Music Reviews



Crucial Blast

Opening track “Things Will Grow” starts off like a tribal take on “Marquee Moon,” with staccato martial drumming and ringing and bejeweled guitar runs. The vocals are beamed in through ancient public address systems, ohhhhhing, exhorting little puzzlebox slogans, and finally raving it up with wordless woops and yelled harmonies. “Tungsten Steel” is a hippie freeeeak-out of molten guitar pulses, synth whooshes, and frantic crashing drums on the way to an interstellar overdrive. “Whooping Church” sounds like a chorus of treated and looped mating calls of Beluga whales and birds swimming happily in a sea of pink static, and discarded quarter-inch tape.

“Magic Jordan” centers around a peaceful, meditative strum that sounds all downcast, sullen, and little-boy-lost like early Mary Chain ballads, “Feed” is a molten fusion of Ministry-style industrial strength with pounding, almost tribal percussion, distorted walls of guitar, static-laden vocals, and King Crimson-style zigzags of guitar incandescence; however, it lacks all the thuggery that Ministry and its ilk gathered like lint on black clothing.

And on the final two sprawling tracks, things REALLLLLY get loose. “Kross” feels like a hippie Melvins, stop-start slow-burn heaviness just dripping with freak power dissolving into paint-peeling screams and smoldering distortion, all serial killer, restrained and tormented. Detonating into monochromatic waves of zombified, glammy sludge, a perpetual motion machine pauses to catch its breath with a bleak folky idyll before slamming right back into that soaring riff alongside screams, wretches, and even choral falsetto from the vocalist. “Nervous Buzzing” is a bleak, unfolding piece/invocation of modern primitiveness reminiscent of Pil’s Second Edition. Shifting colors and shapes conjured up by a recurring tribal drum motif and jagged guitar feedback gets good and headfuck-inducing at the halfway point, turning into modern jazz-noise improv. But amidst all the splintered noise there begins to emerge this tangible wave of angelic choral beauty and believe me, that’s the right point to end the album.

Too jam-heavy at times, but I very much appreciate and support the wide-eyed commitment to sonic adventurism and bringing new palettes and brushes to the heavy metal arts and crafts fair. Recommended for fans of Animal Collective, Melvins, Jesu, King Crimson.

Crucial Blast:

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