Overview. Amnesia Scanner announces Tearless, the Berlin-based duo’s second LP and a soundtrack of the New Roaring Twenties—an era of decadence and decay in full embrace of the Great Weirdening of the 2010s. As Amnesia Scanner founders, Ville Haimala and Martti Kalliala watch their icy home country of Finland thaw, the staggering scale of political recalibration and the worldwide climate crisis to come blows open old norms. This album reflects what it feels to experience Earth at a time when collapse is emerging as the prevailing narrative.
Tearless also marks a turning point in the duo’s own trajectory, one begun in 2014 with the AS Live  mixtape, followed by audio play Angels Rig Hook, two EP’s for Young Turks, and their 2018 debut album, Another Life (PAN). For Amnesia Scanner in 2020, the walls of the nightclubs, galleries, and institutions fall away and are replaced by full-scale theatrical productions complete with jumbotron stages, animatronics, and a surrealist costumed cast (literally so in the XL version of the album’s live show, Anesthesia Scammer). Likewise is the musical scope of this record expansive, with guest vocalists—the Peruvian artist Lalita and the Brazillian DJ/producer LYZZA descending into a vast uncanny valley of sound. With distortion breathing life into VST Frankensteins, their voices meld with the collective reverb of a global Amnesia Scanner network like an opening act for the Greatest Show on a Collapsing Earth, to which all 7 billion of us have list.
“There’s a looming sense of radical change,” they note, connecting the present to a fin de siecle orror and curiosity regarding what new world is being ushered in. Someone called Tearless a “breakup album with the planet.” To which Amnesia Scanner responds, on the LP’s closing track: “You will be fine, if we can help you lose your mind."
With the crossfader on Tearless sitting closer to pop than abstraction, so too does the audience for this record widen in scope. Listening through: Opener “AS Enter” sets a sombre tone until the fucking riffs of the second track (the titular, Lalita-helmed “Tearless”) make clear there’s plenty of roaring to come. A feature from metalcore band Code Orange on “AS Flat” follows, along with “AS Trouble” (feat. Oracle, the third, machinic ghost-member of Amnesia Scanner) and together they hit as black-metal-gaze dirges. At the album’s midpoint, Lalita returns for the beautiful, operatic breakdown of “AS Acá” (released as a single in 2019), before “Center of the Labyrinth” guides listeners through three club ready tracks—the grain-processed dembow of “AS Too Late” and “AS Going” with LYZZA, and then the ambient headbanger “AS Labyrinth.” Closing “Tearless” is the sad boy grunge of “AS U Will Be Fine” with a clear statement of intent: doom, despair, insanity, absurdity, it’s all natural, all cathartic, and all OK.
For the art direction of this release, Amnesia Scanner collaborators PWR scavenges the pop cultural unconscious as if ventilating memory dissociated by trauma. The gatefold vinyl reveals a four-panel comic, full of iconic pre-millennial motifs, which arrive cut up and reassembled collage-style: fitting visuals for an album that channels Deftones as much as reggaeton, menace as much as the drop outness of grunge. Refuse like the ‘90s and party like the ‘20s—if that seems senseless, you are doing it right.
The album is mastered by Enyang Urbiks, featuring visual direction from PWR Studio.
Amnesia Scanner press pic 3 by VIlle Kallio