A cathartic testament to anguish worth listening to, Molly Drag’s Whatever Reason is a diary of dejection and heartache set to lo-fi slowcore.
Ghostly vocals intertwine with shimmering synths on the album’s opening track, “Critter.” Wary to venture in, yet unwilling to step out, we surrender to the song’s tantalizing melancholy and slip into the depths of Molly Drag’s beguiling nightmare.
Michael Hansford’s voice, gentle and tinged with gloom, is at the core of Whatever Reason’s allure. “Glass” begins with the steady strumming of an acoustic guitar, which gradually eases us into the track. However, it’s only after Hansford’s raspy vocals pierce through the background, that we start to recognize the intense despondency running through the veins of the song. More so, with “Pitch Black Apathy” Molly Drag create an enthralling tune by exposing deeply rooted sorrow and self-degradation. Set to delicate synths and guitar, Hansford’s lyrics are flushed with forthright forlorn-ness. Lines like “all the things I hate about myself are true…I don’t deserve forgiveness…I’m a fraud…[and] I walk alone again on broken limbs,” are riddled with hurt and hopelessness. The track’s title may indicate apathy, but Hansford’s somber lyrics seem to overflow from a point of deep emotion.
As the album continues, Molly Drag delves deeper into the realms of personal despair. On “Other Hunter,” Hansford’s doleful lyrics are wrapped in a lighter guitar-driven soundscape. With a tender instrumental at its side, the suffering conveyed by Hansford on this track is especially poignant. Then, as “Tragic Trix” closes the album, Hansford’s dry vocals drift alongside haunting twangs of a guitar and perpetuate an overwhelming malaise. Yet, once the drums hush and the voices vanish, two figures remain – misery and self-destruction continue to dance until the album fades away.
Top Tracks: “Tragic Trix”; “Glass”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)