WRNLRD/BUER - Avulsion (Brise-Cul 3" CD-R) & Pump Kinn - Aunte Donne (Weird Forest 3" CD)
I love a good duality, hence the decidedly opposite pairings of 3" CD(-R)s for today's review showcase. Honestly, what's NOT to like? You have the stark Lovecraftian ugliness of WRNLRD/BUER's "Avulsed" and the sentimental, folky, uh, pumpkinness of Pump Kinn's "Aunte Donne". My god it's so perfect it's like it was meant to be! And I still have a couple of full-lengths to check out from these two labels so maybe we're in store for another unlikely twin tower match-up between them! Awesome...I love a good beauty and the beast or slovenly liberal/fastidious conservative tale. Anyway Brise-Cul is a label you know and love since we discussed them a few days ago but Weird Forest are making their big-time Blogspot debut with me, and like seemingly every other label responsible for fresh n' young "weird" sounds, they're from California. Honestly, what the fuck is going on down there? How many basement/DIY labels are there per capita in that state? Is it the water? Is it the Governator's influence (I understand that reference never gets tired)? Did you know there are 853,000 Google results for the word "Governator"? What the fuck indeed, man.
Brise-Cul bats first because I'm going alphabetically by label. WRNLRD/BUER is actually two seperate units, that of WRNLRD and that of BUER. I'm not sure if they're always supposed to be shouted like that, but so what. I found WRNLRD's MySpace page listing all the necessary black metal/punk rock influences (esp. Miles Davis, none more black...literally?) and putting forth the solo black metal operative manifesto that usually comes alongside any current USBM acts' press kit. Tougher to find info on BUER, actually I didn't find any at all, but I have to assume he's also a warlock with time invested in the dark arts. "Avulsion" is a live team-up between the two but I couldn't say exactly who does what. The first track "Invocation" moves gloomily through shadows, stretching out darkness and amp feedback until they're just fleshy strings of black dissonance with the odd starting scraping and howling from somebody's electronic box. It actually does sound like the intro to a Bathory record played slooooowwed down into a mess of nothingness but "Rites" does a serviceable job on bringing forth the promised black metal, although the rigidity of the drum machine comes off more cheese than chalice. The title track is a nice bit of swamp-fog drude hangover eventually disrupted by either WRNLRD or BUER shouting something and throwing down a mic. Defnitely a curious listen to say the least and I'm somewhat intrigued to hear the two operate indepedently, although they are in the midst of recording a collaborative full-length which is pretty boss too.
Somewhere closer to the opposite end of the spectrum lies Pump Kinn's "Aunte Donne", which comes packaged in a most remarkable six-panel fold-out sleeve, each panel showing the photo on the cover getting blurrier and blurrier until you get to the blurriest of all which of course winds up being the CD itself. Rad-looking. But how's the sound, Dr. Z? Not so good, Al. Pump Kinn is one Michelle Cheney who apparently was armed with a microphone, echo and delay pedals, and not much else when she recorded the 9 tracks found here, each averaging one to two minutes in length. The last three tracks on here are keepers: "Birthing Bonnie Parker" is three minutes of Cheney's breath and nothing else looped on top of itself and actually builds an enjoyably creepy atmosphere. "Come Wander With Me" is what she should've aimed for on all tracks, reciting near-words and letting the delay effects congeal and form a Tim Heckerish glacial barrier around her voice. "Preying Mantis" is either a feat of backmasking or just more effects at work but either way it's a pretty nice romp like an even-less effect-ed Grouper, which is a plus. Unfortunately on the rest of the songs Cheney prefers to use her voice like a siren, the attempted heir apparent to Junko's throne perhaps. Maybe I wasn't in the mood for it but hearing shrill syllables bounced continually around my head like on "Equestrian Deathmarch Mountain", "Kitty Kiss", "Colbetta/Yoko" and "Raine Dae" just isn't my cup of tea. And "Date Reepar" just sounds like that scene in Stephen King's Carrie where everybody is throwing tampons at the protagonist and chanting "plug it up". Oh I'll plug it up all right. Plug up my ears maybe! Maybe the exquisite packaging was Pump Kinn's undoing but I found my feelings turning from disappointment to general annoyance the more I played "Aunte Donne". Well, you win some and you lose some I guess.