Hatred/Demons - Split (A.A. Records CS)
I used to think of Nate Young's A.A. Records as a mythical entity, like the kind of stuff you read about in the Bull Tongue and can never ever track down regardless of how many people you "know". Then once I came across the initial A.A. output (the lathes) I saw that it was real, but considered it a kind of niche label only for diehard Wolf Eyes fangirls with the kind of bread to drop 25 bones on a one-sided etching (which I promptly did, see my Religious Knives review from awhile back. Moving on!). But now, more than ever, I've come to see it was a Really Real actual-factual record label, with available releases! First there was the lathe compilation LP (also reviewed here), then there were the Video Madness and the Beast DVDs (which I think I'm gonna try and get a hold of) and now a series of these cassettes, all with like-minded - and great-looking - cover art. In addition to this one, there's a James "Twig" Harper tape (of Nautical Almanac et al.) and a Demons cassette, which is a tape of a 30-second endless loop if the A.A. website is to be believed. This one features Demons alongside Hatred, each band taking one side of the tape. However, each band is a Nate Young pre-Wolf Eyes outfit. Hatred (which I guess Nate has revived to use as a solo moniker - see the No Fun Productions LP) is Nate on electronics, Steve Kinney on synth and guitar and Spence Bryant on drums while Demons is just Nate and Steve, both on synths. According to the Volcanic Tongue write-up, the Hatred side is unreleased b-sides and the Demons side is a reissue of that band's first release. I wouldn't have known if I didn't do my research though!
Hatred aims to disorient right away, and it took me a good five minutes before I finally got my bearings and figured out where the sounds were coming from or how they were being made (I'm probably only kidding myself though). Talk about an earth-juddering belt of sleepy-headed contortionist circuit bends, drum loops, click tracks, cymbal hits, savage guitar freak-outs and a whole lot of other brown sludge. Pretty psychedelic maschinestil aggression. The second cut advances further into quasi-industrial brutality, lots of churning gears and revolting mechanical gyrations. The last one is even more busted out-rock led into a charge by Bryant's enormous beetz, eventually gathering into a swarm of damaged rhythm-n'-synth euphoria, if you choose to call it that. It's got definite fucked up Smegma/Fushitsusha/Dead C/early Merzbow/Ground Zero isms but with loads of punk rock/metal chops to match.
I hate to wax hard on this kind of stuff but it's these kinds of non-definitions that laid the groundwork for...well, you know. Them. But that's no more so evident than it is on the Demons side. There's one short track and one, almost comically-lengthy tune. Bombed drones, lazers, tightly wound knots of steel wool auras coming together and making for a massive nuclear reactor meltdown OST. Basically the leitmotif for this whole side is a heavy dose of charged whirrs, like a robot's nervous system on constant reboot. And a leitmotif that doesn't know how to quit indeed. Nothing much else to say, drop out of life and hit on this.
I've heard bits and pieces of Olson and Dilloway's pre-Wolf Eyes noodlings in Universal Indians, Plants, Spykes which I think is pre- and post-Wolf, and uhhh surely some other things but getting a grip on Nate's background starts to pull the picture together like nothing before. It's a nifty enough thought that these guys had the foresight to record every jam they ever conceived of, because sometimes those special moments between friends when you're not playing for anyone else are just the specialist moments of all...don't you know? That said, this tape isn't absolutely mandatory or anything but it's cheap, nice-looking and nice-sounding, so if you've got a fiver to spare when you're putting in an order with Hanson or Volcanic Tongue or Fusetron, lay it on down brother.