Following on the progressive creep from the shadows on Horrorism, Lee Noble returns with a new album for Bathetic that's locked into a tape scratched corner of the subconscious rife with unease and ennui in equal measure. Its good to see that someone's tending to the light flickering behind the curtain on hypnogogic pop these days as Ruiner floats in on photo album dust and creeps its way through the negative space between haunted synths and beds of echo bent guitar shoved through enough pedals to make them resemble little more than iced breath by the time Noble's had his way with them. He layers a fair amount of plaintive plucks, mechanical churns and heartbreaking drones over the top of each track that no one piece feels like the center of his aural collages of loss and ache, adding to a gauzy air that seems ready to dissipate on a moment's notice. There's no way that Noble's escaping an onslaught of Grouper comparisons, and he's had his fair share in the past, but this certainly puts him in his own boat and paddling away from Liz Harris despite launching themselves into the same river aesthetically. Noble really is perfecting his pain on each album and this one seems to be battling Horrorism for bright moments, ethereal vibes and a serious case of headphone nirvana.
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