Boomkat Product Review:
Lungbutter's Ky Brooks gasps, wails and cries poetically on 'Power is the Pharmacy', drowning the noise-punk they're most associated in abstracted instrumentation and haunted, electrifying textures.
Best known as one of Montréal's punk lifers, with tenure in a slew of projects like Femmaggots and Nag, Brooks takes a left turn with their solo debut, drawing on the tragedy of the sudden death of their close friend and collaborator Joni Sadler to inspire emotions that hold the songs together like glue. During the pandemic, Brooks purchased two synthesizers and began writing music that helped them struggle through isolation and grief, eventually workshopping the songs with a group of local friends to evolve them to their final form. It's wide-reaching stuff too, beginning in a fog of backmasked vocals and synth vamps that centers Brooks' assured poetry, and immediately oozing into 'All the Sad and Loving People', a gentle AutoTune-led ambient pop moment that was written in response to Sadler's passing.
Elsewhere, Brooks toys with spirited cold wave on 'The Dancer', soaring, Diamanda Galas-inspired noise pop on 'Revolving Door', and tentatively approaches prog metal on 'Dragons'. But it's the quieter, more reflective moments that have us most intrigued: 'Elvin Silverware' is an eerie, distorted synth experiment that provides a good cushion for Brooks' words, and finale 'The Replacement' plays like doomed, Lynchian cabaret.