The Cherry Point - Night of the Bloody Tapes (Troniks CD)
This CD from Phil Blankenship's harsh noise project (and record label) actually came with the three PACrec discs I reviewed not too long ago, but I've only gotten around to reviewing it now. Just so you don't think my blog is a front to get you to buy more Troniks/PACrec releases or anything of that sort (though it might as well be!). Like I've said before, I used to be majorly down on all current American noise projects, finding little or no interest in anything I heard. That is, up until I heard the "California" box, which did a great deal towards opening up my narrow little mindset. So it appears to mine eyes that Phil's labels seem to be leading the way for current noise acts, and every time I hear something from them I continually get walloped upside the head with some straight-up education. And, like the saying goes, knowledge is power (electronics?). And school's in session!
I really liked "Night of the Bloody Tapes" before I even put it on, namely because the back cover features Phil holding a cat (awww!) and on the inside sleeve he sends out special thanks to obscure horror movie titles (namely Return of the Aliens: Deadly Spawn and Shriek of the Mutilated). Not to mention the little blurb about the album on his site lists about 15 horror film titles that are "essential viewing". I have seen exactly zero of these movies, but I still think I get the point. So Phil has constructed this horror movie homage out of material he recorded for long gone split tapes with bands like Ahlzagailzehguh, Black Sand Desert, Luasa Raelon, Nkondi, Andy Ortmann, Pedestrian Deposit, The Rita, and so on, and it was also mastered by one mister John Wiese, so you know it has to be quality, right? And it is. If you've ever liked anything from the Cherry Point's oeuvre, this has to be straight up your gullet. The CD is split into quarters, each untitled track averaging about ten minutes playing time. And I don't want to say all the jams sound the same, because that doesn't sound very complimentary, but they do. Or, at least, they all work within a very strict framework, which is A-OK by me. Each cut boasts an electric maelstrom of amps and pedals and laptops and lord knows what else pushed way past the red, through crimson, and into utter blackness. Every now and then your ears might pick on something buried way down deep in the pit of the chaos, like the wind howling or shutters clattering but who's to say if Blankenship actually put it there or if it's just your mind trying desperately to rationalize the sounds it's being bombarded with? Actually all this aggressive brainstrobing and psyche-bludgeoning does remind me of one movie, though it's not a horror movie. It is called Hell, and it's this scene where the portal back to the real world takes center stage and these bright, shapeless lights sorta congeal and split again, causing the kind of effect this album might have if you left it in your stereo and had the repeat button jammed down. Unlike the movie, although this album certainly might teleport you to hell, there's absolutely no guarantee you'll be brought back.
If the idea of being violated sonically for 40 minutes gets your rocks off...well you're probably already familiar with the Cherry Point and I needn't waste my time on a recommendation. If your like your noise in glitchy spurts with plenty of pauses for breath-catching, you should probably seek your thrills elsewhere. This album gets its claws around your throat immediately from the get-go and refuses to let up until the very end. Hey, wasn't that how Michael Hutchence died? Listening to a Cherry Point album? Man what a fine way to exit.