To Languish – Sown
To Languish unleash a whirlwind of erratic screamo about self-discovery and internalized identity struggles.
Comprised of the lesbian couple Jonna and Cauli, who are also both transgender women involved in the DIY punk scene, To Languish’s Sown is probably among the most personal, brutally honest and self-reflecting screamo records in a long time.
Brimming with uncompromising lyrical delivery and an abrasive blend of erratic screams, battering drumming, and dissonant chords that breach into mathcore territory, To Languish‘s LP is a gut-punching record that shouldn’t be missed.
Going straight for the listeners’ throat with the 59-second rapid-fire opener “Disdain”—featuring Ren Aldridge of Petrol Girls—the band makes a bold statement that TERFs should not be tolerated with their false sense of gender equality. The album continues from there with a constant barrage of short, fast-paced and chaotic tracks touching on subjects like being trans, neurodivergent, and trapped in an internalized struggle to find your own self identity in a hostile world.
I’m sure such uncompromisingly forthright and raucous tracks like “Not str8 can’t rl8” and “Sisters not cisters” (also featured in the Transgenre benefit compilation) will relate to so many queer and questioning folx within the punk scene. The last song “You’re so brave, I couldn’t” is another incredibly honest personal piece, and also the only track stretching beyond the 2-minute mark, starting off in the typical frantic pace but closing the record with an atmospheric emo-tinged instrumental outro. Besides Ren on “Disdain”, other notable guest appearances on Sown include Yasmin Lauren of Kodos on “Better on my own” and the phenomenal screamo vocals of Elsa Lezzzagon (Drei Affen / Osoluna) on “Transfever”.
In conclusion, this is a pummelling screamo record that might sound a bit minimalist and lacking coherence with To Languish being only a two-piece at the time, but Sown‘s strength lies in its intense, immediate compositions packed with great lyrical content and personality.
After releasing this record, the band has become a three-piece and moved to Gothenburg, while Cauli now lives in France. I guess, writing new music can be a bit difficult at the moment but I can’t wait to hear new stuff from them in the future. In the meantime, Sown is totally recommended.