***BACK IN STOCK!!! It is instructive that NUN released their first single five years ago with a track named ‘Cronenberg’. Their new LP THE DOME opens with a track named ‘Wake In Fright’, and presents a conceptual framework inspired by R. Buckminster Fuller that arms the record with a cohesive horror. On THE DOME, NUN’s development echoes the first wave of post-punk and Industrial music, from the malevolent broken electronics of Throbbing Gristle to the sensual trance of Chris and Cosey, or Human League’s journey from the turgid grind of ‘Being Boiled’ to the giddy synth-pop of DARE. An example: in contrast to the early recordings in which Branagan’s vocals were a heavily affected cyborg wail, the vocals on THE DOME have an immediacy and clarity. This clarity does not sever a connection with the sinister and disturbed themes that have been NUN’s character, but enforces the sense of confidence you would hope from a band on their second LP. This is most apparent on the first single from the album ‘Can’t Chain’, on which Branagan recently elucidated: “Desire is fundamental to THE DOME - I see it as the life force that drives human connection, not just to other humans, but also to the will to live. It is both cruel and necessary. This song is about the struggle to maintain desire. It’s drain disco music.” The aforementioned cohesion of theme and conviction of delivery are qualities one would hope for in a contemporary...
***NUN—one of the most powerful bands Melbourne has ever produced, presents their dark-yet-somehow-vibrant vision of electronic pop with their debut self-titled album. Nun’s sound flows from sinister drone-orgy and hyperkinetic synth-punk to saturated new wave worship by incorporating huge, gnarling basslines, shimmering analogue synthesiser, punishing drum machine and the most malevolent vocal presence since the Dalek. From the first few seconds of opening track ‘Immersion II,’ it is clear that the lean minimal buzz of their debut 7” Solvents (on cult Melbourne label Nihilistic Orbs) was merely one sparkling facet of a much more monstrous body of work. Their debut album veers from perfectly crafted electronic pop to intense industrial noise, with singer JENNY BRANAGAN’s scathing lyrical vision always rising to occupy the central point of focus. Nun’s unrelenting aesthetic sense penetrates every aspect of this record, resulting in a remarkably cohesive work of art. The music is danceable and poppy, it’s sad and incisive, it’s fun, aggressive and heavy as hell. Most impressive of all is its immense force; the effortless delivery belying an overwhelming sense of something very heavy and unpleasant looming just beneath the scintillating pop surface. Edition of 500 copies.