Even during his sweeter croons, the stench of death is often lingering in Carlos Gonzalez's work as Russian Tsarlag. It's like walking through a graveyard where the dreamier aspects of lonely lo-fi pop are re-animated through necromancy rather than nostalgia; characters stalk like zombies, jolting with each mechanical snap of the drum machine and getting glassy-eyed with each sway of a held synth, eerily unphased by seeing their own faces in open caskets.
By comparison, his latest record, Gagged in Boonesville, feels less like a message from the departed and more like a remembrance during the aftermath-- one long, still cigarette that's soaking in raindrops at your friend's wake, or maybe even a total Sixth Sense-esque crossing over into the land of the lost ourselves. Fans of Tsarlag will still feel at home (bruised electronics, icy guitar melodies, and shallow-breathed vocal tragedies keep things expectedly, satisfyingly doomed), but the change in voice offers an interesting romance to living in limbo.
Gaggged in Boonesville is out tomorrow on Not Not Fun. Tour dates after the jump.
Russian Tsarlag | Tour Dates
06.28.13 - Help! - El Paso, TX
06.29.13 - Baby Aspirin DVD - Austin, TX
07.01.13 - Human Conduct Records - Chattanoga, TN
07.02.13 - Apothecary - Asheville, NC
07.03.13 - Quantum Instability- Carrboro, NC +
07.05.13 - Jane Pain - New York, NY
+ w/ Mark Van Fleet, Bad News