Written by: The Administrator
There's nothing quite like an unexpected surprise plucked from the depths of our promo pit. Retrieving a random press kit from the heap and subsequently finding something weird and wonderful will never grow old, and indeed remains one of my personal primary motivations for writing here at ye olde Sleeping Village. Philadelphia's own Lástima recently dropped their forthcoming two-track EP in the ol' inbox, and, needless to say, it made for an exciting encounter.
Lástima play blackgaze through an overtly emo lens--a sub-subgenre that reflects the nature of the band's moniker with a delightful accuracy. Referring to a sense of pity or hurt, or "to be said in order to show compassion for someone in pain," lástima seemingly describes a range and intensity of emotion that feels both potent and familiar. The music itself reflects this multifaceted term quite stirringly, and that, in and of itself, is a victory in the realm of overtly emotionally driven music. Without further ado: let's dive in!
Maldición De Sangre, as aforementioned, is comprised of two tracks. Opener "Our Wounds" doesn't beat around the bush, choosing immediacy over a drawn-out display. Coming out of the gate with a roar, a swell, and the fury of pounding drums, this track grabs the listener by the throat with an delightful intensity. The instrumentation pulses at a frenetic rate, lending the whole affair an energetic and anxious gestalt. However, after a climatic midpoint that almost seems to invent a particularly emo evolution of hardcore, things slow down significantly and take a welcome dip into the overtly symphonic. Piano and strings weave a brief and gentle backdrop...and then it's off to the races once more. Of particular note is this track's ability to lunge forward, abruptly slow to a languid pace, speed up again with unhinged intensity, and then do it all again without a lick of predictability. From blackened fury, to symphonics, to a near-droning conclusion, "Our Wounds" is...kinda all over the place. But fear not. It's a dynamic approach, and one that serves Lástima quite well.
Not to be outdone, the following title track is a little more ruminative in scope, with the band's foundation of emotional complexity on full display. The strings, paired with blackened vocals, feel particularly evocative. As before, the instrumental break offers respite, but doesn't seem overwrought or melodramatic. Like "Our Wounds," this second track balances the more aggressive edge with a more somber aesthetic, but doesn't feel quite as seamless in its construction. At the end of the day, however, it is still a great song, and a worthy Side B.
No doubt about it: Maldición De Sangre is a very promising debut. The only disappointment, as cliche as it may sound, is that there aren't more tracks in which to bask. I'm quite excited to see what Lástima cook up next, as this little appetizer certainly indicates the ability to deliver a hefty platter. Show 'em some support by snagging this excellent EP over at bandcamp!
Lástima - Maldición De Sangre was released July 9th, 2021.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!