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Cloakroom - Dissolution Wave (Relapse)

26 January 2022

Dissolution Wave, the third record from Cloakroom, purports to be a “space western” that filters the darkness of the past couple of years through a haze of theoretical physics, Sanskrit cosmology and existential dread. Maybe. But considering the sonic space the Indiana quartet occupies, does it matter if that message gets conveyed? The group’s well-traveled but effective blend of shimmering jangle, wide-eyed psychedelia and dreamy grunge favors sound over subject anyway, which makes it the perfect music from which listeners can extract their own context. Besides, if the band’s intent is to remind us that art is still important even in times of protracted difficulties, the beauteous “Fear of Being Fixed,” country-inflected “Doubt,” ringing “Lambspring” and powerful “Lost Meaning” and “Dissembler” accomplish the mission nicely. Whether or not listeners parse the details matters less than the fact that Dissolution Wave still gets the message across.