The Air Conditioned Nightmare
Born of the Torn Curtain—a communal Montreal space occupied by punk noiseheads—twenty-five-year-old Airick Woodhead made his sophomore album in the wash of constant touring that followed the release of Doldrums’ inward body-horror dreamloop Lesser Evil. Equipped with a full band, The Air Conditioned Nightmare borrows its anti-consumerist lens (and its title) from Henry Miller’s frightening ’40s homecoming from Europe. Through this LP, Woodhead is sonically shedding his digital and sampler-heavy skin that he was best known for onstage, so it’s natural that, given further organic instruments of consciousness, new sonic territories should open for exploration. And they are: The huge “Hotfoot” feels like a Kanye West beat on acid, and “Funeral for Lightning” is a shifting glance at Doldrums’s artistic potential. Though a front-loaded statement, Nightmare suggests that maybe, in addition to figuring himself out, Woodhead is discovering something essential for the rest of us, too.