Comatose Red Ivy takes on a handful of distorted rock soundscapes for this unique side-step away from previous releases. The voice is the same, immediately recognisable for its freestyling spoken-word delivery and the gritty rasp of the tone. The effect of the hard-rock intensity though clearly takes the performance to new realms – less laid-back, more prolonged notes held for a grunge-like vibe.
All of this is the opening, self-titled track, and the lyrics seem to flow through as if our protagonist is lost in a trip, focusing on single phrases and words rather than overloading the listener with bars.
I Hate Technology sees the more classic Comatose Red Ivy introduce things, the production softer as distortion fills the backdrop. Faster bars, a more specific outpouring that blends personal anecdotes with an accessible relaying of the angst and frustration that technology tends to have on most at one time or another (some more frequently). The backing music here has a likable simplicity, looping and meeting the darkness and cursing of the lyrics with its hypnotic presence.
Sleepy resentment kicks of a self-deprecating yet contrastingly celebratory Kill Comatose Ivy (Suicide Freestyle). Slurred words and a late-night vibe showcase a clear distinction between this and what came before. Then there’s the project’s lighter, more uplifting injection of the aptly titled LITHIUM. Melodic and rhythmic, with a clear vocal focus on that rhythmic movement. A definite highlight, from this and indeed the whole Comatose Red Ivy catalogue.
Things get a little more haunting yet seemingly fun at the same time for an equally delicate, melodically backed Mason Inn Monsters. A story that intrigues, less personal and more welcoming, though increasingly dark as the details emerge. The intention and purpose helps elevate the whole thing and captivate more strongly. The soundscape is also quite stunning, giving off an indie vibe that really suits the tone and style of Ivy’s vocal.
The final track sees the artist turn down a profoundly melancholic, harrowing pathway, complete with tired, broken vocals and a softly heart-breaking musicality to match. Razorblade Queen (Deep Inside Freestyle) is intimate, honest and aching in its outcry. Directly addressing a significant other, the track comes unexpectedly after the five before it, and signifies a whole new performative angle for the artist.
Easily the most versatile, eclectic project from Ivy so far, and musically a definite highlight given the natural connection between the soundscapes and the grit and passion of the voice.