This record has been haunting the speakers around her for a few months and finally hit the shelves last week. The duo of RSTB fave Ajay Saggar (Bhajan Bhoy) and Holly Habstritt moves far from Saggar’s work in the dirge and drone that he’s often surround by, instead letting a cloud of shoegaze and a heavy dose of pop waft into the room. Honestly, the record’s an argument for the hinge between psych and dreampop to become even more active, and his previous works inform the outfit in serendipitous ways. As Habstritt’s vocals float in the fogged stratosphere of their songs, Saggar adds a third-degree singe to the guitars, never really leaning into the pillowy past of the genre. The motorik chug of drums drives the album, laced with just a touch of ‘60s garage snap. While there might be a few Venn diagram dips through Girl Group territory here, there’s a barbed wire barrier that keeps Volksempfänger enveloped in a bit more angst than any of their dreampop contemporaries.

As Sagger and Habstritt freely admit, this is rather the point. The record sits at the intersection of Ride and the Stooges’ Raw Power. It rips from the Can cupboard and lets the rhythms underscore offerings from the Opal graveyard. Feedback and froth fight for dominance on the record, lulling the listener into a trance, then leaving them with sandpaper scuffs on their way through the runnout. In Habstitt, Sagger has found a perfect foil, and the record’s psych touches don’t obscure that at its core, its a lovely pop record that’s easy to get lost in, a fogged garden maze lined with thorns. It’s always easy to lean back and make the assurance that Shoegaze can’t be pushed further, but Attack of Sound makes an excellent argument for its endurance in 2023.

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