(We can think of several beasts of Bloodborne with a similar demeanour, but that’s a different post.)
Perhaps the most obvious hook, and one that we obviously relish, is Liars: Courtesy share our favourite crypto-rockers taste for zones of penumbra and abrasion that we listeners traverse in a pointless quest for meaning.
We are fooled by a pale light in the ground and crouch for it, hoping to fetch a silver jewel inscribed with an interpretation of this territory, and instead are throttled by a skeleton arm protruding from the ground, wait, an army of them. There is something almost slapstick about this, but in an Evil Dead kind of way.
Explanations are therefore defied. The personal metamorphoses into the criminal and occult, in a process facilitated by a crooning that pulses, every so often, with blurry beauty, and sounds organic like rivers emptying through estuaries, corpses decomposing into the green, a slow bruise indeed.
The other feature that they share with Liars (especially in their previous, conceptual-album-oriented incarnation) is the playful combination of influences within an obscurely coherent framework – each of these influences is of course, another one of those hooks that tears us apart yet makes us swoon.
We’ll just mention three echoes we detect here: the primitive electronics of Silver Apples, especially in the bounce of today’s track ComEd; the discombobulated death rattle of the dirgey branch of the glue-shit-whatever-wave diaspora (people like Sic Alps etc.), and the vaudevillesque delight of a B-series horror soundtrack, with its shrill organs and eerie vibes.
It is not obvious what is that binds these things together, what this Slow Bruise thing is about. The action is not on camera, the horror is implied. We hear sirens but hear no shots. We slip on the blood but see no bodies. There could be paranormal forces at play but they dance out of sight whenever we turn around. Maybe the explanation is simpler. We spin in the darkness, and this is a dancing of sorts.
For a moment, we think that might be the point. And then they pull from their hooks and we are torn asunder.