ARTEFACT: Votive Offering: LP

May 31, 2017

Alongside Sweden’s Vånna Inget and Hurula, Artefact, from Cardiff, Wales, provide a noteworthy entry in the goth-kissed post-punk revival on their debut LP. The ten songs sonically fuse contemporary bands like Arctic Flowers and Wild Moth with ‘80s anarcho such as The Mob and Zounds. The sparse verses tensely build to cathartic choruses, giving vocalist Hannah enough room to croon among the best: Siouxsie Sioux, Exene Cervenka, Peter Murphy. Her vocals exude a cool, fearless swagger that accentuates the swirling guitar, taut rhythms, and hypnotic bass lines. The lead riff on “The Morrigan” sounds like it could be right off The Cure’s The Head on the Door, and “Witching Hour” and “Libracide” speed up the tempo and turn on the attitude, exploring territory previously traversed by Lost Cherrees and Rubella Ballet. But “Boudicca,” a sprawling epic, opens with a harmonic-laden bass intro and anguished lyrics (“Thrown to the wolves / Howls echo still”) before engulfing the listener in a wave of distortion. Artefact’s marriage of post-punk, goth, and anarcho is a match made in heaven. –Sean Arenas (Adagio 830,