Posts Tagged ‘noise’

GNOD & João Pais Filipe

I’ve long been a proponent of the works of GNOD. The UK psych unit skims the line between pulsing, rhythmic psychedelia and noise so easily that they’ve let the colors run into one another over the years. On their latest they skirt into avant impulses fraught with a clangorous din and hypnotic polyrhythms. The band members are nothing if not consummate collaborators, having worked cross genre with everyone from Anthony Child (Surgeon), White Hills, and John Doran. Now they hook up with experimental percussionist Joăo Pais Filipe (Paisel), whom they met at Milhoes De Festa event in Barcelos, Portugal. The set was hammered out a short while after over four days at Joăo’s metal shop.

Like any other GNOD album it swerves away from its predecessors. The connection with Pais Filipe proves to center the album in hypnotic rhythms, a side that’s found its way into the band’s work plenty of times prior, but what the Portuguese artist brings to the set is a sense of foreboding atmosphere — haunting ripples, the ominous air of gongs. Guitars still scrape at the senses, but they too tend to ride the fluctuation of rhythm. As the air crackles with dissonant tension, scraping with feedback and woodwind howl, GNOD do their own part to match Pais Filipe’s calamitous atmospheres. The pieces remain instrumental until the second side tucks into the title track, and then GNOD enter the vocal fray with pained, fraught vocals that don’t direct anger so much as they have on the past couple of GNOD LPs, rather a lost frustration that’s fighting its way out of the rhythm haze. The band’s never stagnant and Faca De Fogo readily pushes them more towards the margins they were already occupying most of the time. Still haunted, still chewing on the bent cables of chaos, but also providing a satisfying body buzz at high volume in the right mood. No matter who’s in the co-pilot’s seat, GNOD make for a heavy hit.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Bardo Pond – Adrop / Circuit VIII

Oof, almost too late with this one, despite the LP having been released just last Friday, but there’s still time as long as good outlets hold out. Pretty sure if you’re landing on the shores of Raven Sings the Blues that familiarity with Bardo Pond is a given, but I’m not one for assumptions. Philadelphia’s reigning noise wranglers have fallen under many banners from psych to space to noise and experimental – each assessment is 100% correct and can’t be divorced from the other. The band is a force of nature and that force is on full display over this two-record reissue of their ‘06/’08 releases for Three Lobed — Adrop and Circuit VIII. Both records were part of CD series that the label put together in these respective years. Adrop was only available as part of the “Modern Containment” collection that included Hush Arbors, Kinski, Mirror/Dash, Mouthus, Sun City Girls, Sunburned Hand of the Man, MV & EE with the Bummer Road, and Wooden Wand and the Omen Bones Band. I believe it was that last one that brought me into the TRL awareness in the first place, but the set also opened up a world of post-Matador Bardo Pond to me that was more sinister and more visceral than they’d ever been on the mini-major.

Adrop works in movements and they push a cloud of static through the heart of a dying sun. The record saws at the consciousness and proves that the Pond is not an average psych band by any means, defying any usual metrics at the time. The following set, Circuit VIII is equally scorched and unsettled, having found its way into the label’s next series “Oscillations III.” This series found them alongside fellow travelers Bark Haze, Tom Carter, GHQ, Howlin’ Rain, Magik Markers, The Michael Flower Band, Lee Ranaldo, Vanishing Voice, and Jack Rose. Eschewing movements, but operating in much the same way as Adrop, Circuit VIII is one longform piece that travels from deep, volcanic growls to tender acoustic tears. It’s a record that, much like its predecessor, defies convention or categorization, but as any Bardo collector might surmise, also elevates the form of mining cosmic vibrations beyond what many of their peers were doing at the time. Side note: that “Oscillations III” box contains one of the very earliest Robert Beatty covers and is worth nabbing a CD copy for this as well. Nice to see the label pack these two back together and set them aloft on vinyl as well. Both of these CD series were pretty formative in terms of how RSTB came about, so its got a special place in my heart.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

UT – In Gut’s House

The gaps in the No Wave nuggets have been closing in for the last couple of years with vital reissues from the likes of Maximum Joy and Kleenex among others. Though there’s been a definite deficit when it comes to contributions from NY trio UT. The band hung their sound on considerably less groove than many of their peers, perhaps finding a split ground between Au Pairs’ stark realities and the burgeoning noise-dirge deluge from Sonic Youth. The band leaned into atonal, scraping passages, but they landed them with an edge that drew blood and their influence could be felt reverberating through the tail of the ‘80s and into the more fraut threads of pre-grunge. Oddly the band didn’t find much of an audience in the States at the time of and would achieve a slightly wider audience and acceptance in the UK. They released a few recordings on their own Out Records before signing with Blast First for their debut.

The band picked up some heavy fans, though, including John Peel who recorded the band for a session and Steve Albini who would record the follow-up to In Gut’s House, Griller. This record acts as a vital transition period for the band, moving away from their earlier live recordings that had appeared on their Out tapes and on their Blast First debut. The album is a driven, unforgiving record that doesn’t lean into melody as a crutch. It opens with the rather infectious “Evangelist,” but the track works as a red herring as they’d almost never return to the sprightly bounce of that track and instead scrape the soul with a darker, leaner, tension-torqued set of metallic bile that’s as bracing as any record that hit the stands in ’88. It nabbed attention and praise from NME that year and picked up steam in The Village Voice, but in general the hometown crowd wasn’t biting on UT’s sound. They’d record the follow-up with Albini before disbanding shortly after. It’s high time that this one grabbed the praise its due as a vital link in the noise, post-punk and No Wave chains, drawing them all together for a record that still draws blood like it did the day it was released. Now, Out is looking to revitalize the band’s catalog for a new age and these recordings sound as fresh and ferocious as ever.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

OOIOO

As with her time in The Boredoms, YoshimiO’s own outlet OOIOO takes rock as a suggestion, moving instruments through clouds of noise in chaotic bursts. The sounds on nijimusi swarm from seething, stuttering percussive brambles through synth ether leaks and into angular guitars gutters choked by the angles and barbs. Entering into an OOIOO album comes with an understanding that, like surrealism or psychedelics, the world will shift and you’re likely not the one in control of when and how. Sounds penetrate from all directions. The listener must be ever vigilant or ever pliable, whichever suits your sway. YoshimiO is a master of mayhem, but she makes it seem like a sensible scramble once the gears start clanking into the second or third track.

OOIOO is like an auditory toss into the woodchipper, floating among the debris the patterns begin to emerge and the seemingly unhinged becomes a mechanism for rhythm and movement. The record enters itself high among the band’s ever-expanding catalog. Seemingly its no quiet coincidence that one of their best, Gold & Green was just given a new life by the label. The two pair well as poles of pulse in Yoshimi’s universe. Goes without saying, if you’re already plugged and pulsating on the OOIOO wavelength that this will continue to crinkle your soul. If this is the first time, quite honestly, nijimusi is a nice entry point as well, classic as ever but overwhelming just the same.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Sun City Girls – Dawn of the Devi

The brothers Bishop and Charles Goucher already have the noise-psych guitar-burn street cred to keep them locked atop the manual of how to fully explore the roasted-soulburn side of the psychedelic spectrum, but it’s good to remember how they got there. The majority probably found their way in through Torch of the Mystics. It’s a common point of egress. I know that’s where I found foothold. While that greased platter has plenty of sharpened corners, it also has plenty of soft spots to let listeners in easy. For those who might not be fully immersed in the ectoplasmic splatter of cultural upheaval, it’s a gateway drug to what’s what in the disorienting universe of SCG. The tale’s been told now and the paths are known, but for those finding that album in 1990 the next year’s Dawn of the Devi was more than likely a slap in the face — rug burn n’ cigarette ash worn over the ears for fun and little profit.

The record began a run of barbed and disorienting sojourns through the trio’s acrid musical methods. Though its a bit further into their catalog (album #5), and by no means formative, Devi is the launchpad for some of their most biting works. Without Devi there’s no Valentines for Matahari, no Kalliflower. It’s brutal and barnacled. It’s a dim bulb swaying in a room letting the listener slowly see how surrounded with sewage and sin they truly are. As such it’s also a touchstone for bands looking to touch fully the oracle of carcinogenic psychedelic slop. Sun City Girls, for many, serve as the guiding light down a path not towards euphoria, but towards a permanent dive of bad trip bliss. The record is bent and bowed, rusted and reeking and gloriously so. The record hasn’t been in print on vinyl since its original 1991 release, but now Abduction is putting it back in the hands of the devout followers of bile and blown speakers. Probably goes without saying that you need this, but I’ll go ahead and say it anyway.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Sunburned Hand of the Man

Trying to keep up with the output if Massachusetts psych collective Sunburned Hand of the Man is almost a futile gesture. I’m willing to bet there might be releases they don’t own. However, especially now that the band’s Bandcamp is a thriving archive of all things Burned in and their orbit its worth paying attention as older releases filter in and newer one’s quietly slip alongside them. Case in point, the band just lobbed up a real gem in their latter output this week, Intentions a micro-release that was recorded in 2017 at Black Dirt with Jason Meagher and intended for a larger release. It wound up instead as an edition of 20 cassettes in Meagher’s microdose series from the studio. Odds are, then, that this one has eluded your grasp.

The vibes here are decidedly less noisy than some of the practice space / small run issues that have been bleeding out of the Burn lately. Possibly closest in scope to their Burnieleaks 3 CD-r from a while back, the band is screwed down into some tighter woven webs of psych-folk and German Progressive psych. They’re picking up plenty of Duul nods and picking at the more capital P – Prog leanings of the great Swedish Silence label. What’s nice is the restraint here. The band doesn’t go as far out as they can and it gives this one a layer of polish that can sometimes get lost in the onslaught of releases. That’s not to say that this is a buttoned-down skimmer – It is still a Sunburned Hand of the Man release, after all.

They open the beast up with a smooth shot of sunset psych-folk, acoustic strums pulling at the ennui centers of the heart. On standout, “The Great Hope,” the band trades a grooverider rhythm with space-slicked synth spears and burnt-ends guitar scorch. They follow it with a “Coffee & Cheese” which sounds like an instrumental breakdown in a ’70-71 Groundhogs live set, on the edge of breaking into “Rich Man, Poor Man” at any moment. They blow further into spaced synths territory elsewhere, hanging some cosmic clouds on the set that pair nicely with the downed-sun guitar runs. “Agitation Cycle” might be as far out as the band swing here, but there’s still a kite-string pulling the band away from the paper shredder noise brigade they can get mixed up with on a typical moment’s notice. The set slides away on the loping grooves of the disorienting “Framework” and it clocks in as one of their best in a quite a while. Highly recommended!



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Weeping Bong Band

A second slab tumbles out for the ever-elusive Weeping Bong Band. The NY/Mass collective culls together the talents of Beverley Ketch, PG Six, Anthony Pasquarosa, Clark Griffin and Wednesday Knudsen, who play in varying forms under the umbrella of WBB. For a night in New Salem, Mass all members were on hand at the 1794 Meeting House and the tape was running as they seeped a sonic spell out into the room. The set is hazy, doused in curls of smoke and painted in plant dyes and ash. The tone shifts between the densely wooded hills of the Northeast — haunted and hallowed, suffused with the secrets of generations of spirits bonded to the wood — and the dry desert nights nestled among the barren hills.

There’s a constant sense of moan that winds its way through II giving the set the set a sense of creeping menace and gaunt despair. The guitars cry, not in outright anguish, but in a more personal pain — a quiet devastation that’s born out of secrets too dark to share. Something about the set being recorded in New Salem, gives it a particularly harrowing shamanic vibe, ferreting out old wounds scarred deep from occult rituals buried deep in the wounds of the earth. Appropriately, when vocals do arise, they’re incantations, screeds to the vibrating ethers, rather than tuneful musings. With this second set the band has cemented their status as one of the best nocturne collectives currently goin’. This one’s an essential trip.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Taiwan Housing Project

From its very first beat, the latest LP from Philly’s Taiwan Housing Project is brutal in its sonic assault. Shredding the crumpled remains of No Wave and noise and kicking them wildly around the room, Sub-Language Trust is every bit the equal of the band’s ferocious debut from 2017. Front and center, and impossible to ignore are the air-raid riot vocals from Kilynn Lunsford. She bends phrases until they break, growls from the very sinews of her form, and generally becomes the human embodiment of catharsis. Shit, that’s just track one. She, along with ex-Harry Pussy string-wringer Mark Feehan also manage to sledgehammer their acerbic noise into some rather memorable hooks over the course of the next thirty minutes. Mind you, Taiwan Housing Project don’t mold and press their hooks in forms that gently nod the head and leave you with a vacant smile. No, THP’s brand of hooks siphon the screws from your home, knock down the walls and leave a smoking wreckage of barbed noise-pop smoldering in your lap.

All the better, though, as the band purports on “Buy Buy Buy,” the beige existence you so secretly covet needs a good kick in the clavicle. So, the band extols a new brand of mall pop, one that might incite a little loose looting, one that might turn the screws on the saps in the second floor salon until they exfoliate more than the first or second layer of deadened nerves. The band uses any edge at their disposal to draw blood — bent scraps of guitar meant to lacerate and leave ‘em wanting a second slice, sax-scratch that boils the veneer off your precious ear drums, and a wild tangle of percussion that inspires all manner of disjointed dance. It’s a damn good year for music in 2019, but not a damn soul so far has managed wield the maniacal force that Taiwan Housing Project channels straight to the dopamine depths of your broken mind. The record is an absolute killer and an easy contender for one of 2019’s best slabs to hit the turntable.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Gong Gong Gong – “Siren b/w Something’s Happening”

Beijing’s Gong Gong Gong tap into the tradition of bomb-bare psych blues. There’s not a drum in sight but the band is pounding that pulse as hard as Lightnin’ and John Lee. The pair herald the swell of a storm on lead single “Siren,” culminating in a feedback squall that’s not unhinged, but at the very least, unsettling. On the flip they let the floodwaters rip from the getgo, boiling their strings in a bath of fuzz and foam that’s thick as molten honey. Still the rhythm pulses and there’s a sense that Gong Gong Gong are either running from something sinister or running with it, bringing a deluge of doom to all who crowd their path.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Maher Shalal Hash Baz – “Switch Back”

Not long ago I was comparing Yuzo Iwata’s spare and bracing record to the works of Maher Shalal Hash Baz and at the same time wondering what’d become of that group, quiet for so long. Well as fate would have it Tori is back with MSHB and splitting time with the equally missed Little Wings on a new 12”. Got a first listen here of “Switch Back” from the upcoming EP and it’s as haunting a piece of folk as he’s put together in the past. The track tumbles over itself, strips bare any sentimentality and plays folk for the parched husks of crops picked apart by crows. Then he twists the psych staff and rolls it backwards skipping through time and space. The split is out August 21st on Moone Records and the fist 100 copies come with a hand-drawn postcard from Little Wings’ Kyle Field.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments