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esses bloodlettingforthelonely
Artist: Esses
Title: Bloodletting For The Lonely
Genre: Post Punk / Alternative / Deathrock
Release Date: 6th August 2021
Label: Bat Cave Productions / Atakra Records

Album Review

ESSES hail from Oakland, California and the quintet have been crafting dark punchy Post Punk since 2014. ‘Bloodletting For The Lonely’ is their sophomore album that follows on from 2018s ‘Offerings’ which is sleeved by an image reminiscent of ‘Press The Eject and Give me The Tape’ by BAUHAUS. That’s not a bad album, it’s a good set up for what follows. The Oakland five-piece consist of current and former members of bands ALTAR DE FEY, BLACK ICE, THE PHANTOM LIMBS, RED VOICE CHOIR, and THE HOLY KISS and according to the blurb, carry through transcendently dark live performances with surreal and sublime vitalities. ESSES has played Poland’s notorious Return to the Batcave Festival in 2019, Oakland’s own Near Dark Festival in 2016 and 2019, and a slew of shows across the US. Hopefully they’ll play the UK soon so I can experience these transcendently dark happenings myself. And so, to ‘Bloodletting For The Lonely’...

It starts out promisingly. My attention is immediately grabbed by the chukka, chukka, chukka, chukka of the drums and gesticulation of the guitar that is like a hand emphatically but elegantly throwing seeds onto fertilized ground. Yes, this is like SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES dancing in and around X MAL DEUTSCHLAND whilst Daniel Ash wraps everything up into a nice neat package. Furrowed brow, clenched fists and then arms raised. The features, obscured, only silhouettes inform the scene. So far so good. ‘Four Corners’ sounds like it would not be out of place on ‘Spellbound’ or ‘Qual’. At least this sounds like the band mean what they are producing, they are enthusiastic about breathing life into an old formula, unlike another band that I won’t mention, you know what I mean, Stephen?

So satisfying is ‘Before The Blight’! It’s like a pumping heart and capillaries growing in a muscle, more life-giving blood reaching the extremities and far off corners of a living corpse bringing it back to life. ‘Little Mouse’ carries on this journey of awesomeness. Glistening guitars dazzle in the darkness. Who remembers the 80s music program called The Tube? BALAAM and THE ANGEL played live on the show once. There was a chap with a mohawk chicken dancing with the exuberance of a, erm, chicken hyped up on speed, wrapped up in the moment, the sheer enjoyment of the track the band were playing blocking out everything else. This is what this reminds me of.

One listen through and I can say that there’s not one track that I don’t like. There's no dip in quality or attitude! There’s no sign of the band chucking in tracks and saying “that will do!” There’s nothing here just to fill out the album. Personally, I think the quality control is high, it shows and it’s appreciated!


01. The Source
02. Pierce the Feeling
03. Four Corners
04. Infinite Void
05. Before the Blight
06. Little Mouse
07. Faceless Past
08. Caged Beasts
09. Schism 


Miss Kel – Vocals, Lyrics
Dawn Hills – Guitars
Skot B – Guitars
Scout Leight – Bass
Kevin Brown – Drums

Website /

Cover Picture

esses bloodlettingforthelonely


Music: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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