Sunday 25 October 2020

Black Gaff

Black Gaff
Black Gaff

(Artist Submission)

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Sludge, Death/Doom, Noise Rock
For Fans Of: Su19b, Agents Of Satan, Thug, Cianide

If you're looking for 3 minutes of chaos, this might just be the tape for you. Not every submission kicks my ass as much as it stumps me in terms of finding comparisons, but this one certainly did. In this essay, I will try to tell you why this is great, and attempt to make comparisons to other artists, even though those comparisons won't really do it justice. 

Some background first: Black Gaff was started by union stagehands who also happened to skate and are/have been in some other bands you may or may not like (but it's a secret), and when COVID19 hit, they were put out of work, and dedicated time to making this project happen. And goddamn, did they make it happen. While this is only 3 tracks (or 2 tracks and an interlude if you want to be that person), clocking in at under 3 minutes, it's a perfect display of savage fury and gives a really interesting spin on microbursts of sludge, death/doom, and even some odd NY no wave style structures. The whole thing sounds very informed by 90s west coast power violence, Japanese doom/sludge, and the Bovine Records catalog, which should sell you right away. There isn't much that sounds exactly like this that comes to mind, which is pretty exciting, and makes it incredibly difficult to pigeonhole. But it's fucking good, and it's relentless. 

All I can say is that if you like music that sounds like getting your teeth knocked out, don't sleep on this. Also, if you like skateboarding, you should probably get into this too. 

1. Truss Failure
2. Deathride
3. Folded

Aqua-Eroticum - Burnt Carpet Stained Sheets

Burnt Carpet Stained Sheets

(Artist Submission)

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Industrial, Power Electronics, Noise
For Fans Of: The Sodality, Genocide Organ,  The Grey Wolves, Brighter Death Now

Releases like this remind me why the genre is called power electronics. No, not because it's powerful electronic music har har, but because it explores power and its effects/consequences/etc in a truly disturbing, yet poignant manner. This is the kind of power electronics release I hope to hear when someone submits to FBN, yet rarely do.

Burnt Carpet Stained Sheets was recorded in 2015 before Aqua-Eroticum took a hiatus (which they have recently announced is over), but wasn't released until 2019 by noise's shining boy Joe Frataxin's label Uninvited. The release runs the gamut of different sounds in the style, from harsh piercing screeches of 80s UK artists such as Un-Kommuniti and Ramleh, to low rumbling pulsing of 80s-90s German and Swedish artists such as G/O and BDN, and everything in between, all accompanied by frantic, manic vocals that send a chill down my spine. The subject matters are appalling, as is to be expected, but not done in such a way that brings to mind juvenile antics. One thing that sent this over the top for me was the cover of The Sodality, an artist who I feel are often criminally overlooked by many industrial fans, but are absolutely crucial as far as I'm concerned -- and yes, they nail the cover. The collaboration with Interracial Sex, another bright light of contemporary power electronics, is also fantastic, and a perfect way to close out this absolutely brutal exercise in pain tolerance. 

This release is essential listening for anyone invested in contemporary power electronics, and I can't wait to hear what Aqua-Eroticum has in store in the future. Listen or don't. 

1. Crack Rocks & Colt 45
2. Dead Or In Jail
3. Instant Release
4. Hot Rails!
5. Burnt Carpet Stained Sheets
6. Another Compulsion 
7. An Obvious Disease
8. Saturday Night Special
9. Catch The Whore (The Sodality)
10. Blisters (Feat. Interracial Sex)

Saturday 17 October 2020

Backslider - Bacterial Eye


Bacterial Eye

(Artist Submission)

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Fastcore, Power Violence, Hardcore
For Fans Of: Despise You, Column Of Heaven, Apartment 213, No Less

Back when I was going to shows in Philly on an incredibly regular basis (almost a decade ago at this point), Backslider was one of the staples whenever there was a fast band worth seeing coming to town. Their sets always blew me away, usually clocking 20-something songs in around 7 minutes, although their style evolved over the years, incorporating more groove, longer songs, and a lot of influence from 90s alt-metal (or at least that's how it sounded to me). However, with their most recent material on Silence Is Death, it seems Backslider has -- and please forgive me for doing this -- backslid, and is back to chaotic microbursts. 

I should be clear, this material has way more going on than the typical fast/slow/stop/start fastcore that has become all too commonplace and formulaic in the bandcamp age. There is a healthy dose of influence from weirdos such as Gasp and Column Of Heaven -- that is to say, there is plenty of noise driven guitar work, electronics, samples, and oddly placed, yet perfectly integrated death metal licks -- resulting in a unique twist on the sound we all love so well. In addition, this material features Triac drummer, Jake Cregger, recording through a gopro to great effect. I wish more fastcore/grind/etc artists would use this approach to production, because it sounds absolutely massive and sheds that overproduced/overpolished sterile studio sound that most bands seem to be going for in the past 5 or so years. 

And here's the kicker: Silence Is Death is a benefit label, and will be donating all proceeds to Black Lives Matter activist groups/orgs, so if you can spare to buy a tape or digital download, know that it's going to a good cause. With this being their first release, I expect big things from this label, so keep your eyes peeled. Trust me, you'll listen to this 4 minute burst 3x in a row and still want to hear it again. 

1. Ataxia / Cyclops
2. Device
3. Lapse
4. Purgatory
5. Octopus