Arts Desk

One Track Mind: Alarms & Controls

Standout Track: No. 1, “Reanimus Cataract,” a steady rocker with fretwork that recalls D.C. post-punk, without the aggression. That makes sense, coming from these scene veterans: Singer and guitarist Chris Hamley is the former guitarist of Circus Lupus, bassist Michael Honch played in Hunger Artist, and drummer Vin Novara was in Crownhate Ruin. But Alarms & Controls, whose 7-inch comes out Sept. 22, aims to move forward. “I can see how there’s definitely a lot of what I’ve done in the past still in some of this stuff,” Hamley says. “But when the album’s done and you hear the stuff on there, you’ll start to hear an expanding out from that.”

Musical Motivation: “Lie in hibernation and rise again in the spring/ from then on your life is a cataract,” Hamley sings on the track, which is inspired by zombies, the 1972 film Jeremiah Johnson, and his own time spent in the wilderness. A guitar section in the middle of the song borrows from Latin American-style rhythm to sound like a waterfall. “The waterfall thing is...a ton of potential energy, and it gets to this point and becomes kinetic energy, and it’s also like a release, too,” says Hamley. “Becoming a zombie is almost like being released from your responsibilities.”

Underground Rock: Hamley derived inspiration from a time when he buried himself in the woods at night. “It was cold and I was just out of it,” he says. The song is a comment on “reaching a point where you just decide you don’t care anymore. And you’re not really pointing yourself in any concerted direction on a daily basis. In a sense, that’s a kind of freedom. But it’s a dubious freedom.”

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