Carried out willingly or not, cultural assimilation is a nerve-wracking high-wire act, notably from the vantage level of a kid. Memorizing social scripts designed to erase you for the slightest deviation, however nonetheless on the mercy of familial expectations, there’s an added layer of hysteria: It may possibly really feel as should you’re by no means greater than a classmate’s touch upon the unfamiliar textures of your home made lunch away from a painful fall from grace. Retroactively labeling these fears as purely symptomatic of self-hatred does little to clean over the scars they’ve left behind.
It’s a strategy of self-discovery that Dama Scout vocalist Eva Liu—whose household immigrated from Hong Kong to the UK—is aware of nicely. She paperwork it obliquely throughout gen wo lai (include me), exploring and exploiting the tense environment of those diasporic blues. The band caught a small wave of buzz in 2017 from a self-titled EP that, for essentially the most half, blended into the indie-rock panorama of the day: a combination of powerful however buoyant drums, jangling guitar hooks, and spaced-out, low-key vocals that is likely to be finest in comparison with psych-rock outfit Crumb simply earlier than their detour into hazy bed room pop. Returning for a full-length almost 5 years later, the London-based trio has as a substitute lurched right into a trajectory positioning it as a UK analogue to America’s reigning bad-trip therapists Spirit of the Beehive, weaving cryptic meditations on existential dread right into a cinematic new sound. gen wo lai (include me)’s unruly vignettes illuminate flashbulb reminiscences of alienation to mild the best way on a therapeutic journey via the previous.
Reasonably than agonize over the bleeding, Dama Scout’s technique in nursing these wounds is to peel off the bandage and let the lower breathe. The opening title monitor exemplifies this strategy, meditating on the reminiscence of Liu’s grandmother consuming hen toes over the seasick churn of bassy synthesizers; guitars and basslines slide out and in of section earlier than swallowing one another in a short however satisfying cacophony that washes the creeping anxiousness away. It’s right here that Liu’s fragmented lyrical strategy is at its most potent. Elsewhere, notably on the sauntering “lonely udon,” the outcomes are much less rewarding: When the white-noise rush of studio thrives seems to raise the monitor into catharsis, the feeling is one in all meandering chaos, a untimely rush to experimentation with out narrative consequence.
These moments are mercifully few. For a band solely now stretching past the restrictions of an EP, Dama Scout reveal surprisingly assured manufacturing instincts, with an bold consideration to element. Once they twist the EQ knobs into oblivion midway via “dan dan bub”’s second refrain, pushing your complete tune behind a wall of atmosphere, the impact pricks up your ears, constructing anticipation for the melody’s return as its chord development sails out of attain. “emails from suzanne” goes even additional. The slashing rhythm surges and decays in matches and begins, mirroring the ache of a thoughts that “Divides in locations/Divides in areas” by veering sharply between silence and explosive, stoner-metal fuzz. gen wo lai (include me) offers in uncertainty, suspicion, and doubt, however Dama Scout fold these discomforts into each other with lush, considerate orchestration, constructing pathways between emotional roadblocks and reworking them into interdependent factors of self-discovery.