Tagged: avant-rock

Black Wisdom: taking dissonant black / death metal into dark ambient and prog-rock realms

Grey Heaven Fall, Black Wisdom, Russia, Aesthetics of Devastation, CD AOD-2 (2015)

True it is that French avant-garde black metallers Deathspell Omega have spread their influence widely across the world and across metal genres, and most bands who fallen under DSO’s spell have been content to follow in that band’s shadows and rarely venture beyond to take the Tao of Dissonant Metal into new territories. One band who might prove the exception is Russian trio Grey Heaven Fall on their second album “Black Wisdom” with a despairing message about the nature of God as a capricious, even psychotic and nihilistic being who demands humanity follow Him in His less-than-godly image, only to reject and damn His faithful when they obey His decrees. GHF play a straightforward and melodic song-based style of dissonant black / death metal, very similar to DSO in sound but easier on the ear in its structures and rhythms, with many surprises for those expecting yet more DSO hero worship and nothing else.

The first half of the album plays out in fast-paced minimal black / death style, dominated by grating raspy vocals filled with a mixture of anger, frustration and hopelessness. The long songs reach epic heights of sorrow and tragedy thanks not only to the dense and layered music and the intense emotion in the vocals but also passages of solo lead guitar that deliver even more pathos, as if there was not sadness enough already. The turning point where we start to sense that GHF are staking out their own territory comes with “Sanctuary of Cut Tongues”, a completely dark ambient piece springing from some hitherto hidden depths where black smoky mists block out the light and discourage entry, and only a forlorn guitar and distant chanting are evidence of spirit activity within. From then on, the remaining tracks stand out for their musical diversity: “Tranquility of the Possessed” includes slow doom elements along with the usual blackened death and “That Nail in a Heart” features a passage of downbeat urban blues guitar melody transitioning into a soaring prog-rock lead guitar solo of incredibly dark loneliness, and later a taut but delicate descent into a quiet atmospheric coda after more black / death rumble.

Parts of the album, especially in its second half, could have been edited for length and the production doesn’t quite do the music justice – it’s clear enough but doesn’t bring out the band’s full power. The drums especially don’t seem as thunderous as they should be for such intense and complex music. Apart from these admittedly technical details, the album is a very good and thoughtful effort. GHF certainly have the ambition, vision and technical chops to carve out a long and distinguished career. They do need to have a more distinctive sound away from the DSO worshippers: taking their music into realms of atmospheric, even psychedelic prog-rock might be one way of achieving that.

Red Giant

Fine instrumental music from Møster! on their album When You Cut Into The Present (HUBRO MUSIC HUBROCD2565), where Kjetil Møster and his men turn in five lively performances with a rock set-up that’s a framework for Kjetil’s sax melodies and the guitar efforts of Hans Magnus Ryan. Last noted this band for their 2014 album Inner Earth, where Steve Hanson responded warmly to their “heavy prog” vibe. I would concur…in places we can find traces of “jazziness” in their playing, and it’s not just because of the agitated sax blowing, but the fact that they don’t follow conventional verse-chorus structures or time signatures, and instead tend to keep blurting it out for eight or nine minutes at a time, in a sprawling jam-session style, provided we can use that phrase without any suggestion that this is flabby, self-indulgent or shapeless music. Rather, Møster! are as taut as a spelunker’s climbing rope (I’m using imagery suggested by the front cover, and I just hope they actually go cave exploring on weekends, thus validating my speculation) and punch their messages home with close attention to dynamics, energy, and concision. Come to think of it, their drummer Kenneth Kapstad may be one of the more important members in that regard. Whereas a lot of Hubro records tend to be a little too pleasant and countrified for me, this album delivers a strong avant-rocky punch to the bread-basket. The album title is derived from a William Burroughs quote, which is in fact completed by one of the track titles here, but it looks as though that’s about as this band goes as regards flirting with underground culture or experimenting with cut-ups. From 12 July 2016.

The Irrepassable Gate: an uneven recording with good moments … and some very long ones too …

How does the cliche go? “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here …”

Ash Borer, The Irrepassable Gate, Canada, Profound Lore Records, CD PFL174 (2016)

If you’re thinking “there’s no such word as irrepassable”, well you’re wrong now because US West Coast black metallers Ash Borer have just brought it into being. Go on, is there another word in English that expresses the sense of wanting to pass over or through a threshold or portal, finding yourself stuck, yet being unable to go back, and being possibly condemned to remain in eternal limbo? This is the sense I have with the title of Ash Borer’s most recent album after a long hiatus of three-and-a-half years after the band’s last release. The cover art also conveys an impression of an occult temple entry into another dimension, one that will have a dramatic effect spanning the rest of your life if you dare try to go through; and if you don’t, you’ll remain in a child-like state forever, unable to progress to a higher spiritual level or state of conscious existence.

The title track is a mighty roaring guitar-dominant beast rampaging through its jungle domain, all thudding drums, whining guitar and subterranean growling vocals. The sound is very clear and the style of music is close to very melodic, clean-sounding BM with thrashy elements. Any pretensions to being ambient BM are being left behind and Ash Borer is becoming a full-fledged guitars-n-drums band. This in itself presents a challenge to Ash Borer to convey atmosphere, mood, intense emotion and their full, densely layered style without the help of keyboards. Stretched over 11 minutes, the title track appears a bit one-dimensional as the band concentrates on piling riff upon riff and plows its path speedily and relentlessly, forcing listeners to follow as best they can. The slower, bass-heavy (in its first half anyway)”Lacerated Spirit” is more successful at carving out a three-dimensional sound and distinct atmosphere with feedback drone and an experimental bent. Likewise “Lustration” is another step further into the twilight world promised by the album title with deep drone, repeating guitar strum shrouded with echo and moaning voices and effects suggesting the presence of ancient spirit beings.

The album does have its bombastic moments and at times these and the long passages of never-ending blast-beat drumming, guitar noodling and background demon wailing can start to sound like filler material. There may be some fine melodies and moments where the music is intense and unsurpassable but when songs are very long and get carried away by constant repetitive fidgeting, no matter how technically good that is, such jewels can be missed. Listeners who find the second half of the album something of a drag (I have to say I did) can spend some time with the songs to their halfway points and shoot through to the final track “Lustration II” which is a return to the slower, complex doomy BM style of earlier songs like “Lacerated Spirit”.

As you can guess by now, this album was a very mixed bag of good, avant-rock music and longer scrabbling pieces of endurance-test proportions. The experimental ambient avant-rock style of tracks like “Lacerated Spirit” and the two “Lustration” pieces unfortunately doesn’t extend all the way through and the distinct sounds these have compared to the more straight-ahead melodic BM of the rest of the album make “The Irrepassable Gate” a very uneven recording. Well, Ash Borer didn’t exactly promise us a smooth ride through what may very well be a transition phase in their career. It seems that “The Irrepassable Gate” symbolises a formidable challenge for the band at this crucial moment in their history, whether to advance in a different musical direction or stay as they are, as it is a listening experience for its audiences.

Phantacusis

Another rather overpowering record from The Jazzfakers, last heard here with their 2013 offering Here Is Now, a record where “everything explodes in all directions” as observed by Stuart Marshall. On Hallucinations (ALREALON MUSIQUE ALRN064), David Tamura is the sax player, also works keyboards and guitar, and he leads this agitated New York combo down their musically omnivorous tunnels and hallways; Robert L. Pepper, from PAS, adds violin and electronics, and the rhythm section of Luczak and Zwyer have to work time-and-a-half (plus tips, extras, etc.) just to keep up with the aberrant howls and self-indulgent blurts emerging from the two soloist stars.

Tamura’s overly-expressive and juicy sax honks are much in evidence, and I’d never made the connection to John Zorn before, but perhaps the presence of Zorn’s producer Martin Bisi (who recorded Hallucinations in Brooklyn) has stirred a distant memory in that direction. If pushed, my preference is to plump for the strange electronic brew such as we hear on ‘Bicameralism’, a fuzzy nightmare which might result from Pepper’s violin / electronics combo or Tamura’s keys. There’s probably not much point in looking for connections to “jazz” as we understand it in these over-wrought splurges of abstract noise and crazy near-random eruptions, since the band are clearly equally informed by many other genres of music, including rock, free noise, free improvisation, and classical avant-garde composition. When Tamura does throw a jazzy piano riff into this stew, it seems at once too obvious, too throwaway, and too glib.

No denying he and all the Jazzfakers have tremendous chops, but on today’s spin I’d prefer something with a little more arrangement behind it. This time, the record is “themed” on the work of Oliver Sacks who apparently wrote a book by this title, and the press claim is that each member of the band was “under the influence of a different hallucinogenic state” during recording. Oh yeah…as if! From 25 May 2016.

IV / Appendixes: a compilation forming a bridge between albums, and a bridge between worlds

Aosoth, IV / Appendixes, Czech Republic, Cloven Hoof Brewing & Releasing, cassette Call 001 (limited edition) (2016)

I hadn’t heard of this trio before but the tough deep style did seem very familiar. Turns out all three members are or have been members of Antaeus, a couple of whose albums I’ve been acquainted with in the past. Talk about living in a very small world! This cassette release gathers up three short recordings Aosoth made after their fourth album way back in 2013 and forms a connection between that album and the next album to be released some time in the near future.

As might be expected of a band whose members are drawn from Antaeus, the music is not only hard-hitting, it’s also concise and has a very dark, bleak feel and a clear, crisp sound. All instruments can be heard clearly but the rapid-fire thudding percussion makes the strongest impression, more by its complex rhythms and constant changes than through its power. First track “Appendix A” is a robust and confident beast with a triumphant sound overall, varying rhythms and beats, and streamlined powerful riffing. The vocals are not great for this style of music – they need to be much stronger and deeper in my book – but like the rest of the music they are stern and forbidding, and do their job efficiently and minimally. “Appendix B” has more urgency and energy, and the half-spoken vocals stand out more from the music which not so much plays as pours out like hot molten lava cascades. Crisp and precise spoken-word recordings are well integrated into the music in the song’s first half while the second half features ever more deranged lead guitar scribble and dramatic martial drumming. A definite groove develops quite late in the song but disappears almost as quickly – there’s nearly always something new happening in the music if you pay close attention to it.

The music gets better as it goes: “Unbroken Dialogue” breaks with Aosoth’s BM style and heads into unstructured experimental dark ambient waters with found sound recordings, various ambient effects and oppressive background drone to create a malevolent soundtrack to an imaginary film of sinister occult and anti-Christian themes. Final track “Appendix D” returns to familiar blast-beat blackened death but somehow this music isn’t quite the same as it was before we listeners were treated to a glimpse of that yawning black Satanic abyss lurking deep within the Aosoth universe.

Individually and as a whole, the songs are very good – even though by their titles they form a definite group of related tracks and serve to bridge Aosoth’s last album and the next, they could just as well constitute a separate EP or mini-album. Some tracks boast very distinct melodies and riffs and all are different in their structures and details. The band’s austere approach to the music, in which every melody, every effect and sound serves a purpose, and nothing exists by accident, might be the most outstanding aspect of this recording. This extends even to the one experimental all-ambient track that appears on the recording.

If you, like me, aren’t familiar with Aosoth, you could hardly do worse than give this recording the time of day … or darkness, as it were, and from there either travel back to their previous recordings or wait for their next album.

We’re Not Dead Yet

Last noted Oiseaux-Tempête in 2015 with their second album ÜTOPIYA?…this French art-rock band eventually won me over through the sheer persistence of their music, even though I maintain they’re still too clever for their own good and the weighty bombast of their tone is something of a downer. Some of these reservations persist as I spin Unworks & Rarities (2012-2015) (SUB ROSA SR424), a set of six cast-offs where the core duo of Frédéric D. Oberland and Stéphane Pigneul are joined by assorted guest musicians. I don’t think this release was planned as an “album” as such, but it still coheres in a fragmented, semi-narrative way, perhaps because the band strive so hard for this “cinematic” resonance in everything they record. Every other track sounds like it’s lifted from a movie soundtrack, or is aspiring to be selected for that honour. A very depressing “state of the world” art-house movie with a message, at that.

In this vein, the track ‘No Go(l)d No Master’ stands out as a showcase for a clutch of spoken-word samples which appear to have been sourced from a series of hysterical pan-International activists, lamenting assorted crises that blight the 21st century globe; they make their plaint against a backdrop of free-form musical noises, where Oiseaux-Tempête do their take on the improvised art-noise thing in the mode of Art Bears or Henry Cow, only much more stilted and rigid. Not all ghastly though, as this track benefits from the splendid Ondes Martenot textures played by Christine Ott, a talented French lady who’s a composer in her own right, and who made a record for Gizeh Records this year; she also shines (though less brightly, as she’s buried in the mix) on ‘Black As Midnight On Moonless Night’. The Ondes Martenot is an unusual electronic instrument which I usually associated with recordings of Messiaen’s work, though it has appeared elsewhere.

Equally narrative in mode is the story-telling epic ‘The Strangest Creature On Earth’, which for its musical setting adopts a sort of sea-shanty dirge played on keyboards resembling concertinas; it stomps forward at an unvarying leaden pace and the overall mood is frozen stiff. On top of this, G.W. Sok (from The Ex) adds his ludicrous recit in a memorably bad piece of acting; his over-wrought declamation is cringe-worthy. Even so, there’s a cathartic effect produced by this grim, bone-chilling musical fable, a tall tale worthy of any American huckster from P.T. Barnum onwards. It’s also notable for the contributions of bass clarinet player Gareth Davis, whose work also impressed me on the ÜTOPIYA? album. We hear a few more moments of his splendid tootling on ‘Nec Mergitur’, a lively quasi-ethnic doodle which closes the record.

Oberland (guitars, mostly) and Pigneuil (synths, mostly) dominate the record though, and their heavy-handed instrumental style is shown for instance on ‘Quai De L’Exil’, a guitar-rich piece which strikes the listener as a French over-thought attempt to do the Dylan Carlson Earth thing; skeletal arrangements, emphasis on resonant twangs, and a sense of unearned self-importance handing over every ominous note and sound. ‘Black As Midnight…’ follows a similar template, predicts imminent catastrophe for mankind, and like many of the pieces here builds up to an intense freak-out climax at the end…for all their posturing, they’re still conventionally rockist in many ways. ‘Eclipse & Sirocco’ is admittedly quieter, a tasteful synth drone epic which in this context is positively serene, but still conveys a sense of tragedy and disaster on a global scale. As with previous record, I can’t escape the sense they’re trying to tell us something about the world in their musical surveys, and don’t like what they see. Last time the message was bolstered by numerous symbolic images and photos on the digipak, an onslaught of bombast I am spared on this occasion as I only have a promo card sleeve with the cover image of a defaced icon. A blinded saint, perhaps also appalled by the world as it was in the 6th century…From 25 May 2016.

Manifold Exhaustion

Exhaustion / Wanders is a meaty and maximal improvising combo who I never heard before, but am prepared to grant them “access all areas” and a full amnesty based on today’s spin of II (FEEDING TUBE RECORDS FTR238). We might observe that sweat drips from them like mercury rolling off a mirror, but it’s a cold sweat. They manifest seething energy, yet also lurch and broil in a strange stagnant quagmire of noise. They have a very natural approach to generating powerful dynamics and changes, yet also relish the opportunity to keep stating the same proposal over and over until we admit defeat. There’s a lot of tensions and paradoxes, though that first might be the main one.

Kris Wanders is the sax player, perhaps guesting on this sesh, as he has on another record with the avant-rock trio. I noticed on side two, called ‘A Vicious Indulgence’, he began the set screaming and honking in a very free mode, like a super-face proponent of the Albert Ayler school of fish. The bassist Ian Wadley and the drummer Per Byström were prepared to act like an Ornette rhythm section for as long as needed, so those three seemed to share some common ground. But the guitarist, the mad Duncan Blanchford, was on another planet, a cold and slow planet with very heavy gravity. His grim and purposeful sawing motions with that grey, metallic axe were at total odds with the speedier parts of the music. A lot to listen to, and a lot of tension. ‘A Vicious Indulgence’ subsides at last into a mysterious temperate zone, demonstrating that effortless way that E/W – they use a strange runic combination to denote their identity – can control the flux and flow of the music, swooping from clean air mountain top to muddy swampland in a matter of seconds. Not even a roc can do that. Part of the atmospheric magic here is conjured by Byström’s strongs use of the “Cymbals of Inclement Weather” on his kit, summoning fog and mists.

The first side ‘Treasury Gardens’ also demonstrates much of the above, but I noticed here how Blanchard’s guitar has a lovely reverb effect or something that creates that instant “garage from the future” feel, by which I mean a kind of Link Wray superman figure wearing the skin of Zoot Horn Rollo and passed over the magic filters of Joe Meek. Superficially, I seem to have heard that sound before, probably on certain Keiji Haino and Fushitsusha records. One might be tempted to call this record a cross between Fushitsusha and Peter Brötzmann, but such a comparison does no favours to anyone. Least of all to Duncan Blanchford, who is certainly less “excessive” than Haino, by which I mean the effects stack is not cranked up to 115 at all times, nor does he feel the need to occupy every vacant space with intricate playing. Yet the album still remains very maximal, as already noted. And this is not to mention Blanchford’s demented vocal howls, which appear to horrifying effect on the second side. Consider this aspect an added bonus.

Exhaustion are described on their own Bandcamp page as “Melbourne psych rock thugs”, whereas Kris Wanders is indeed no stranger to Brötzmann and other FMP giants such as Bennink, Van Hove, and von Schlippenbach, with whom he has played. Strange how I never heard him as he was active in Europe since 1965, although he didn’t appear on that many FMP records and moved to Australia in the 1970s. Still, that is no excuse on my part. He somehow fell in with Exhaustion and they made a one-sided record for Endless Melt in 2015, and toured on the back of it. I think this release is absolutely lovely. Even the cover is stronger and subtler than the usual Feeding Tube shockers that usually adorn releases from this label, and seems a throwback to a time when improvisation records featured found images and old photographs to convey the idea of duo or group playing. (Such as, erm…The Topography Of The Lungs.) From 8th April 2016.

Stasi Criteria

solaris

This whole “Krautrock thing” sometimes seems to have grown into something monstrous and uncontrollable…it’s been twenty years since I began this stupid music magazine venture, and in my first issue I was full of enthusiasm with the “rediscovery” of what was for me mostly new territory, and wittered in insane, fatuous ways about the music of Faust, Popol Vuh, Amon Düül, Neu!, and Tangerine Dream. The 1990s were a good time to be doing that, as so much of the back catalogue of prominent Kraut idols was being reissued on compact disc, and more discoveries kept coming to light as record labels maintained the programme of intensive vault-excavations. Since then there’s been books and articles galore fixing “Krautrock” as a viable genre in our minds, and nowadays the term is applied loosely by music journalists and press agents to any contemporary combo trying anything that’s vaguely experimental. Likewise, many bands and musicians are quick to apply it to their music themselves, without any prompting. We think we understand the term as shared currency, but do we? If only we could all agree on what “Krautrock” actually means…there’s so much variety and ground-breaking material that emerged from parts of Germany through the 1970s, so much of it with very little common ground.

I mention this with no prejudice whatever towards Solaris, and their rather nifty CDR called Summer Edits (LINEAR OBESSIONAL RECORDINGS LOR 0069). The headline is that these 12 instrumentals are heavily influenced by “Krautrock”, but the band come clean about this, and the influence has come about in a rather roundabout way. Also, to their credit, they are nowhere near as smarmy and “knowing” about their references as the awful Stereloab, or Julian Cope on Skellington. Further, Solaris quickly transcend the influences, and end up creating great and original music all of their own, and the inventiveness and ingenuity on offer here is impressive, each track revealing new ideas and fresh surprises.

The team of Mark Sanderson, Mark Spybey and Richard Sanderson claim that they formed Solaris in 1974, when they were all teenagers. They shared a love of Krautrock music during these glorious years when Can LPs were selling in Woolworths and The Faust Tapes could be had for 49p from a Virgin Megastore. Solaris never made any records or cassettes, however, and the present release represents the efforts of these fifty-something English fellows as they “reformed” the band. Recordings were made in 2010 and 2012. The notes here state in a euphemistic fashion that “the musicians have matured in the intervening decades”, but I think the process that is relevant is that both Sandersons and Spybey have lived through many interesting developments and shifts in musical culture in these isles, and followed separate paths too; both Sandersons were members of a post-punk band called Drop, but Richard followed the shining star of free improvisation in the 1980s and has never looked back. I have met Richard in London a few times; I still recall him saying “I didn’t fight in the punk wars for this!” a propos of some recent musical development which he didn’t approve of. This is what I mean by “a roundabout way”; Solaris have returned to their Krautrock roots after 42 years, and filtered it through their adult selves. A process of distillation, one might say.

Music here as noted has much to savour in terms of its inventiveness, sense of discovery, even a sense of fun…music soon escapes the traps of genre pigeon-holing and becomes a living thing. Contributing factors might include (1) lo-fi recording quality in places, adding a sheen of authenticity without feeling like a spray-on atmosphere effect; (2) slightly ramshackle playing, where instruments and timing don’t quite marry up, but the rough edges make it just perfect; (3) evidence of strong rapport between the three, creating events and moments which many musicians would gaze on in envy, showing that their friendship has held good after a long time. Hugely enjoyable…gets better the more I listen. Expect scads of lively avant-rock, bizarre mystery drones, strange outer-space sounds, tasty organ licks, and more. Free experimentation influences mixing in with the project. In one instance (‘The In Section’) they even liken themselves to The Mnemonists. But there’s a lot of originality, and rarely if ever do they settle for a commonplace noise or an overused digital sound for any reason. Great! From 24 June 2016.

The Synarchy of Molten Bones: another intense chapter in legendary French black metal band’s journey

Deathspell Omega, The Synarchy of Molten Bones, France, Norma Evangelium Diaboli, CD digipak NED041 (2016)

After a 6-year break during which DSO fans had to be content with compilations, boxed sets and short EPs, the mighty French legends finally release a new album which turns out to be not that much longer than the short EP releases. Those of us hoping for something innovative from the band that was evident on the last original work “Drought” will be a bit disappointed too – the atmosphere and dark moods and spaces on that EP have gone and in their place is what we know to be DSO’s usual style of highly technical and sharp twisting-and-turning dense black / death metal. As is the custom of DSO, there are usually just two modes of musical delivery: the fast and furious careening along at breakneck speed that continually throws listeners off balance; and the short micro-breaks between one such episode and the next such episode.

“The Synarchy of Molten Bones” might be DSO in default cruise mode, and I’m a bit disappointed that the music here is no advance on their last release, but most DSO fans who’ve been starved for new music will be happy just to know their heroes can still deliver powerful and intense venomous black metal. The music is still dense and spiky in that dark sparkling jewelled dissonant-tone way, and there’s still that deranged edge to the playing and the ravaged multi-demon voices that dominate all four songs. The lyrics proclaim a new humanity arising from the remains of the old, but this time in the image of Satan, with all that is implied in that idea. Satan is still at heart a trickster and dissembler and a humanity in his image might partake of his deceptive nature and be no better than the humans that have gone before. Like other DSO releases, this one is so intense, overwhelming in its densely layered music and esoteric lyrics, that most fans will need several hearings to absorb it all. Though the distorted sound is still familiar, the production is still clean enough that a cold airy background ambience, through which choirs can be heard sighing, makes its presence felt through the flippy blast-beat percussion, the noodling guitars and the demon voices as they fade in and out and blend with one another.

There isn’t much to distinguish the four tracks from one another except perhaps that each succeeding track is more insane and frantic than the one before. DSO really play like men possessed and if all DSO albums were to be judged purely on their levels of madness and demented intensity, “The Synarchy …” would rate very high. The drumming especially has a deranged life of its own and I think it’s a pity the actual beats have such a thin brittle quality and don’t have the power they could have. Indeed the thin production here doesn’t do DSO much justice – the music needs to be deeper to bring out the band’s fanatical side.

Even so, there’s plenty of substance in the lyrics that will intrigue listeners and which might ensure that the album, for all its immediate musical faults, will grow on listeners and be considered essential listening, warts and all.

Long Overdue Part 16

western-front

Dial are a reliably excellent underground US band, featuring the talents of Jacqui Ham from Ut. They’re not terribly prolific though, and the last item we enjoyed was their superb album 168k released in 2007. From November 2012, we have Western Front (EKTRO-084) issued by the Finnish label Ektro Records, their fourth release. Besides vocalist and guitarist Ham, there’s Rob Smith from God adding guitar and drum programming, and Dominic Weeks from Furious Pig and Het. I think one of their virtues and well-demonstrated on this release is their very basic approach in the studio – most of these songs are done by the simplest of means, a combination of drum machine, vocals, and synth or guitar. The assembly of the music seems to take precedence over any conventions of song-writing; we often have the feeling they’re building the songs building-block fashion right there in the recording room. This gives every song a tremendous directness, a clarity of intent; the songs comes charging out fully-armed, fully-loaded, ready to mow down all like an armoured tank. The press note here gives the impression the band flit about between the US and France, and make records when and where they can in guerilla fashion, a method which seems very plausible. Extremely inventive and edgy music, building on ideas of No Wave and post-punk, laced with additions of 1990s-styled table noise, lo-fi techniques, and taut, Can-styled rhythmic loops. Recommended!