The Sinister Left
The Comfort Corporation
It’s not every day we get to review an album from a brooding post-punk trio hailing from our own fair city. Soot was written and recorded in Hong Kong and the fact that it’s even halfway decent makes it rarer than a rainbow-farting unicorn. Formed in 2004, The Sinister Left consist of Filipino frontman and guitarist Nathaniel Inciong, British bassist Stuart McCutcheon and Canadian drummer Philip Emond.
Following on from Red Eye Effect, their 2009 EP, Soot, the band’s debut album, was born from their struggles with contemporary society and politics. Promising to take us on an “alternative musical journey, via a path less trodden”, Soot bristles with a dark sonic tension, fusing soaring math-rock guitars with angsty post-punk melodies. As Inciong professes his distaste for the greedy corporate monsters hiding behind their suits and ties on the prog-rockish title track, it’s the hypnotically menacing grooves, complex songcraft and accomplished musicianship that make Soot one of the most dynamic albums to emerge from Hong Kong for years.