Treble is currently streaming Castigations, the impending new full-length from Oakland death rock outfit FALSE FIGURE. The premiere comes on the eve of the record’s official unveiling Tuesday, November 1st via Transylvanian Recordings.
Writes Treble in part, “The group already debuted the single ‘Possession,’ which carries a dark, post-punk groove, and the rest of the album carries a similarly stylish gloom. Castigations is dark and haunted, but often as catchy as goth comes, with atmosphere and melodies reminiscent of vintage Christian Death and Kommunity FK. Essential listening for this time of year—or any time of year, really.”
Stream FALSE FIGURE’s Castigations, now playing at Treble, at THIS LOCATION.
View the band’s previously released video for “Possession” at THIS LOCATION.
Castigations was recorded and mixed by Grammy-winning producer Greg Wilkinson, mastered by Grammy-winning audio engineer Chris Dugan, and comes adorned in the cover art of guitarist/vocalist Andrés Ruiz.
The record will be released on CD, LP, cassette, and digitally. Find preorders at THIS LOCATION.
FALSE FIGURE was forged in 2015. In their earliest days, they drew influence from classic California deathrock groups like Christian Death and Change Today?-era T.S.O.L. and even early black metal. They conjured something melodic yet driving with guitars howling through noisy delay and reverb but still steeped in tangible melody.
“We wanted melodies that would stick in your head with beats that would move you,” recalls Ruiz. “In the past few years, we’ve shifted towards a more pointed, airy and rhythm-driven song structure where each element has its space to breathe. This style is something that was touched on in our last EP, A Promised End but really got to shine on Castigations. We aim to keep things flowing and concise. ‘All killer no filler’ as they say.”
With FALSE FIGURE’s Castigations, an all-embracing presence of melancholy remains, but not in a way that would bog down listeners. “We aimed to present the music in a manic yet purposeful arrangement, mirroring our own lives and experiences, a controlled chaos. As a three-piece attempting a big sound, you have to be mindful of what you aren’t playing (overplaying) as much as what you desire to play. The lyrics of this release come from our experiences at the time of writing, from failed relationships, to losing loved ones, to feeling the figurative noose tightening around one’s neck as we struggle to negotiate to live in the capitalist hellscape that has become the San Francisco Bay area where the margins are bursting at the seams.”
“Possession,” was written about a jealous lover who is never satisfied short of pure domination; internalizing contempt about the situation but ultimately remaining hopeless as their hold on you seems ethereal or supernatural. Elsewhere the band focuses on the notion of reincarnation. “‘Samsara’ is the Hindu/Buddhist belief that we are in an endless cycle of death/rebirth, carrying over our karmic debt from one lifetime into another,” notes Ruiz. “This song comes from the idea that we’re stuck repeating the same motions and getting the same results within conflict, love and lust, unable to break the barrier and staying shackled to our attachments no matter how detrimental they are to us. It was one of the first tracks we wrote on this new record and musically it marked the first step in the next era of FALSE FIGURE.”
Ruiz continues, “‘Sadist Lament’ is similar in lyrical theme, stemming from being a bond with someone you share a volatile history with and going against your better judgment to satisfy both of your suppressed desires, ultimately repeating the cycle.”
“Relying far more on melody than their previous output, their way forward sees hummable hooks that get stuck in your head and appeal to a wider audience while never abandoning their roots as a thoroughly carrion-soaked specter forcing its way through the marine layer at the stroke of midnight. Simple, catchy riffs float over the ever-present bass distortion with a vocal delivery that exceeds most modern post-punk lilting ranges by several degrees of magnitude.” – Cvlt Nation
“FALSE FIGURE…seamlessly blend goth, punk, and post-punk… [‘Samsara’] has a driving punk/new wave baseline with heavy doses of ‘90s-era Cure in a delightful throwback. ‘Possession’ has a bit more of a straight punk beat but with some more of that Cure-esque atmospheric echo. It’s deeply moody and hauntingly melodic without getting morbid. The video, with its harsh lighting and trippy effects, creates an effective David Lynch-style aesthetic that’s simultaneously beautiful and unsettling.” – New Noise Magazine, Bandcamp Of The Day
FALSE FIGURE Castigations lineup:
Andrés Ruiz – guitar, vocals
Alex Rivas – bass
Ian McDonnell – drums