All it takes is a glance at the cover illustration of "Overturned Reality", the second album from the now duo Dystopian Society, to get an accurate feel of what awaits us both in terms of music and philosophy - such a band's name is quite indicative too. Max Skam and Sara Hexe remain unequivocal in their commitment to give those pulling the strings of this die-off we're living a nice Anarcho kick in their pants, by embodying somewhat Orwellian lyrics into a blend of early Goth Rock and Post-Punk with hints of Deathrock and certain Batcave. Even founded on an assertive, droning rhythmic section, the songs never trigger the speed sensors so that the yearning, sharp guitar melodies are given enough time to fill up our head with no shortage of end of the world imagery. "Overturned Reality" seems therefore a proper follow-up output for the Florentines, since the old-school certified, sinister ambiances exuding from their debut "Cages" (2012) coalesces here in an improved form with the punk, seismic energy unleashed by the four tracks included in "Violations" (2015), two of which - specifically the one that gave the EP its title and "No Deliverance" - are part of the new album's tracklist. Opening the valve is the radiophonic instrumental "Intro", which effectively frames these days social big lie by making ironic nods to the facto power and the religious fanaticism. Then "The Buzzer" fuels the pace with bursts of riff-operated Uzi fire and defiant, punk-style vocals rhetorically asking for a forced-into-gray existence warning signal. What nails it for me in this track is the fateful, wintry driving of coupled bass and guitar. With "Altars" the rhythm decelerates a bit, but its central beat remains incisive enough, thanks to intermittent, aggressive chords and resonant, deathly fingered bass figures, both interacting together in a classic Killing Joke fashion. The voices enter into a more dramatic, spooky mode, and the guitarist rocks her way near the end, bringing some coloristic counterpoint to the grim landscape. Slow cooked up on rolling, ominous bass grooves and persistent drum patterns as marching us to the gallows, "Discarded", "No Deliverance" and "The City’s Breath" carry an exciting dark atmosphere with them, released by anxiety-inducing solos played up the neck of the guitar, vocals simultaneously dripping with dejection, despair and paranoia in a mystic manner, and distortions twisting and turning their most plangent. The lineage of this band with the Golden Age of Post-Punk / Deathrock can be easily traced throughout these songs which together make for the crowning moment of the album. Holding all of those who cherish the belligerent side of Post-Punk to account, there are also incendiary numbers like "Overturned Reality", "Resist" and "Violations" which sound as if they were written by Stiv Bators (Lords of the New Church) in a duo with Nick Blinko (Rudimentary Peni) after watching Joel Schumacher's film "Falling Down".
Review by Billyphobia