Album cover for dystopian thoughts by innocent but guilty

Album Review: Innocent But Guilty, NLC, and Wolf City – Dystopian Thoughts

The latest album (January 2023) created by the trio of Innocent But Guilty, NLC (Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites) and guest artist Wolf City is a musical journey through avant-garde and darkwave sounds. The album is further enhanced by guest musicians P-Y Lebeau on guitars and Liesbeth Houdijk on vocals. Overall, this is a captivating and thought-provoking record that will appeal to fans of experimental ambient, neoclassical rock, and psychedelic music.

“Dawn has no Name” sets the mood with its ethereal, atmospheric opening, leading into the rock-inflected “Sweet as the Devil’s Home”. “Childish Behaviour” introduces a neoclassical touch, while “March of the Unicorns” brings a touch of cosmic rock to the record. “Six Pack” and “Back to Albuquerque” both showcase the group’s dark ambient leanings, before the album concludes with the epic “Building New Strategies”.

To quote the album’s own release notes, “The tension between mournful piano lines and vocals, cold dark ambient shrouds of electro, and a full-on fuzz/stoner rock set-up tells a story that may be about trying to find hope or, at least, momentary rebellious relief or poetic solace in the real-world dystopia of high-rise housing estates and street violence – or war, police brutality, exploitation, poverty, or any of the other myriad dystopian facets of the state of things which most of us, most of the time, all-too-readily accept as reality.” The resulting compositions are much more beautiful and mysterious than dystopian in my opinion but that is surely because of the wide variety of sonic viewpoints offered to the listener.

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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