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The Serfs Announce Third Album “Half Eaten By Dogs” Due out 27th October via Trouble In Mind & Share Lead Single “Club Deuce”

August 28, 2023
Press photo by Liese Stiebritz

The Serfs

Announce third album Half Eaten By Dogs
Due out 27th October via Trouble In Mind

The Serfs return with new album Half Eaten By Dogs, the third record from the Cincinnati trio and first for Chicago’s Trouble in Mind RecordsHalf Eaten By Dogs is due out 27th October and follows on from the band’s debut Sounds of Serfdom and 2022 release Primal Matter. Alongside details of the album, The Serfs share lead single ‘Club Deuce’.

Of ‘Club Deuce’, vocalist and synth-player Andie Luman says: “I thought of the idea for this song at first like a movie in my mind. It was the story of an ill-fated man and a modern-day Venus with complete and unrelenting control. The set was a quiet corner in a thunderstruck city – with endless commotion in the distance – the whole thing glowing like a neon sign. Club Deuce churns, unhurried, until it’s billowing all around you and you’re caught like a fly in the jaws of a Venus fly trap.”

The beat emits and starts to exude this sense of urgency whilst building on the alluring foundations of this sonically superior landscape. The rhythmic cadence sweeps into focus with the delicate vocal harmonies, gliding above the complex textures to touch this affectionate and illustrious character into the mammoth creation. There is a real disco-inspired aesthetic which brings the playful percussive elements to the centre of the innovative structure. The vivid arrangement continues to expand and offers a wealth of loaded layers and stunning harmonies within the vocals which carry this track to a new level. 

Anyone paying attention can see that Cincinnati, OH is a very real hotbed of musical creativity at the moment, and the three members of The Serfs – Dylan McCartney (vocals, percussion, guitar, bass, electronics), Dakota Carlyle (Electronics, bass, guitar, vocals) & Andie Luman (vocals, synths) – and their respective side projects (The Drin, Crime of Passing, Motorbike) are undeniably near the center of Cincinnati’s neu-underground scene. After releasing albums on Berlin minimal-synth label Detriti & Seattle-based DREAM Records in 2018 & 2022 respectively, the band makes the move to Trouble In Mind for their third and best album yet. Half Eaten By Dogs puts a decidedly Midwestern spin on the modernist twitch of future-forward bands like Total Control or Cold Beat as well as the post-industrialist dance floor grime of Skinny Puppy, Dark Day, This Heat, or Factrix.

Half Eaten by Dogs is a wide-eyed look through a scope into a desiccated and heathenish vision, where ice-encrusted synth harmonies command oozing chemical rhythms and drilled-out elemental rock formations. There’s a psychedelic melancholy to it– in both the abstract lyrical sense, with doomed proclamations of natural and supernatural disasters, and the more tangible musical sense. It veers all over the map of tenebrous drum and synthesizer industries and stygian guitar implements, at times with a cautious paranoia and at times with tuneful defiance and exuberance (and in some moments harmonica, saxophone or flute).

The album kicks off with the driving ‘Order Imposing Sentence’, a motorik rocker propelled by machine-driven rhythm & tarnished guitar riffing. ‘Cheap Chrome’s skeletal pulse drops in next, summoning the spirit of Cabaret Voltaire’s synth heartbeat into a modern-day mirror reality. ‘Suspension Bridge Collapse’ is a shimmering track that calls to mind Suicide’s oft-neglected second album, buoyed by what sounds like synthesized laser blasts (or perhaps suspension wires snapping?) before the siren-like guitar of ‘Beat Me Down’ kicks in – It’s propulsive post-punk offering a sonic diversity under the same dark cloud. ‘Spectral Analysis’ is a late-night drive down a lost highway, with a ghostly saxophone (by Eric Dietrich) guiding the doomed listener like the pied piper to their destiny. The flat-out sexy floor filler ‘Club Deuce’ kicks off side two, with its low-end sizzle designed to make you move, slithering like a lurker at the threshold of the dance floor. ‘Electric Like An Eel’ follows, with its “Brotherhood”-esque synth trills & harmonica punctuating the buzzing din. ‘Ending Of The Stream’ adds an unexpected natural warmth to the album, its blanket of synthesized tones envelops like a loving embrace, while ‘The Dice Man Will Become’’s triumphant melody comforts as its Rother-like guitar volleys aim skyward. ‘Mocking Laughter’ closes out the album, its waves of synthesis evoking flashes of an end credits sequence – an apropos ending to a truly cinematic album. “Half Eaten By Dogs” successfully coalesces everything that The Serfs have accomplished to date, but with greater intent and purpose than their preceding albums by a mile. There are songs to dance to and songs to take in during a storm or while riding free through the roads of the world. It may be a step further down into the catacombs for the band, but if the principle of correspondence is correct, then they could be their way to somewhere higher.

Tracklisting:

1. Order Imposing Sentence
2. Cheap Chrome
3. Suspension Bridge Collapse 
4. Beat Me Down
5. Spectral Analysis
6. Club Deuce
7. Electric Like An Eel
8. Ending Of The Stream
9. The Dice Man Will Become
10. Mocking Laughter

https://theserfsmusic.bandcamp.com/

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