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NERO//FLESH emerge in appealingly miasmatic form on "Disposition of Intimacy"

NERO//FLESH emerge in appealingly miasmatic form on "Disposition of Intimacy"

NERO//FLESH is a band we admittedly know very little about—and would know nothing about if not for a brief email from a relation of the band with an advance SoundCloud link to their debut full length Disposition of Intimacy released this last Friday—but sometimes that’s a good thing which is easy enough to forget in today’s media-saturated Debordian society of the spectacle in which it’s not unusual for an upstart band to come armed with a slick electronic press kit ("EPK" to all you bizzy insiders) and a TikTok page full of would-be memable content involving cats (of course) and doubloons, biscuits n liquid silver ladies none of which makes a lick of sense tho’ we respect the hustle...

…but if you really wanna stop making sense, it can make even more sense to go the opposing direction by daring to remain more than a little enigmatic if not outright inscrutable which is a pretty neat trick to pull off in this day and age when your average Joe or Joesephine leaves a detailed digital footprint practically from birth (or literally from birth if your parents livestreamed your exit from the womb) comprised largely of drunken selfies and massage parlor Yelp reviews…

…and it doesn’t hurt to write songs full of gauzy, smudged melodies and hypnotically pulsating “tribal” rhythms and ambient, swirling timbres and reverb-laden-drifting-in-outer-space vocals veiled in spiderwebs of chiming bells (“Fragile Replacements”) and synth swells (“Random Hold”) and lush harp arpeggios (“The Ritual of Seasons”) and sepulchral piano tones (“Loose Change”) with influences sounding like they likely range from This Mortal Coil to Massive Attack to Saint Etienne with carefully sculpted arrangements giving the whole thing an Eno-esque Music For Films quality…

…which is exactly what NERO//FLESH do and they’re smart enough to understand nothing spoils the mood of a gloriously introspective dark-hued dreampop/triphop/shoegaze song more than looking the listener directly in the eye (ergo “shoegaze”) whether figuratively or literally so it’s just as well they keep the biographical details and representational visual imagery to a minimum with the latter geared more to a Vaughan Oliver-esque “use of texture, shapes, and mood in an overall disorienting yet cohesive manner” aesthetic…

…which is exactly how the “Flesh” from NERO//FLESH (a.k.a. Richard Flesh, a.k.a. Richard Penzone) describes his own visual art on his webpage—Richard’s other projects include Color Film, Immaterial Heat, and Head Automatica plus the occasional “Ketamine assisted psychotherapy” natch—and yeah I said "on his webpage" so there is a little info floating out there in cyberspace tho' ultimately I decided, assisted by laziness, not to attempt to solicit any more hard facts from or about the band outside of M. Flesh’s thumbnail profile…

…cuz I’d rather just assume lead singer Lucy Nero (good luck finding any info at all on Lucy Nero and tho’ I’ve since found out her “real” name I’m not sharing it here, so there) whose breathy delivery (“Asphyxiation”) doesn’t mean she can’t let loose with a bone-chilling scream when called upon (“Random Hold”) suffers from Cat Power/Hope Sandoval levels of stage fright and performs with her back to the audience even though for all I know both Lucy and Richard are unapologetically loud-talking, mouth-breathing, endlessly blabbering extroverts (tho’ somehow I doubt it) but anyway there's no reason for us to know either way and potentially ruin the cloud-castle majesty of their music…

…cuz even just learning that lead-off track/lead-off single “Sayings In Slow Motion” is “a deep dive into an area of extreme spiritual and sexual repression from the point of view of someone approaching the early stages of adulthood through an abstract and contradicting lens [in a] cinematically atmospheric fashion” would feel like a violation of our non-existent non-disclosure agreement if it weren't for the description not making a lick of sense to me which is just as it should be because music as immersive and enveloping, as sumptuous and mysterious as that found on Disposition of Intimacy doesn’t need to be explained even if I just spent six paragraphs not explaining it… (Jason Lee)

Published: June 05, 2023 |

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