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Swedish hypno-rok experimentalists, The Skull Defekts, make a perfect addition to the Diagonal roster with the psycho-glam swagger of Street Metal, their follow-up to Dances in Dreams of the Known Unknown for Thrill Jockey. Comprising five tracks, including two extended dancefloor hypnotizers, Street Metal captures the mercurial unit of Joachim Nordwall (vocals, guitar, oscillator), Jean-Louis Huhta (percussion, electronics), Daniel Higgs (ghost catcher), Daniel Fagerström (vocals, guitar, synthesizer) and Henrik Rylander (drums, feedback) in a taut flux of psychedelic rock and avant-techno with raids on arcane pop and percussive, tribal minimalism. Their instrumental "Mission" opens the account with a gritted psych rock stance, all muscular guitar fire and churning, locked drums that would make Goat blush, before "Mammal Combination" buckles down to a bestial, thumping glam stare-down, replete with icily-poised vocals. However, SD really come into their own with "Holy Drums," and its dreadnaught dub, galvanizing current trends for "authentic" psych swag with a crisper, more disciplined approach to rhythm, yoking scything, cyclical riffs to metallic drums for some 20 minutes of grindingly sexy, hip- wise momentum in two parts. "Saturday Mourning" seals the session with a driving, droning dirge, consolidating Bolan-esque sleaze vocals with persistent drums and piercing synths right out of a Goblin soundtrack.
It's all a damn fine reminder of Diagonal's wayward, unimpeachable tastes and finds ideal context amongst the likes of Powell, $hit & $hine, Blood Music and Bronze Teeth. Features sick spotgloss artwork by Guy Featherstone.