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Tropic of Cancer: Permissions of Love (Mannequin)

Camella Lobo is the woman behind the gloomy sounds of Tropic of Cancer, no longer aided by Juan Mendez (a.k.a. Silent Servant) who left the project after they issued The End of All Things, a collection of both unreleased and previously released tracks. Compared to early tracks, despite the sound not having changed much, I find these to be better, if only by virtue of Lobo’s consistent vocals. The sound recalls vintage Cure (Faith era) or old Factory Records, all with a fairly monochrome, dreary palette of sound. “The One Left” has a motorik drive to it with its nonstop drum pattern and sparse guitar, and “It’s All Come Undone” somewhat mirrors this at a slower tempo, but my favorite is the gloomy waltz of “Beneath the Light,” the second track, sounding closer to vintage Nico than any of the proto-goth sounds I mentioned previously. Most of the ToC stuff I’ve heard sounds alike, but for whatever reason, this trio of tracks resonates better with me. Recommended listening.

Preview and buy: Mannequin Bandcamp