Laüstic Pens Eccentric, Insane Ballads on “La Canzone del Cefaloforo” (EP Review)
Youth trades perspective for a higher capacity to make mistakes. If one desires to shove their hand into an open flame, the muscle fibres recover quickly, allowing more attempts to plot how to safely handle fire. Putting this in a contemporary context, where the ever-online young find inspiration not through foundational forefathers but through nightcore remixes and TikTok snippets, Laüstic makes sense. Their latest EP La Canzone del Cefaloforo is exciting for the same reasons it’s occasionally clunky, encompassing the pros and cons of adolescent ambition.
Laüstic are invigorated by their youthfulness. Théo Castell and Joshua Guerrero were only high seniors when they formed Laüstic in 2018. Their debut LP, That Same Evergreen I Love So Well, Despite the Way Its Shadows Make Me Sad was jammed with 72 minutes of neofolk and black metal and sung in three different languages, and La Canzone del Cefaloforo has no signs of outgrowing this ambition.
In each of Laüstic's multi-phasal tracks are tasters of math rock, IDM, spoken word, black metal, and lieder (the German poetry and piano pairing), steering away from traditional progression. Opener “De los Bosques a las Ciudades” transitions from a disembodied female vocal to an IDM-cum-horror film soundtrack. Then, a math rock guitar and sonic tampering contort the melody. All this—just within the first three minutes. Each section cuts to the next, with sparse leitmotifs later rejoining a shapeless piece. It’s consistent inconsistency doped up on short attention spans, as if Laüstic are motivated by a shiny new toy every few minutes. With the synthetic IDM drums, nasally vocals, and romantic overtones, La Canzone del Cefaloforo is a fever dream, lacking logic but compensating with anticipation of when, and to what, Laüstic will pivot next.
Every jagged component on La Canzone del Cefaloforo is pursued with good faith. It could have only been made by people raised on the internet, where people with an encyclopedic knowledge of Rate Your Music charts experiment beyond the realms of good tastes. “Arca of Silverpoint Hyphae II. Microscopic Basilica” pairs growls, spoken word, clean singing, and black metal into a car crash of genres. It’s a hyper-concentrated mosaic that works if only for its originality.
Laüstic’s curiosity occasionally surpasses their abilities: the harsh vocals come from too shallow of a stomach and overcompensate rather than desecrate, and lyrically Laüstic ooze the same overindulgence as screamo’s spoken word segues. They overwrite, their lexicon barely fitting into the track’s meters. Whether this is a stumble or a success depends on how much high drama can be stomached in one sitting, but more often than not Laüstic err towards commendable.
La Canzone del Cefaloforo, for all its blemishes, is perpetually entertaining. Each segment is interesting in itself even if the carousel of colours and passages is far from cohesive. Sometimes Laüstic rip, sometimes they’re romantic, and sometimes they lean into symphonic influences like sitting in on a student’s avant-garde opera thesis. La Canzone del Cefaloforo is chaotic, but through happenstance—there's an internal logic here that the listener isn't privy to, and Laüstic capitalizes on this mayhem without fearing mistakes.
La Canzone del Cefaloforo releases today via Cursed Monk Records.