Performing a rare London show alongside South-American post-punk band, Pilgrims of Yearning, and at the same venue they played back in 2016, founding group members Martin Bowes and Julea Waller did a short set of tracks ahead of new material they have coming out early next year. Before their set, support band Pilgrims of Yearning showcased their blend of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, Bauhaus/The Cure infused oriental, gothic darkwave, with songs such as ‘Florence’ and the explosive ‘Storms’ sung by Juls, seductively dancing on stage as mascara ran down her face.

Attrition’s set opened on the primordial sound of ‘The Voice of Truth’ with a sample and classical synth from their two synth operators; Bowes gruff voice contrasted by Waller’s operatic wails, the former also playing bursts of electronic clarinet. Then came the revving synths and bracketing crashes of ‘Snakepit’, from 2013 studio album, ‘The Unraveller of Angels’, with its incongruent, dual layered vocal harmonies.

Attrition moved onto the computerised beats of ‘The Mercy Machine’, from 1994’s ‘The Hidden Agenda’, which utilised the sample influence of other industrial groups of the time such as Front 242’s ‘Welcome To Paradise’ and for which Bowes ripped up pieces of paper, throwing them into the air. The EBM tempo of ‘Narcissist’ followed with its choral backing; this pace continuing in 2020’s ‘The Great Derailer’ with trembling string synth.

The group finished their set on their 2004 studio album, ‘Dante’s Kitchen’, with the dystopian key sequences of ‘The Long Hall’. Whilst at times their tracks are repetitive, the group capture true gothic, industrial darkwave imaginings with the originality of their vocal contrast.


30/09/23: Attrition + Pilgrims of Yearning @ The Black Heart, London.

Photos © Anna Marchesani/Nocturna Photography.

© Ayisha Khan.