Trouble in Mind records

THE SERFS - Half Beaten By Dogs LP

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Anyone who looks closely can see that Cincinnati, OH is currently a hotbed of musical creativity, and the three members of The Serfs - Dylan McCartney (vocals, percussion, guitar, bass, electronics), Dakota Carlyle (electronics, bass , guitar, vocals) & Andie Luman (vocals, synthesizer) - and their respective side projects (The Drin, Crime of Passing, Motorbike) are undeniably at the center of Cincinnati's new underground scene. After releasing albums on Berlin-based minimal synth label Detriti and Seattle-based DREAM Records in 2018 and 2022 respectively, the band makes the move to Trouble In Mind for their third and best album to date. "Half Eaten By Dogs" gives a decidedly Midwestern spin to the modernist twitch of future-forward bands like Total Control and Cold Beat as well as the post-industrial dancefloor grime of Skinny Puppy, Dark Day, This Heat and Factrix. "Half Eaten by Dogs" is a look through a telescope into a dystopian vision in which ice-encrusted synth harmonies dominate dripping chemical rhythms and drilled-out elemental rock formations. The music is a mix of dark drum and synthesizer industrial and Stygian guitar instruments, sometimes with cautious paranoia, sometimes with melodic defiance and exuberance (and in some moments with harmonica, saxophone or flute). “Half Eaten By Dogs” successfully encapsulates everything The Serfs have achieved to date, but with far greater intent and purpose than their previous albums. There are songs to dance to and songs to take in during a storm or while driving through the streets of the world. It may be another step down into the catacombs for the band, but on the way to something higher.