With a name like DEATH INSTINCT, one can infer that this Pittsburgh trio makes music even cheerier than the stuff Joy Division released back in the 80’s. Kidding about the happiness bit, obviously, although frontman Jon (not sure on last name) does at times sound like the reincarnation of Ian Curtis. The group’s newly released EP The Offerings (Play Alone Records) channels Joy Division’s skeletal, dirge-like, oddly danceable grooves, but expands on that framework enough to create a footprint of its own, especially on the song “Hide.” Joy Division preferred to let bassist Peter Hook handle the bulk of their instrumental melodies, but “Hide” blooms outward on the strength of atmospheric guitar and synthesized strings, much like the photonegative flower pictured on the cover of The Offerings (before it was plucked, of course). The song’s bleak chorus goes, “I cannot hide/From what lies/Inside the mind.” Luckily, the beauty of the instrumental is able to balance out the sense of despondency conveyed by the lyrics. Recommended for fans of 80’s goth/post-punk/new wave/etc.

Check out more from DEATH INSTINCT and Play Alone Records.

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