Anyone paying attention can see that Cincinnati, OH is a very real hotbed of musical creativity at the moment, and the three members of The Serfs - Dylan McCartney (vocals, percussion, guitar, bass, electronics), Dakota Carlyle (Electronics, bass, guitar, vocals) & Andie Luman (vocals, synths) - and their respective side projects (The Drin, Crime of Passing, Motorbike) are undeniably near the center of Cincinnati’s neu-underground scene. After releasing albums on Berlin minimal-synth label Detriti & Seattle-based DREAM Records in 2018 & 2022 respectively, the band makes the move to Trouble In Mind for their third and best album yet. “Half Eaten By Dogs” puts a decidedly Midwestern spin on the modernist twitch of future-forward bands like Total Control or Cold Beat as well as the post-industrialist dance floor grime of Skinny Puppy, Dark Day, This Heat or Factrix.
“Half Eaten by Dogs” is a wide-eyed look through a scope into a desiccated and heathenish vision, where ice-encrusted synth harmonies command oozing chemical rhythms and drilled-out elemental rock formations. There’s a psychedelic melancholy to it-- in both the abstract lyrical sense, with doomed proclamations of natural and supernatural disasters, and the more tangible musical sense. It veers all over the map of tenebrous drum and synthesizer industries and stygian guitar implements, at times with a cautious paranoia and at times with tuneful defiance and exuberance (and in some moments harmonica, saxophone or flute).