Let’s not mince words. I’m quite sure Led Er Est don’t have any great claims of obscurity. A trio making murky, synth-infused industrial in a place as predictable as Brooklyn? We can’t underestimate those obvious implications, after all, the profound lack of self-awareness it would take for a band in that script to think they were cutting teeth on some new shit would be almost disrespectful. Led Er Est used to be hooked up with minimal-wave merchants Wierd Records, now they’re slightly more savage on the slightly more volatile Sacred Bones. The greasy pop convulsions of The Diver is anything but imperative, but that might be just because we’ve lived in this world too long.
Led Er Est have upped their game and production value since the cheesy, vintage-synth jingles of their earliest era, but it’s still head-cranked epoch music. Technology and tradition has moved on, but the evidence remained – the sounds, the fury, the eBay scavenger hunts for out-of-print records. Thrashing, dark, and safely archaic, everything about The Diver is a loving, dedicated tribute.
“Arab Tide” scraps its bloody knuckles behind on the concrete floor, and “Animal Smear” is a tidal sonic scream blasting out the stratosphere. The dysfunctional, skewering, film-reel lazerbeams make “Bladiator’s” rumbling radio-chatter feel like war-time schmaltz, and they actually had the aptitude to fill “Housefire at Zumi’s” with some streaky, robotic strings. What’s there to say really? Led Er Est certainly know what they’re doing, but most of their shots can’t even get past the skin. Perhaps there is a particular equation to make these queasy electronics penetrate into our eager psychosis, but neither them, nor any of their brethren have really figured it out. The Diver, in its poppiest moments or in its dingiest moments, can never quite get out of the house.