It feels like it’s been an age since we’ve heard from tfvsjs, though it’s only been three years since the release of their first fantastic album equal unequals to equal (kudos to the band for finally getting on that Bandcamp train, took a while!), the one that brought them a fair bit of attention in our global niche despite the minimal amount of information about them available online.
I’m going to get into the particulars of why tjvsfs’s new album 在 zoi is better than your boyfriend in a second, but in case you only get this far in the review let me just tell you that this is a fantastic piece of audio joy. Buy it now and be done with it. Everything part of this album is a shiny example of solid work, from the songwriting, the drum(s) work, the guitar tones, the production, the restbites in the middle of all the chaos…tvfjs seem to have taken their time to release something weighty and it has certainly paid off.
The band flows into different styles on this album seamlessly, moments of jagged mathy lead into epic post rockery, the first track ‘Burn All Flags’ starts off with some Murcof-esque glitchy doom-ambient before both drummers combine on an urgent tribal beat over some screeching guitars. There’s a angry mood to ‘在 zoi’ that permeates every space and crescendo, neither angsty nor aggression but a low simmer that makes for a fantastic earphone listen whilst walking around your dystopian urban landscape of choice. This low hum of darkness plays really well with the occasional riffs of joy, such as the tail end of ‘淡日’ that brings the big smile round the face on every listen.
Basically I’m claiming this really is a whole album listen; there are standout tracks for sure, ‘And Paint Our Pupils With The Ashes’ would pair well with a riot/revolution and the colossal ‘滅曲’ brutalises but tsjvfs’s second album easily works best as a whole.
Now typically with this kind of band there will be those who muse, “well, is this math-rock?” to which is give a middle finger salute without taking my eyes off my shao-mai and yum-cha. This is a fucking great album. Buy it.
riot starter, twisted riot starter
Sounds A Tad Like
And Paint Our Pupils With The Ashes, 淡日, 無以名狀, Battle From The Bottom