Good to see you again, 生 Conform 死! Having released their Circa ’94 album in 2018, 生 Conform 死 have showed what they’ve been up to with the release of new single, “Luxury Letdown”. The Perth five piece have the help of Dropout Kings on the new track; an Arizona based “trap metal” band whose sound meshes nicely with 生 Conform 死‘s approach to nu-metal.
The song and its video are relatively self-explanatory, best summed up for me by the background lyric that appears along the way: “No, you are not yourself. No, you are someone else.” “Luxury Letdown” as a song forms a high-pressured spray that melts away the glamour and reveals the raw mundanity underneath. Beyond shimmering sequins and drenching via gems or champagne is unhappiness, and it seems like 生 Conform 死 are hellbent on revealing the truth that’s so obviously apparent to them underneath the facade of luxe.
As to the song’s inspiration, in their own words, 生 Conform 死 describe the thematic direction of “Luxury Letdown” as “a parody of the largely disingenuous portrayal of top-shelf lifestyles in social media and the un-meetable standards of modern beauty pushed to the average Joe and Jane by high-end fashion brands.” Their frustration comes from seeing the manipulation and impossible ideals as being damaging; “a gleaming detriment to the growth of a healthy impressionable person.” They as a band seek to be part of a bigger community of individuals, inspired by freedom of thought, expression, and pro self-love.
“So, you’ve got it figured out.”
With features of their sound that we know and love from previous releases on full display, “Luxury Letdown” gets quickly down to business. Eerie melodic swirls are juxtaposed with Troy Van Der Meer’s roars, and enhanced by beefy riffs. Painstaking enunciation and voice effects blend to create an atmosphere of threatening frustration with one eye on reality. The Dropout Kings feature acts like a splash of fuel onto the existing fire that’s raging nicely.
An adventure of a song, “Luxury Letdown” is at times dense and tangled and other times bouncy and driven. Mash ups of samples and instrumental skill tell a story of having endured someone’s falseness before finally letting loose with how they feel about it. The zooming lift of “My patience has finally run out” and a collection of frustrations have it all come across as continually having to tighten their own reins in case they lose it. (“Bou-bou-bounce”). A pummelling peak is reached at the strangulated bridge, when “Something just feels so wrong in here”.
And just when you think it’s over, we’re counted back in for one last word, with the feature arriving in slower form and a deliciously bombarding final song section landing. The ending vocal rhythm goes down so easily, where distorted collisions and drum acrobatics may as well be that fist of reality finally hitting.
Yeah, good to see you again, 生 Conform 死!
Catch them live as support for Thy Art Is Murder (December 14th, Badlands Bar), or The Amity Affliction (January 9th, Dunsborough Tavern & January 10th, Metropolis Fremantle).