Sunday, December 21, 2014

Yahweh Brings Us To This Hell

Every time I head up to Buffalo, I always end up going to someone's basement and seeing a million new bands that spring up and often times dissolve just as often. That city is without a doubt my favorite breeding ground for excellent bands in New York. Bands of all sorts, but of course I pay attention to the grittier stuff. The hardcore bands that come out of Buffalo always seem to have this unique, quirky edge to them. Sperm, an astonishingly good noisy/weirdo hardcore band, who I have in fact never seen and probably never will since they appear to be over. Only releasing one demo last year, and this cassette EP way early in the year, and ending on a Top 10 of the year high note. "Yahweh Brings Us To This Hell", cassette, no idea how many there are.

Sperm (awesome name), are an unusual little sore thumb in their particular genre. Definitely hardcore, that root is certainly firmly in place. The blown-out, noisy recording utilized is definitely fitting, and adds a constant layer of roughness to the music, even when the band is at their most soft. Amazing guitar tone, utilizing a delicious distorted trembelo effect. This added bit of sound makes simple things like feedback seem all the more twisted. The bass guitar, fully up front in the mix, it's the meat of this EP. Clangy, gainy, crushing.

"Yahweh's" first half is of the more traditional hardcore sound. Hard and semi metallic, with excellent, acid surf guitar riffs and leads. Certainly the kind of riffs that you have to search for to find in hardcore. The 2nd half is where Sperm really shows off their dynamics as songwriters. "Animal Life In The Demlurge", a song consisting of only a single bass riff and vocals, creating a very captivating and even beautiful sort of "ballad". Leading into the closing track, "Hyperporea", an instrumental sweetie pie of a song. I call the opening guitar lead the "Linkin Park riff". For some reason is just always reminds me of something from "Hybrid Theory" or some shit. Sperm are cooler then Linkin Park, I swear. Both of these sides of this bands sound are executed perfectly in my opinion. This has been on repeat in the household and on the Walkman during bus rides.

I've seen this around in distros. If you see it, cop it.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Voltage Drop

I've been waiting for this record for a while. Not only just to finally own it and hold it in my hands, but just for a grind record like this in general to spawn into creation. Gowl, an amazing, discordant quartet (a trio for this recording and all prior) from Connecticut put out their second 7" EP, "BLURRR" this year. An incredibly bold, stomping next step into grind supremacy that is stronger and more punishing then their first 7", the "Buzzbox" EP.  This is a masterpiece. Black vinyl, 33 RPM, limited to 500 copies.

I can't think of a more appropriate name for this record then "BLURRR". Yes, with the all caps and extra two R's. This record is so crazy that a misspelling like that is totally proper. The whole recording is a blur. A cramped, claustrophobic, atonal, distorted, messy blastfest. But it just so happens to be the best EP I've heard all fucking year. What Gowl achieve on this record is complete deathy, noisegrind perfection unlike really any kind I've heard before. The bass and guitars are constantly fighting each other over domination in the mix, creating a torrential storm of inventive grinding. What riffs that burst out and survive the incredible muck are crushing, catchy, disgusting, and chunky. Even when Gowl uses the same riffs and patterns we've heard a million times they still make it sound distinctly their own. There are just too many great moments to coose from on this record. Like the blasting middle part of "Voltage Drop", or the bass string bends in "Adventures In Blues Traveling". Uniquely chaotic is an appropriate description I think. 

Of course this record wouldn't be the same without the incredible shining star of the whole thing, the drummer. Holy shit, this guy gives one of the best drum performances I've heard all year. Yes he's insanely fast, that's a given, but more importantly he has style! The accents, tampers and even the grooves he utilizes are always interesting and add that perfect extra bit of personality. Even his blasts, though they are fast, still feels like it could all fall apart at any second from trying to keep the tempo. It's that bit of raw, lively tension that enhances this records enjoyability and delivery incredibly.

Excellent packaging on this as well. Mr. Sean Bovine made this look just like a classic Bovine Records release. Instantly reminds me of the first couple ANb records or the Spazz/Floor split. The unique cover art fits in beautifully as well. No idea what's going on on the cover. 

Only a few things this year equal up to the awesomeness of "BLURRR". Buy this from the band and please support them. A full length is on the way, I hope this world is ready.


I Hope I Get AIDS

The 2nd Waves Crashing Piano Chords 7" I picked up was this split with Funeral Parlor, from Texas. A curious pairing of two acts, performing very different styles of noise music. Black vinyl, limited to 64 copies, 33 RPM.

Waves is up first with yet another live documentation, again comprising of two pieces. Starting right off with sharp, metallic feedback, and a completely painful slow, piercing drone, going into "I Hope I Get AIDS". A staple of the WCPC live performance. It's a solid, active, clanging rendition of this hit song. I do like how this recording shows off some more nerdy things like "dynamics" and "arcs" in his set. "...Or Is It Me" is a slow, sorta atmospheric track of sleazy fantasy. There's overall a lot more slow parts on this recording, but with basically the same amount of intensity. No applause at the end too.

Funeral Parlor is a one-man harsh drone/noise act, who gives us the track "Sway Away". I was unfamiliar with this artist before grabbing this record, and it's honestly definitely not the kind of noise I go to for casual listening. A mid heavy, static feedback wall with a sad, repetitive, minor key synth riff over it comprises basically this whole track. It's the audio equivalent of a graveyard during a heavy downpour, nothing but grey sky's and black trees. Kind of reminds me of what Prurient was doing for the "Cocaine Death" affiliated tapes, but with that extra bit of pure aggressiveness I look for. Some vocals might have helped I suppose. A harsh wall closes out the track giving it a little more variation, but I wasn't sold. I can see creepy bedroom lurkers liking it.

Great silkscreened sleeve again, with fantastic photos. Out of the total 105 run of this record, 64 were on black. And I'm sure it is now sold out.


Young Mouth

The New York noise scene will soon dominate and fester inside all of your collective puny minds. Either grinding it to a mush or bulking it up into something with a little more substance. There are so many amazing artists on the rise. A few of which, like Deceiver, Sunken Cheek, Swallowing Bile and Waves Crashing Piano Chords have already achieved very strong and impressive status in the grimy underworld of the harshest noise in the country. The later of which being the most infamous. Rochester NY's Waves Crashing Piano Chords, for those as of yet uninitiated, is a Juggalo power electronics act. Someone that even people deep into the noise scene don't really know how to feel about sometimes. Be it from the aesthetic, or his nefarious live assaults. I had the enlightening pleasure/abuse of playing a show with Mr. Waves, which I acquired some of his gorgeous, self released 7"s. Here is the "Young Mouth/It Wasn't Even Worth My Back Seat" 7", single sided, on yellow vinyl, limited to 15 copies.
The recording in this record surprisingly turned out to be a live documentation! Something that made more sense to me as I listened, as WCPC is indeed a much more impressive feat live. Starting off with some crowd banter and someone possibly joking about the safety of the unfortunate basement this show was probably held. The trademark, raw microphone feedback suddenly barges out and Waves goes off into an abusive 3 minute set. Comprised of two more recent lyrical pieces. "Young Mouth", which is sure to get any Nicole 12 fetishist moist, and "It Wasn't Even Worth My Back Seat", a vitriolic tirade against free tapes that he apparently gets from various people. The intensity of a Waves performance is certainly captured well, the high end is absurdly shrill and painful. It's an excellent auditory display of one of the more polarizing noise artists of my home state. And you don't even have to get Faygo® in your hair or get punched in the face.

I've always thought WCPC had some seriously great looking and cutting edge releases. Thankfully stepping up from lathe cuts to actual vinyl. The silkscreened covers look great, and the opaque yellow vinyl is really damn fun to look at. It looks like tasty caramel. Out of a total run of 111 copies, only 15 are on this color.

Expect more records that you will never be able to get from WCPC next year.