by Negative Space

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"Negative Freedom" video:

LP available on:
Drunken Sailor Records (DRUNKEN SAILOR104)

"Negative Space...have stern rhythms, a booming anarcho-goth mix job and an existentialist lyrical eye. Since their previous album, late 2017 debut Gestalt, they’ve tacked to a noisier, more belligerent sound – slightly unusually for this sort of thing, although Bad Breeding would be a loosely comparable group with a similar arc. Much of Gestalt’s lyrics, according to vocalist SPH, addressed “the effects of gender dysphoria on the self”, and this seems to have continued into Cruelty’s opening song, ‘Negative Freedom’: “Binaries from which your brain can’t shield … never being how you perceive.” Paired to an unlikely but highly effective Crisis-via-Live Skull martial stomp spiked with feedback sculpture, it’s a brain-grabbing opener, its energy maintained by anarchist fantasy ‘Theft Utopia’ (“Your kids, your wife, your home, your money … I know where to get it / it’s coming from you”). The Gang Of Four vibe which a few people, myself included, had noted on Gestalt has mostly been siphoned from Negative Space’s present sound – apart from RMB’s bassline on ‘Eternal Rotation’, where it’s more profound than before. Other things that elevate Negative Space amidst a crowded field: the way that a song like ‘Performative’ is composed of several distinct sections, transferring from one to the next without seeming fussily showy (or indeed performative); the noise and electronics which undergird many sections without exhausting the breathing space of the arrangements." - The Quietus

"Second 12” from this excellent UK hardcore / post-punk band. Their brand of heavy, anarcho-fueled post-punk (or is it the other way around?) might not be what we expect from Drunken Sailor (a label like Iron Lung or La Vida Es Un Mus would seem more appropriate), but hopefully copies of this record find their way into appreciative hands. If you like Bad Breeding, Institute, and / or Ex-Cult your hands may qualify as such, because Cruelty sounds kind of like those three bands thrown into a blender. Like Institute and Ex-Cult they’re fond of riding a groove for a long time without getting monotonous, and as with Bad Breeding they layer distorted, echo-drenched whooshing noises over their jams. It’s sort of like if Flux of Pink Indians jumped on stage at a Gang of Four gig and everyone locked into a dense and psychedelic super-jam. My only complaint about Cruelty is that it’s so short, but it’s always a good policy to leave the audience wanting more." - Sorry State Records


released May 3, 2019

Recorded and mixed 2018 at Allee Der Kosmonauten, Berlin by T. Rex
Mastered by Daniel Husayn at North London Bomb Factory

Negative Space on this recording is:



25th July 2019 - New River Studios, London
w/ Gesture + Es + Livid + Buddy Crime

26th July 2019 - Civic House Kitchen, Glasgow
w/ Gesture + Comfort + Bamya + Overwhelmed

27th July 2019 - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
w/ Gesture + Sister Wives

28th July 2019 - Shakespeares, Sheffield (1PM Matinee)
w/ Gesture + Gets Worse + DJs


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Negative Space London, UK

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Track Name: Negative Freedom
your body contorts like melting steel
you desire to define what is real
aspirations of a freedom you never feel
you desire to resemble your ideal

binaries from which your brain can't shield
you desire control of what is real
aspirations to look the way you feel
you lose control of what is real

a separation, a loose seam
minimisation of a bad dream

forces dictate how i feel
i lose control of what is real
aspirations of a freedom i never feel
i desire to resemble my ideal

never being how you perceive

to be seen
to be free
Track Name: Theft Utopia
your kids
your wife
your home
your money

i hate it
i want it

where will it come from?
it's coming from you

i know where to get it
it's coming from you
Track Name: Performative
you lose grip by increment
sad you look so impotent
judge of what's legitimate
self-assigned sophisticate

your position of power
the central conceit

loudest person in the room
all subordinate to you
pissing contest champion
nothing seems to get through
Track Name: Inspection House
it's blinking at me
it's burning my eyes
it's making guesses
it knows me from the inside

morals reformed

it's causing problems
it logs when i breathe
it's making suggestions
it knows i can't leave

it hums in the background
it watches me sleep
lacking interaction
grind myself clean

comfortless structure
my time well spent
a glass lantern
i'm content
Track Name: Eternal Rotation
i'm waking up in shivers
i'm waking with a cold sweat
you disappear from view
no knowledge of what comes next

too long curled in a ball
too long in a pit
too many years having breath clutched from you

how long before your body is crushed by the column

to be taken by vehicle
to be taken by attack
to be taken by terminal illness

how long before my body is crushed by the column
Track Name: Box Act
you've got so many questions
pulling at a thread
it's more than i asked for
pry open my head

you've got personal concern
i'm going braindead
it's more than i asked for
crack open my head

bodies opinions
bodies opinions
bodies opinions
bodies opinions
bodies opinions
bodies opinions
bodies opinions
Track Name: Wet Brain
there's a hole where my mind used to be
stumble stagger ahead
fill it with dreams unrealised
fill it with words unsaid

pattern repetition

there's a whole where my mind used to be
false apologies and dread
plug the gaps with cold glass in my hand
plug the gaps with regret

pattern repetition
pattern repetition

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