September 25, 2008

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Abney Park, Lost Horizons
Post-Apocalypse Records, March 1

Born to run with the ren-fair set, Abney Park will also appeal to the niche that’s a bit worn out with Rammstein’s recent suicidal flirtings with pop but also thinks Laibach needs to drop the anarchy routine. This act’s forte is “steampunk,” a term that does tend to conjure images of the captain of the Titanic fronting a zooted-up Time Bandits band, but ’tis more a yo-ho-ho pirate trip they appear to be on in the main; moderately grindy industrial with fiddle and a Loreena McKennitt chick doing the enchanted fairy thing (while we’re at this, am I the only one who’s never walked in a “misty forest”?). For you pedants out there wondering where the “punk” part of their categorization comes in, it’s really in only one place, closing track “Post Apocalypse Punk,” funnily enough the most interesting slice of this pie with its layer of steam-engine clatter and whatever other appropriate samples they could drum up. “The Secret Life of Dr. Calgari” is the brooding prototype of the atmosphere they want to suck folks into. B+EWS