Last time I heard any new music from Gary Numan it was several years ago and he seemed to have decided that industrial metal was where it's at. I'm not sure what his most recent output sounds like but it's easy to imagine that 'Thorium' might be just the kind of impact he's after. It could happily pass itself off as a cover of an early Numan track and it takes in the dark side too. It's cold and abrasive and tricks you into thinking it's of eastern European heritage rather than being the product of London-based duo Lovechilde. It's a bit like the soundtrack to a nightmare as experienced by one of The xx. There are icy, minimalist synth stabs, a juddering industrial beat and desperately shrieking vocals. You wouldn't want to bump into it down a dark alley.
Those of a less nervous disposition might prefer 'Tourniquet' which is more approachable and arguably the better of the two, although not for that reason. The beats are gentler and more snappy and that, accompanied by ringing guitars, helps to lighten the mood, but not by much. After the intro has got you anticipating a perfectly amiable electro-rock track, those menacing and haunted vocals appear to remind us we're not quite out of the woods yet. It's a bit of a rollercoaster ride, albeit a slow one, switching from uplifting atmospherics to the despair of the voice and sharp electronic cries. It feels somewhat like being trapped in a dream, with both tracks being a form of escapism that take you to a different dimension. It's maybe not one you'd want to move to permanently but it's great for the occasional spine-tingling visit.
The double A-side 7" is available on October 29th
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