Saturday 21 May 2016

Intensive Care or: Andrew Nolan is fucking at it again

'Pay Pig'
Intensive Care

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Noise Rock, Industrial, Power Electronics
For Fans Of: Dissecting Table, Skullflower, UFO Or Die, Unsane

Oh my fucking god. A friend told me that Andrew Nolan had a new band that was even more fucked than Column Of Heaven, and knowing his past musical output (Ebola, Death Agonies, The Endless Blockade, Slaughter Strike...just to name a few) I totally believed it. That was over 6 months ago, probably more like 8 or 9. I've been impatiently waiting to hear this project for all that time; and then the other day, when Iron Lung Records had their most recent update, they included an Intensive Care track and I flipped out -- it was incredible. I had no idea what to expect, which I think is part of why this band knocked me on my ass so hard, but I also know that even if I had known ahead of time, it wouldn't have really prepared me. But now, I'm finally able to listen to an entire release; and holy shit, this project is even better than I could have hoped for.

Okay, I know, enough backstory. I guess I should actually talk about the music itself. It took a minute for what Intensive Care is doing to fully sink in due to how overwhelming their music is, but once it did I knew exactly how to talk about it. The bands I compared it to should give you a good idea, but it's not so much that they sound like any of those bands individually, it's more that they sound like the Eraserhead baby of all of those bands. The power electronics/noise rock hybrid is not something new by any means, but it's something that I feel really captures what's amazing about both types of noise (which would explain why it's what I do in Bloated Subhumans). Rather than feeling contrived or detracting from one or the other, power electronics and noise rock compliment each other when combined, each pushing the other to new heights of depravity and intensity. When it's done well, anyway. And, Intensive Care does it well. Obviously, hybrid bands like Skullflower and Cosmonauts Hail Satan get nods here, but Intensive Care expands on those ideas in a way only those involved can do, and makes them their own. Rather than sticking to The Stooges formula (single riff repeated over and over, championed by Flipper, Brainbombs, etc), Intensive Care goes for the Unsane/Stretchheads approach, which is much more chaotic than the former, but just as filthy. Oh, and they use the late 80s/early 90s grind pitch shifted vocals at points which only adds to the overall menacing atmosphere. This shit is gross.

I got kinda carried away, so here's the short version: big scary noise rock with power electronics like if Dissecting Table, Stretchheads, and Hammerhead were smashed together. So in other words, essential.

1. Tithe
2. Entertainment
3. Transaction
4. Productivity
5. Surplus Value


Saturday 7 May 2016



(Band Submission)

Review by Joey (taking the edge off, going for a softer FBN)

Genre/s: Hardcore Punk, Noise Rock, Noise Punk
For Fans Of: Mystery Product, Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers, Technical Ecstasy, The Cysts

I'm seriously kicking myself for missing Acrylics when they played Philly recently (and not just because it was with Blank Spell and Cape Of Bats). Acrylics is one of those rare bands who really gets it when it comes to making genuinely twisted punk -- and if you're familiar with this blog, you know how harsh of a critic I am with this stuff. There are no gimmicks, nor does it feel as if they're trying too hard to prove how "weird" they are; just truly disconcerting bursts of anxious energy.

I actually had to think a bit about what bands to compare this to. There's a lot going on here: erratic tempo shifts; tortuous bass lines; and totally absurd, unnerving guitar work that exists in a place where Greg Ginn, East Bay Ray, and Dome (from CCM) all meet. I wouldn't say that Acrylics sounds much like either Black Flag or Dead Kenendys, but I get the feeling that this guitarist definitely has spent some time with the B-side of Damaged/1982 demos and Plastic Surgery Disasters. Do I really need to elaborate on how scary and fucked that sounds? And while I think there should be a background check required to get a chorus pedal considering the obnoxious over-saturation we've seen in the past couple years from punks-trying-too-hard, the chorus pedals on this definitely work to highlight the weirdness of the riffs, rather than acting as the source of it. There are also drums on this release (in case you thought there weren't), and they work perfectly in tandem with the bass to fill up as much space as possible, which of course gives room for more off kilter guitar work. Subtlety is a real strength here, as the drummer's understated use of accenting really drives this whole thing forward.

Look, basically this is some really fucked up shit, and that's what you come to this blog for, right? The other bands I mentioned should be enough to pique your interest, so smash that fucking download, motherfucker, and get fucking wrecked.

1. Shame
2. The Germ
3. Mamma's Boy
4. Nada Nada
5. He Wants A Baby
6. Waiting

DOWNLOAD (Bandcamp)