Murderbait is a band of great interest that reaches its third full length with Nostalgia Like Cancer, which follows the debut We Hold Nothing in Our Hands (2016) and the self-titled follow-up, with the interlude of the ep When the Sun Goes Down, It Goes Down Forever (2019). Three years of silence, roughly corresponding with the pandemic period, and substantial changes to the line-up prompted the group led by Casey Logan to cloak their sound in further darkness. Gothic and post-punk, which have been the stylistic foundations of the Portland-based group from the very beginning, are offered in a version that is not easy to take, cloaking them with cultured streaks such as influences derived from the work of Leonard Cohen, another source of inspiration never hidden by Murdebait; for his part, Logan offers a vocal interpretation of great depth, with a warm and expressive timbre, an ideal meeting point between the more mature Peter Murphy and the inescapable Morrisonian style. A song with great evocative potential such as the melancholy opener Lost is the ideal viaticum for delving into a beautiful album, with the skillful use of strings to give a sense of yearning appropriate to lyrics in which no discount is made either to the past (after all, a title like Nostalgia Like Cancer is quite eloquent) or to the present as well as to the future (The End Always Wins). Although decidedly different and with less airy and melodic traits, at several junctures Murderbait equally reminded me of a great and underrated band of the last century such as Dreadful Shadows, but in a more raw and folded in on itself version, in addition to the natural deviations resulting from the different backgrounds that American and German musicians may have. Nostalgia Like Cancer is an album of astonishing beauty and depth, demonstrating how credible and far from derivative forms of those sounds that had their heyday in the 1980s can still be offered today without appearing obsolete.

2022 – Independent