Music Reviews

Bastard Noise

Throne Is Melting


Sissy Spacek

Sissy Spacek


John Wiese

Collected Tracks


John Wiese is the element that connects these three CDs together. Along with playing on each, he’s also the owner of Helicopter, a label devoted to releasing some wonderful, wonderful noise. They’ve put out records by The Haters, Panicsville, and other recordings by the above three.

Throne Is Melting will be of the strongest interest for those not deeply mired into the American noise scene. Eric Wood of Man is the Bastard joins John Wiese in Bastard Noise. While BN don’t have the visceral, primal stomp that characterized the powerviolence of MiTB, they still have the deep low-end. It’s just not coming from a bass anymore. My experience with BN has been through a few compilation tracks and their split seven-inch with Pain Jerk, which never impressed me. However, this CD shows them really spreading out, and doing some fine textural work.

The crux of the CD is the duo of “Red Hurricane” and “Cosmic Eulogy.” These two tracks are a reissue of hard to find material, –“Red Hurricane” a limited three-inch and “Cosmic Eulogy” a one-sided LP. Both are 18+ minute epics that show Bastard Noise’s control of the longer form. ‘Cosmic Eulogy” has a strong narrative feel, with Wiese and Wood developing the track gradually, introducing low rumbles, feedback squeals, and bursts of noise. The other six tracks are nice, too, but I’m a total sucker for slowly evolving noise. Throne Is Melting is absolutely for fans of some of the newer noise acts like Lefthandeddecision and Sleeping with the Earth, but hopefully it’ll introduce some hardcore kids to noise through the Man is the Bastard connection.

Wiese’s Sissy Spacek project is the polar opposite of Bastard Noise. While MITB is very analogue based, there’s lots of digital fuckery here, and while Bastard Noise is gradually evolving textural noise, Sissy Spacek is hyper-fast grind-esque noise bursts. The 78 tracks in 22:55 make this some prime shuffle-damage material. There’s some “live” material here, too, but it’s hard to tell what’s going on. Definitely ADHD-ready.

The solo Wiese disc has more of the slowly evolving goodness that I love, but less interesting sonic elements than the Bastard Noise. Plenty of lo-fi crunch, though. Wiese instructs us to program “Floating Ship,” “Lunar Chaparral,” and the last two untitled tracks for “easy-listening,” probably as these are more “ambient” (this being a very, very distant cousin of Brian Eno’s, though – a very, very ugly cousin) than the other four. “Lunar Chaparral” is essentially a Bastard Noise track, while “Corpse Of •Nulenarchenal•• is basically a Sissy Spacek track, utilizing the Nulenarchenal (I have no idea what it is, all that I know is that it makes some pretty ugly noise. The last two tracks are fairly sparse things, lots of space and glitches, but fairly unremarkable. It’s a weak end to strong and varied collection of noise.

Helicopter Records, 24846 Walnut St. #205, Newhall, CA 91321; • Nuform,

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