It’s so good to know that in the last month of the year there’s still great music to be found. Guadalajara, Mexico’s Lorelle Meets the Obsolete have a debut record, “On Welfare” (May 2011), out via Captcha Records. It’s a sludge, guitar-thick slide into dark spaces, through ominous bass lines, creepy psychedelic guitar, and feedback. A song like “Waiting For the Orange Sunshine” sounds like the soundtrack to a cinematic stalking, as eerie atmospherics rise and fall amid a cluster of industrial sounds. But there’s really no pigeon-holing this band, because there are also subtler, more pretty elements, like the gauzy reverbed vocals of lead singer Lorelle. At times the band’s inventive music forays sound akin to The Velvet Underground. At other times, in a song like “The Means of Production”, the beautifully numbing repetition of haunting backing vocals swaying in rhythm to buzzsaw guitar noise, feels as strangely breathtaking as Jane’s Addiction’s “Three Days”. It’s a trip into the looking glass. But perhaps the band is at its best when it adopts more of a Factory Era sound, and opts for prettiness. “These Days” is transporting, guitar chords reverberating and building slightly behind the melodic lead vocals. The entire record was a joy to listen to, and could find its way onto the Their Bated Breath end of the year list. Follow the band on facebook, or stream the record at bandcamp. There’s also a video for “These Days” at vimeo. — David D. Robbins Jr.