Published Oct 16, 2019Californians Ariel View seem determined to take the lingering effects of heartbreak and turn them into a forceful form of healing. Led by sisters Harmonie and Heaven Martinez, and signed to punk stalwart Epitaph, the band have come out with a debut that's angsty on the inside and lively on the outside, with a sound that's unassuming but charming.
With similarities to the recently released Patience by their Epitaph peers Mannequin Pussy, Until My Lungs Are Cleared chronicles a post-breakup protagonist who's emboldened by anger, resentment and sadness, but in a way that speaks strictly of personal pain rather than projecting or accusing. And despite a heavily heartsick lyric sheet, most of the songs are actually quite upbeat and cheerful. The band's style combines punk, surf rock, psych and indie pop, ending up with something between the Beach Boys, Angel Olsen and Joyce Manor.
Indie pop bops like "Summertime" and "Pretty Flowers" stand out, with their fluttering guitars and strong hooks with sugary harmonies. "Succubus" is jagged and abrasive, "Until My Lungs Are Cleared" is mellow and soulful, and songs like "How Much Longer" and "Midnight" have the quick-paced moodiness of a Run for Cover band like Tigers Jaw.
The notion of substance abuse as self-medication comes up more than once, an effort to escape from a thought or a feeling that won't go away. "At night I abuse all the drugs I could do / 'cause at the end of the night all I wanted was you," the Martinez sisters sing on "Gone." It's music for having a fun time, but sadly. It's like when you go to a party and spend the whole time trying not to think about your ex.
Until My Lungs Are Cleared bottles up throbbing heartbreak and releases it with desperate, unyielding earnestness. But while it may wallow in woe, it does so with vigour and resolve. The record is not exactly earth-shattering stuff, but if you're a person who's feeling vulnerable yet determined to heal in protest, these songs might speak straight to you. (Epitaph)