionist
, there was evidence that Dan Barrett had finally plummeted off into the deep end. The dive was not a nuanced, graceful fall but a headfirst, sploosh into inelegant territory of layers and binaural recordings and lack of harmony. It was a release that relied entirely on climaxes and tension, when Barrett insisted on including aspects like full-length fuc
king speeches in his half-hour-long tracks. It was like the artist insisted on communicating the nausea he had been experiencing on such agonizing releases like his self-titled Giles Corey
, but it came off more laughable and annoying than it did sincerely unsettling and terrifying. Those willing to give him another chance will be rewarded with his latest EP, Hinterkaifeck
. Barrett maintains the dense, dark atmosphere but utilizes less to accomplish much more.
Stripped down, Giles Corey’s Hinterkaifeck
is a testament to his ability to wield emotion with his ambience and subtlety, like in the closer “Wounded Wolf.” It’s a quiet track that evolves slowly and never goes much of anywhere, but maintains a steadiness that’s reminiscent of slowcore giants like Low or Codeine. Oppositely, the opener “Winter’s House” is the most bombastic of the threesome. Barrett uses an acoustic guitar to dip in and out of moods and the result is a folk-y, bare bones track. There’s an astute roughness to it; you can hear the guitar slide in-between his echoing vocals. Throughout, he sounds faraway, and never strains himself, much unlike his work with Have A Nice Life. It’s a nice touch of detail, and adds to the acute atmosphere that the artist is so attentive to.
doesn’t hint towards any major stylistic departures, it certainly shouldn’t. Barrett makes the right move in curtailing this release to a measly fifteen minutes, showing that he can still amass such despondence without getting too distracted. So while the awkwardly-titled EP doesn’t compare with his more successful LP’s under either moniker, I don’t think anyone can complain considering how successful Barrett is here at paring down his ambitions and making himself more potent in the process.