Ora Iso, “can not” in Javanese dialect, is Indonesian-Australian, Kathleen Malay and New Yorker, Jason Kudo and Image Certifies is their 2nd full-length, released on Downwards in May of this year. The band describes the record as “A love letter to a society dying of its own self-induced cancers”. When asked specifically which cancers by The Quietus, Malay responded, “Control & greed.”
While I love Hoagy Carmichael and The Ozark Mountain Daredevils as much as the next guy girl, there’s a big place in my heart for the darker side, the noisier and gnarlier the better. I can spend hours watching old Einstürzende Neubauten videos and be put off by Joy Division’s prettiness. When I first heard the first few seconds of the first track, “No Fish” from Image Certifies, I knew I was in the right place.
As I said, these are songs so there’s recognizable structure which you can view as a good or a bad thing. I find myself getting lost in the story, which is a good thing, and the sounds inform the mood and create the world within which story unfolds. Nice.
BONUS: The digital version of Image Certifies contains a surprise ending and it is a great surprise at that. Spoiler Alert follows: