Various 7"s Round-Up
Had a quartet of recently released 7"s lying around that I thought deserved a listen, starting with the final two mailings from Not Not Fun's Bored Fortress 7" subscription series. Man, is it over already? All good things must come to and end and all that jazz. First plucked is Mindflayer/Deep Jew. Mindflayer you know because Brian Chippendale's the drummer, but Mat Brinkmann's the Other Woman in this duo and his contributions should not be overlooked either. Well it'd be pretty hard to overlook em even if you tried, because he's burying Chippendale in a chummy stew of synth/keyboard/tape/Speak n' Spell mucus throughout. I think I saw Brinkmann play live once and he hurt my face mightily, a feat repeated here whilst Chippendale thrashes away sounding almost mechanized by Brinkmann's gamma beams before busting out in the second half and heaving out a hearty percussion disembowelment like a Meshuggah tune reimagined by, fuckin', Tron. Providence noise rock goes instrumental grind? I can dig. Oh yeah I read that they make a lot of Dungeons & Dragons references in their names, but this track's called "Frizzle Fry 2", you can understand why the Primus ref is throwing me. Second side belongs to Deep Jew, who I know next to nothing about, but their info section of the insert claims their two tracks on the split were recorded in '08, so I like em already. Said two tracks - "Night Eyes 2" and "Cops Wet Pussy" - are freedback-doused firestorms of hardcore/grind/powerviolence/noise rock/I-could-go-on stew, totally trashed and inept and bareassed which is how I like it. Drums, guitars, vocals, possibly other things, all buried under the haze perpetuated by the lo-fi recordings techniques at work here. Reminds me a lot of early (read: good) Locust and, at special times, my personal faves World. If you like all that An Albatross and Genghis Tron stuff you should feel right at home with these guys, though this is way better, and probably even more enjoyable in the live setting than on record. I'd go see em. Probably
The aforementioned Mat Brinkmann also did the art on this Hototogisu/Hive Mind split, the final Bored Fortress entry for the year. So, uh, that's one degree of separation for you. The Hototogisu side is called "Full Prince Charles" and credits K.W. Jeter and a list of his novels for inspiration - who knew? Anyways, this track is one of the most aggressive shards I've come to know from the Bower and Bassett tandem, pretty much the polar opposite of early solo Bower Hototogisu records if you think about it. Keeps with the program brought on by Mindflayer and Deep Jew, though. You know the story by now - strings, pedals, and violence pushed to the point of overdrive with not even the slighest oasis in sight to catch one's breath. Strikes a chord somewhere between the Incapacitants and Tony Conrad's "Four Violins" on steroids. It may not be as imminently unique as those early Hototogisu records but it's still a nice enough wallop.
Hive Mind's side "Collapsed Shroud" is a simply yet effective boiler room drone with a lurking, churning foundation very much reminiscent of the lurking, churning foundation beneath Whitehouse's "Thank Your Lucky Stars" - I half expect to be verbally berated any minute into the record but I don't think Greh Holger is that kind of guy. Rather, he inflicts ominous warning siren electronics that trill in and out of audibility, serving not only a warning but I reminder that I need to listen to more Hive Mind stuff because I often forget how great it can be. Consider "Shroud" exhibit A.
Seagull's "The Conqueror Worm" (Ketchup Cavern One-Sided 7") came to me from nowhere looking pretty menacing; I was thinking it was either a noise record, a black metal record, or a Stephen O'Malley side project just from looking at the artwork. Turns out to be the first option, and a quick Googling reveals Seagull to be one Michael Piercey outta Vancouver, who's got an array of tapes and CD-Rs to his name, unbeknownst to yours truly. Ketchup Cavern sez "The Conqueror Worm" consists of "poorly-recorded static, roaring distortion (and some mysterious crackle added by the pressing plant)" and that pretty well sums it up. It's a straight-forward snarling drone, cavernous rattling and tectonic plate-shifting sensibilities abounding, which is nice enough but kinda begs the question why, as Piercey seems to be treading on sure ground here...though I could never say I know a man after listening to five minutes of his music. Plus I think I could get into it more stretched out over full-album length. So as long as it's competently performed (it is), who cares if it doesn't change my life. Slick black and white sleeve designs on this baby though.
First the Earth.Space Noise releases now this Nodolby 7" - I think Smooth Assailing and me are on the same promo lists. And they're beating me to the punch all the time! I digress.
The last curious 7" sent my way was Nodolby's "Axe Magnitude/Altered Beast" (Dokuro 7"). Nodolby (and Dokuro) is the work of Italy's Michele Scariot, and apparently the project has been active since 1998 though this is the first actual Nodolby release - and the first Dokuro release too. Or maybe I misunderstood and it's only Nodolby's first vinyl release. I don't really know. What I do, upon playing this here 7", is Jesus fuck it hurts. As if all the bent electronics, guitar abuse, "blasted synths and tape manipulations" weren't enough, "Axe Magnitude" had to have been mastered at at least 500% volume since I nearly blew out my speakers/anus upon dropping the needle. "Altered Beast", on the other hand, is a pretty great side of bombed electronics and fully engulfed guitar riffing that builds to a swell only to dither away into an even more fucked up squall of strangled trumpet yelps via Demis da Rold. Doesn't sound like a whole much else I can think of, so I like it, but just be careful with the volume when you first put the needle down. It's worth noting this is available in an edition of 99 black and 66 marble-amethyst, and comes in a lovely, thick sleeve w/insert. Dokuro's got a brand new release out too from Green Mine, a CD-R this time limited to 74 pieces, what might also be worth checking out. For now, I definitely recommend this one above all else.