Classic Album Review

“WASTEISOLATION” – Black Dresses: A Review

Have you been looking for some angsty electronic noise pop to pass your days? Black Dresses have got you covered. Their 2018 album “WASTEISOLATION” takes listeners on a sexually-charged trip through the duo’s past abuses. Along the way, they create an unnerving soundscape that bashes in listeners’ heads in the best way. The result is a fantastic listening experience to release the frustration of a rough day at work or a nasty breakup.

Music for a Headache

Imagine, if you will, the sound of a buzz saw grinding on a blown-out loudspeaker. That same speaker spews out a heavy, hypnotic beat of indecipherable 8-bit synths and a busted kick drum. That’s about as close as I can get to describing what “WASTEISOLATION” sounds like.

There’s a nice ebb and flow of tension throughout the album, peaking with tracks like “IM EARTH”. It just pounds in your head and tempts you with the chance of calming down as the beat cuts out and back in. And then, the pounding just keeps going, wearing on the listener the longer it continues. This instrumental helps with really getting into the minds of Black Dresses during their abusive relationships in a way that their lyrics just can’t do.

Music video for “IM EARTH” by Black Dresses

Singing for a Vengeance

Complementing this nasty, industrial sound are Devi McCallion and Ada Rook’s contemplations on past abuse. Every song is a venting of frustration with others personally close to them as well as onlookers to their situation. “ETERNAL NAUSEA” and “THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS” are especially powerful complaint towards people who tell them to get over it without having experienced what they’ve experienced.

I’m in the bible God’s favorite (secret) idol
‘Cause the whole sick world loves to smile

Lyrics from “ETERNAL NAUSEA” by Black Dresses

“SLITHER” completely upends the structure of “WASTEISOLATION” with a long monologue narrating a hybrid of autobiography and metaphor. McCallion and Rook address their audience most frankly, spelling out what makes their album’s subject matter so nuanced. They appear to have finally made peace with the idea that they can move on from their past while still acknowledging the scars left by that past.

Rating: 8/10

— DJ Cashew

By Cashew

Hi y'all, I'm Cashew and I'm a freshman majoring in Biology. I listen to a good bit of electro-pop, hip-hop and psych rock, but of course, I like to mix in other genres as well. I mostly write album and artist reviews, though I hop into discourse every so often.