Alexis Marshall’s career of filtering an insidious world into more confrontational and hellish sound is nearing its second decade. “What a world we live in! What a time to be alive!” he proclaims on House of Lull. House of When. What a time to be alive indeed, as Marshall is seeing the most fruitful part of his career sprout in these past few decades. He began this work fronting animalistic noise rock band Daughters. Their 2018 release You Won’t Get What You want received critical acclaim and since then Marshall has continued to build his profile. Work on House of Lull. House of When and collaboration with other innovative artists such as Lingua Ignota. There have been other acts in between, but through them all Marshall remained an enigmatic voice for a paranoid world. Through every excursion Marshall has dread alive, leaving us to question whether the art is a side effect of a pained existence.
House of Lull manages discomfort using different methods and getting varying results. Being a noise record, and letting more of the poetry be spoken-not sung, the fear seems to sit closer to the listener. The unglued instrumentals on You Won’t Get What You Want are absent. The sounds of the world around us sidle up closer to the mind. This time instead of enveloping and strangling they confide. More space is left, locked inside with sounds of clanging metal and loose change. Marshall’s words range from paranoid rants to eerily calm sermons. He does not lead as he preaches. Instead he stands amid the storm that swells over the course of the record.
There are no clear answers given to the stress he’s cracking under. Rather, we are given a distilled view of all the sand and grit chipping away at us. House of Lull. House of When may be a difficult album to digest, but it proves how powerful industrial music can be. The sound of modern society is captured in rooms that feel lonesome but crammed and unfamiliar. Marshall has made his mark on the genre by creating an album that makes this point so obvious, while also penning words that will continue to ring in ears long after the record has been turned off for something lighter