The Killing Floor

Theme From An Imaginary Slasher (SYSTEMS NEUTRALIZERS 05) is an essential slab of noisy punk guitar thrash played, mangled and spat out by Reg Bloor, who last came our way as one half of The Paranoid Critical Revolution in 2011. Now on her debut solo album, she’s still at home on Systems Neutralizers Records and still providing raw ‘n’ scratchy cover art, in the form of bloodthirsty gore fantasies enacted by crazed stick-figures…last time it was an axe, this time a chainsaw, but either way the victim suffers a headache they won’t be waking up from in a hurry. Bloor’s taste for grand guignol continues to a lesser extent in tune titles such as ‘Chasing Ghosts’, ‘4 Dada Suicides’ and ‘Killing Mind’, but mostly in the ultra-violent music which is played entirely by her FX-laden guitar screeching its way across many New York lofts by way of Marshall amps and a stack of pedals about the size of the Woolworth Building [1. This is obviously untrue. In fact I think her FX set-up is pretty minimal. The skill’s in the playing, dudes!]. There’s some “drum programming” assist from Roger Oldtown, but this is pretty much a solo Bloor effort, and it’s also great to hear her emotional, pained warbling, such as on ‘Eastbound Train’.

What we like here, apart from the sizzling excitement of these high-speed collision pileups, is the concision and brevity of each tune, most of them running the mile in under three triumphant minutes of energy-packed glory and arriving sweat-free and breathless to break the tape with a flourish. At a time when guitarists around the world are copying the Haino template which obliges them to turn in excessive introverted solos that last for 45 self-regarding minutes at a time, it’s great to know the punk mentality for punchy slogans in song still thrives and blossoms in some corner of Old New York. Then again, this is also experimental art-rock, informed by New Wave / No Wave guitar bands from 1977 onwards, and hence includes buckets of shrill dissonance in the tricky chord shapes expertly executed with the venom of 18 cobras, as well as Bloor’s “choppy” strumming style which carries the blistering attack of an M2 flame-thrower. One that shoots acid as well as fire. Sure to please fans of both avant-garde music and loud Black Metal. Recommended to fans of Mars, DNA, Sonic Youth, and of course Glenn Branca’s guitar orchestras. Arrived 19 August 2015.