Quietus sound like the house band at the last bar at the end of the universe, accessible through a secret entrance by way of a whispered password. Their music drifts and arcs, beholden to some unknown gravity, but always threatening to verge—angry and exhausted—out of its orbit, back to chaos.
Their third full-length—appropriately entitled Volume Three—practically drowns you in Quietus’ sensuous world. There’s a lushness to this music that obscures the deep ache at its core. Even in its slightly-abbreviated radio edit, “Your Hidden Swim” swells forth, arms outstretched, only to
withdraw, however apologetically. This push-pull dynamic—the contradictions, the paradoxes—fuels Quietus’ paeans to loneliness and disconnection. Disconsolate. Quietus gives voice and substance to emotions that, to be made manifest, demand the creation of strange, sonic worlds.
At times, Quietus is akin to a post-rock take on some of the finer songwriters of our age: The wee-hours-last-cigarette waltz of the late Leonard Cohen; a trace of Nick Cave’s epic drama; echoes of doomed souls such as Tim Buckley and Townes Van Zandt. Often, the songs
bloom into slow-motion climaxes hinting at casual violence. Even when the music swans about and leers at its lovers, there is always the suggestion of a darkness lurking beneath. On “The Souvenir Bruise,” Quietus leader Geoffrey Bankowski sings “The girl’s been waiting for the damage to get lit up/The boy’s been waiting for the girl/The souvenir bruise has been waiting for the thigh/And we were all waiting for a door/That locks from the inside.” Volume Three is an intimate, space-dust noir; pummeled material swirling in the air, trying to close great distances, to land, to stick to flesh.