I have heard Have A Nice Life’s “Deathconsciousness” compared to more different genres and artists than anything before it. It is also heaped so much praise, it is somewhat challenging to listen to it without bias. I was immediately inclined to judge it as over-hyped. However, once I got past the hype and really got into the heart of the album, I found a very enjoyable piece of work.
Let’s start with the comparisons. The name drops I’ve heard when people are sizing up this album have honestly been a pretty wide variety of bands which includes Joy Division, Sunn O))), Skinny Puppy, My Bloody Valentine, and many others. Ignore the comparisons. Elements from these various bands are indeed present, but this album really does stand out as a rather unique recording. A number of the tracks are catchy and memorable. A few of the songs really stick with you, but not so much because of clever pop hooks. If you’re a fan of ambient / noise / industrial work, these elements are present throughout the whole album, but are more ornamentation to the song writing. They are present in a very tasteful, unobtrusive way that makes the whole album very rich. The guitar work has strong shoegazer and drone elements. The song writing could appeal to fans of older bands like Joy Division or even The Cure. It is really a superb collection of styles that work in a very unique way.
The album certainly suffers from way too much hype, and is a bit inconsistent at times. Some of the production is dubious, and would be marked against it if this somewhat flawed production style didn’t accentuate the D.I.Y. feel of the album, which really is part of its charm. After I got past the albums minor faults, I found an album that I feel should be heard by any fan of interesting and usual music.