I figure Scorn’s Mick Harris is kinda like a Brian Eno v.2 in extreme music circles. And though that would make Napalm Death his Roxy Music, it ain’t just a dodgy metaphor. There are few more successful reinvention artists than Mick Harris; he’s pushed the envelope of aesthetics and sound in everything in which he’s ever been involved. And the trepanation dub of Plan B is no fucking exception.
“Black Belt” is pulsating, liquid evil — the flows and undulations of the jade liquid in Carpenter’s “Prince of Darkness.” Stasis-deep beats that run counter to any logic and frozen chimes. “Table of Charges” starts out with seemingly incidental piano tinklings and scattered percussion, before focusing down into a total downer hip-hop groove, and only then does it unravel repeatedly like a broken Moebius strip. “Put Your Weight On” is like house music submerged into a prehistoric tar pit •- all life functions slow and finally cease. When “Boss” finally hits its groove (about two minutes in), this is some smoldering white noise, augmented by an incredible head-snapping beat spinal column. You will dance, even with a shiv sticking neatly out of the base of your spine. “Channel” mines similar industrial terror interiors, with some atonal saxophone bleats buried in the mix and some weird egomaniacal vocal samples (watch, it’s from some movie that I should have totally recognized). “Sleep When At Home” picks up the tempo, way jarringly, for a fractured and oblique drum and bass workout. Same with “The Snow Hill,” where the cymbals sound like bones snapping. And the bass on these two is like little tiny diamond drills, man. Or snake teeth. “Dangler” reminds me of early Wu Tang Clan instrumental tracks, stripped of every bit of machixmo and confidence, and left wandering the streets — alone, naked, and confused. “Nekorik” is haunted by the ghosts of Suicide and Neubauten, flitting through a pretty aggressive drum and bass matrix. “Doors” ends the record, with serpentine bass (Doppler cobras, man), clattering drums, metal pipes and the patient beeping of a time bomb. Utterly appropriate.
Scorn’s music is so fucking brutal. It hurts you slowly and softly and seductively, more than you’ve been hurt in a damn long time.
Hymen Records: http://www.klangstabil.com/hymen