It Only Gets Worse's newest release, Angels, is an album that gives me the definite feeling of an album both wonderful and strange. It Only Gets Worse is a collaboration between Matt Finney and Maurice de Jong from Gnaw Their Tongues. Finney provides the vocals/spoken word on this release while the music was handled by de Jong.
The album is a very dark, very Twin Peaks-inspired concept album about a father and his relationship with his twin daughters and their ultimate fate.
Angels opens with “____,” a short instrumental that sets the mood. Melodramatic, operatic, timber lines rustling through the trees.
“grace,” the second track on the album, starts the story off. The track is seeped in dark synth and eerie bells. Finney's dry and cracked reading of the spoken word is off-putting and surreal. “anna” is the next track. The album's darkness doesn't let up. It just comes in waves of moments, second to second. Finney is reading lines from a female's perspective. It skews the tone and makes the album a whole lot scarier. There are a lot of Twin Peaks vibes and Deadly Premonition choral synth angels during “anna,” and it's one of my favorite pieces from this release.
The next track, “floral print,” shakes things up. After a droning introduction, the song kicks into a high speed beat that gives the album more momentum going forward. This is such a neat song and it is definitely my stand-out selection. The story continues, a hushed whispered intonation of the next spoken word chapter.
A second song called “____” shows up, just a little shorter than the introduction. It's quick and moody and full of reverb guitar groans. “memories” is up next, another instrumental that sounds a little more upbeat than the rest of the album, but it still harbors an incredibly melancholy edge.
There are moments in “sepia toned” that really speak to me, towards the end when soft electronic blips send you into a hypnotic state. The story is getting darker, even during this beautiful array of sounds. The journey reaches a conclusion in the final song, “thaw.” The deed has been done and this song keeps a steady beat until the final words are spoken.
Overall, Angels is an interesting experience that certainly calls Twin Peaks and experimental artists to mind. I'm going to give this a 7.5/10 for its originality and unique take on the spoken word album. Make sure to check out It Only Gets Worse's social media pages to see what else they have cooking up!