Review: Middle Sattre, Tendencies

Eightpiece’s soul-baring string arrangements push through self-loathing


A queer coming-of-age epic reeling from religious trauma, the debut record from experimental eightpiece collective Middle Sattre drowns in melancholia. Across a 14-hymn narrative, lead vocalist Hunter Prueger grapples with internalized homophobia and self-loathing, playing tug-of-war between tracks. Realization echoes through the ambient walls of opener "I Once Felt Safe," with serene chimes drifting alongside MaCall Potter's calloused violin. The record swells with instrumental distortion, from sharp metal embellishments ("Hate Yourself to the Core") to flickering warped chords ("Stop Speaking"). Soft-spoken words relentlessly pluck at heartstrings with ultra-specific recollections, like when misconstrued emotions invade a road trip on the soul-baring "Sweet 16." Shifting Tendencies' self-deprecating mindset, "Seven Years Since the Fall" ruefully bites at fruit from the tree of knowledge. Full-bodied string arrangements veil the album's acoustic foundation, shadowing Prueger and keyboardist S. Wallace's whispered vocals. The former inches toward inner peace on closing sentiment "Getting There," his progress tallied by woeful strums. "Three words that I can say out loud, when I can’t say them to myself," he admits. Woven together by vulnerability, this melodic journey through suburban church pews testaments self-discovery, no matter how grueling it may be.

Middle Sattre

Tendencies

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