Drifters/Love Is the Devil - ZOO MUSIC
FILTER Grade: 81%
By Paula Mejia on May 17, 2013
The double album Drifters/Love Is the Devil is Alex Zhang Hungtai’s cathartic response to 2011’s cinematic Badlands. The somber man behind the Dirty Beaches moniker, Hungtai has mastered the shadowed soundscape. You can almost see the cigarette smoke hanging in the air with the leather jacket bravado of “I Dream In Neon.” His growl is the centerpiece of the records, traveling to the very baritone depths paved by Jim Morrison with a gasping immediacy accentuated on tracks including “Casino Lisboa” and “Aurevoir mon visage” (translation: “Farewell, my face”). Both sides of the album act as mirror images of torment. Drifters rattles with verbalized unsettlement of transience, punctuated by thick basslines and aching synthesizers, while Love Is the Devil’s ambience, from gloomy violin loops to monochromatic keys, pains to understand the idiosyncrasies tethered to love. It’s a demanding, damn good and rewarding listen, one that squeezes your heart and head through shaking fingers.