After the Christchurch earthquakes The Renderers (Maryrose and Brian Crook) shifted hemisphere to settle in Yucca Valley, California, there evidently continuing their amalgamation of Americana country and dissonant aural textures. Contrasting to 2011’s noise-influenced ‘A Rocket Into Nothing’, this is calmer, darker and full of sonic beauty, reflecting perhaps their evocative surroundings. In fact, evocative is a good word to describe this album with its southern Gothic noir edge, full of fragmented piano melodies, menacing cello and dissonant strings – most notably in the understated instrumentals Not Really Falling, Omaharsh and The Remembering Room. Add to this some evocative and metaphorical lyrics and you have a potent mix – “angels with teeth” indeed.
One notable strength of The Renderers has always been the smoky vocals of Maryrose, and here they are just as potent. Seaworthy in particular brings her voice to the fore, haunting and sharp at the same time, while she seduces the senses on the disturbing Mr Pulse. Brian Crook adds his vocals to the woozy Strange Love and foreboding Black Saturn. The Renderers have always had a hint of noir about them, but ‘In A Sodium Light’ is an excellent fit to their sound – beautiful, haunting, and with more than a touch of threatening darkness.