Derma: skin, shell, surface, outer-layer

Abrasion: eroding, corroding, scraping, scratching

Canadian twosome Adam Bernhardt and Kat McGouran are the noiseniks behind this bracing debut, ‘Pain Behaviour’ out now on Hand Drawn Dracula.

Produced by Josh Korody (Fucked Up, Nailbiter, Breeze, Beliefs, Vallens) and mastered by Noah Mintz, altogether they have crafted a cornucopia of sounds, styles, sentiments and sacraments, dispensing frontline despatches from the backend of society’s underbellies. Distorted (dis)missives from the depths of despair have rarely sounded so engaging/enraging. As somebody once said ‘anger is energising’.

Like peers in sounds and style Drab Majesty and Boy Harsher a procession of discomforting screeds are rasped out from the innermost sanctum of survival, only the truly sensitive can screech sermons so solipsistically salvational.

Herein lie ten songs of pained praise for the meek freaks, the chic cliques, the oblique geeks. Loyal legionnaires of dis-ease.

There’s post-punk propulsion on ‘Betrayer Moon’; metallic malevolence on ‘Halberdier’; galloping gothic-rock on ‘Grim Sister’ and ‘Proving Ground’; post-industrial collapse on ‘Psychic Event’; alt-rock schlock on ‘Blight’.

Tackling themes such as organised religion and its close-cousin once-removed Satanism these songs investigate and interrogate what it is - or still means - to be human and all that goes with it: shame, power, duty, overwhelming emotions demanding to know ‘what’ exactly lies within the skin as it decays day by day? Do you want to be free, or not?

The beauty of residing in the shadows is you’re instinctively inured to the depravity and destitution wrought by demonic demagogues and dead-behind-the-eyes product-peddlers, instead intuitively toughened up by nightfall’s nourishing properties.

This is the soundtrack to that reality. Listen up.