Mockbirth play slimy, foreboding trip-hop; the kind that runs through the underbelly of every metropolis in the world, smearing its mucky paws over torn billboards and urinating in burnt out buildings. Bass lines that chip away at the edges of eardrums and stone pillars with their deep, pulsating vibrations, tick-tock percussion that hypnotizes with its steely eyes — and a cold, dry wit.
‘Oh, the air’s so common, it’s a pity. If I could I would buy it off of this fucking city. I’d improvidently breathe and then establish a fine, to the punks who’d dare to breathe an exhalation of mine’ hisses Ted Reglis through thick distortion on riveting closer ‘Tristan’, a presumed attack of his home city of Athens and the people who reduced it to metaphorical and literal rubble. These vitriolic flashes lend credence to the aural narrative we’re being sold by this Eskimo EP; a righteous backbone to support the organic, provocative movement of the haunting pianos and pseudo-subsonic melodies which lie beneath.
The unsettling ‘Lust’ shows an altogether different side of Mockbirth, as Jim Ver experiments with spindling, brittle guitars, woven into a Hail to the Thief-esque aesthetic like a snake slithering between dying cigarettes in the dusky Athens underground. Reglis even channels his inner Thom Yorke with a diligent accuracy whilst crooning about the great uncertainties of life – ‘Answer to my prayers, I’m up here on my knees. Standing at the crossroads, at the seams.’ Such introspection weaves its way through much of Eskimo, slotting in to the gaps between the ardent bass notes which drive and dictate the smoggy tone, but its the variation in vocal pitch and the unsettling contrast it creates which captivates so fervently.
Mockbirth embody the archetypal spirit of urban noir trip-hop, both in sound and spirit, by extracting the weary and visceral sentiment of Greek anxiety and marrying it with a moody range of downtempo beats and textures. Eskimo becomes their rich, enveloping tapestry; a vehicle for their displeasure and doubt that uses rhythmic bass lines and apocalyptic vocal shifts as wheels, made all the more poignant by the fact it’s only fourteen minutes short. It’s just a shame that Eskimo’s deep and soulful cadence will likely be heard as nothing more than a fleeting rumble to most, buried beneath the angry footstomps of the city it so deftly personifies.
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