10 maart 2011

Gravitar - Now the Road of Knives

Year: 1997
RYM / Here

Messy, abrasive, loose and at their best transcendent, Gravitar forged an improv-driven path between heavy rock touchstones like the Melvins, Sabbath and Unsane with out-jazz, space rock and psychedelic noise. -Last fm

28 februari 2011

Our Love Will Destroy the World - Fucking Dracula Clouds

Year: 2009

RYM / Here

“Halloweenteeth” commences the horror of Fucking Dracula Teeth with a relatively tame low drone that is soon joined by a ride-cymbal drumbeat and a repeating feedback loop. Within a minute or so, however, all hell breaks loose and the groove is blindsided by an avalanche of shrieking, howling white noise chaos. At that point, all pretensions of song-craft and accessibility are conclusively vanquished for the remaining duration of the album. The rest of "Halloweenteeth" unfolds as a dense, throbbing, roiling squall of seething ugliness and it is wonderful. Somewhere beneath it all lurks something melodic and xylophone-like, but it is never allowed to come to the fore. Instead, it sounds like a pleasant song that is being bludgeoned to death.

“The Pleasure's Everlasting” follows in much the same vein, though it is a bit more static and droning than its predecessor. It is built upon a thick bed of hums and crackles, but strangled guitar and swooping gales of static and electronics continually threaten to burst forth from the entropic miasma and take the piece in a harsher direction. It never happens though. In fact, the piece concludes without ever evolving or cohering into something more, yet it never becomes at all boring due to the sheer density and complexity of squirming and seething small-scale eruptions that Campbell has woven into it. While it is the certainly the most minor piece on the album, it is a very effective exercise in the power of simmering tension.

The entire second side of the record is occupied by the album's clear centerpiece, "In Sleep We Creep," which unexpectedly begins with the coupling of sloppy noise rock noodling and a '90s techno synth bass line. Gradually, that unholy marriage is joined by a chorus of mangled voices and a buried thumping house beat, both of which steadily increase in presence. Then, both the garage rock riffage and bass line abruptly vanish, leaving only a thumping four-on-the-floor beat, thick doom-y distortion, and an intense cacophony of voices that sounds like a riot of the damned. Amusingly, it sounds like there is a cowbell incorporated into the murky, buried beat. Detourning a sexy dance beat into a pulsing, unhinged nightmare is an unexpectedly wry (and effective) move, displaying an impish side to Kneale that has historically been well-concealed. Eventually Campbell casts the beat aside, leaving only an anguished, smoldering wreckage of feedback and howling voices.

This is a significant creative step forward, as the inclusion of dark humor, ruined melodies, and pop music snippets, as well as the increased role of electronics and field recordings, show that Kneale's singularly uncompromising and infernal vision still has a great deal of room left for expansion. Fucking Dracula Teeth is yet another great record by one of the current reigning high priests of unpleasantness. -Brainwashed

20 februari 2011

The Daily Void - Identification Code: 5271-684346864436-4519

Year: 2007
RYM / Here

In many ways the song (“You’ve Been Erased”) that opens this self-titled effort by Chicago’s abrasive garage combo The Daily Void reminds me of some of the old Butthole Surfers. It’s got that jagged edge, you know? You can tell there is great rock and roll looming somewhere in this well of derangement, but by choice the makers have opted for marching at the beat of their own drummer. Read; be strident, loud and not all that easy going. So let’s just hope that The Daily Void never finds commercial success in the tragic way that the Butthole Surfers have. Some of my doubts regarding the type of artsy noise this quartet creates are dissipated as I get deeper into Identification Code…. and they are clarified even more after I find out that The Daily Voids was formed from the ashes of the late The Functional Blackouts (guitarists Mac Blackout and Dr. Filth and Rob Karlic).

Slightly more angular, difficult, disordered and destructive than the music of its predecesors, The Daily Void create the kind of nihilistic garage punk rock that is bound to annoy the fuck out of anyone not used to these types. Personally, once I got past the Butthole Surfers not so mistaken association I was able to find an affable quartet obsessed with monochromatic negativity, whose songs constantly walk the very fine line between actual organized but in your face brash punk rock music and destructive noise rock. -Deaf Sparrow

11 februari 2011

Grids - Kansas

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Year: 2010
RYM / Here

Some people refer to it as noise rock, but there's a lot more melody than meets the ear here. It's fuzzy and distorted, but if you listen closely, you can hear everything that's going on. It's the kind of rocked-out basement sludge that goes best in a dark club, drenched in energy and fused together with all the sweat you can muster up. My initial reaction was that it sounds a lot like the Butthole Surfers — not the Surfers that brought you "Pepper," but the old-school, acid-soaked group from the "The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave" days — mixed with a bit of Fugazi or hint of Helmet in that the vocals are clearer than the sonic wave crashing behind them. The music drives forth with a plug-it-in and turn-it-up relentless fury, but without the cookie monster vocals or cock-rocking "look what I can do on the guitar" bullshit. -Creative Loafing