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Song You Need: Let The Serfs soundtrack your next uneasy night at the club

The Serfs. Photo by Liese Stiebritz.


The FADER’s “Songs You Need” are the tracks we can’t stop playing. Check back every day for new music and follow along on our Spotify playlist.

The Serfs make music that’s inscrutable and unsettling but in a fun way. Today (August 22), the Cincinnati punks newly signed to Chicago’s Trouble In Mind Records have announced their third album, Half Eaten By Dogs, and released its lead single, “Club Deuce.”

The new song is a sneeringly flirtatious affair that starts out as a relatively straightforward synth-pop with a mechanical edge but quickly descends into an uneasy blend of post-industrial angst and throbbing EBM ennui. While it’s nominally anchored by three known quantities — a drum machine, plus quantized bass and repetitive synth arpeggios — its less stable elements win out to make for queazy listening. A stubborn, secondary synth melody pops in with increasing regularity, refusing to fully comply with the rest of the rhythm. And Andie Luman’s monotoned vocal line, flanked by muddled snippets of what sounds like a political speech, floats in and out like specters only vaguely interested in haunting the track at hand.

Together, these slightly sinister machinations evoke that all-to-familiar dance floor moment when you realize you’ve taken too many drugs, the wrong drugs, or the wrong combination of drugs, and the night slips from unhinged hedonism into a waking nightmare. But if you can ride the incoming wave of bad vibes into calmer waters, you might find yourself enjoying the eeriness of it all.

Half Eaten By Dogs album art and tracklist

Song You Need: Let The Serfs soundtrack your next uneasy night at the club

1. Order Imposing Sentence

2. Cheap Chrome

3. Suspension Bridge Collapse

4. Beat Me Down

5. Spectral Analysis

6. Club Deuce

7. Electric Like An Eel

8. Ending Of The Stream

9. The Dice Man Will Become

10. Mocking Laughter