The Pre-Program Blitz - Part 2
10 June, 2013
Three more artists? You got it, bub. Here's some of the noisier cuts from the next radio show, including two standouts from a compilation that you should own by now. Oh, and these are all pay-what-you-wills from Bandcamp, so...you're welcome.
Marblemouth – So, I suspect you’ve bought Audio Antihero’s latest comp by now, right? If not, get it here, you lazy bum; if so, you’ll recall that a quiet-spoken bloke known as Brendan “Marblemouth” Mattox contributed a beautiful, meditative track called “The Lake Song”, where layers of echoing, droning, and swirling guitars drifted atop one another and built into a great, churning sea of sound before shifting to a wall of bristling fuzz. Indeed, apart from Cloud’s “A Song Of What Stays”, it could very well be the loveliest track on the comp.
Well, I was completely enamored with it (still am), so I downloaded the Nocturnes EP. And I was not disappointed – in fact, I found that Cloud and Marblemouth had joined forces on this release, with the former handling rhythm and production. Mattox comes in on “Dear Doe Eyes” with a whisper, on a very sleepy, slowcore strum and beat – until some very glorious slabs of fuzz burst in. Beautiful. “In The Dark”, however, materializes into a much more sinister number, as ponderous plucking leads to a dramatic, pulsing riff. No audible lyrics this time, either – well, barely audible. Mattox mutters underneath the mix – and you can hear him in the quiet standoffs, mumbling about nightmares, but he’s soon engulfed by the torrent of intensity that follows.
After all those massive masterpieces, however, the closer is a quiet moment titled “Home, Alone”. After burying himself for so long in swaths of noise, Mattox emerges at last, to wish us all good night while he aches for the companion no longer by his side. On the surface, it sounds like a charming send-off, but those lyrics touch on a quiet depression that you might know all too well (I know I do). It’s a sad goodbye, but the perfect closing note for the EP.
In summary – Nocturnes is a wonderful, majestic release. Here you will find serenity in noise, vigor in slowcore, and power in quiet moments. Download the EP at Marblemouth’s Bandcamp site – and, while you’re there, check out his new track, too - it's a churning, vast solo effort aptly titled "The Great Wide Ocean".
Reykjavictim – Dual techno producer and alternative rock star based in Shanghai. Yup, Adam McRae is a true one-man-band, capable of slamming some serious riffs and providing the slick synth details, oftentimes within the same track. I recently downloaded this LP of his from last year, which I admit I cannot print here since I lack any finesse with Chinese symbols.
To be a one-man-band, Reykjavictim exhibits an array of influences. The opener, “Mediocre Superstar”, is itself a wild card of a track, that opens with bubbling synths, some vicious strumming, and superb vocals that alternate between Chinese and English; “Feng Huang Qin”, on the other hand, is a moment of serenity, with oriental strings plucked brightly over a strained buzz. It blends seamlessly, however, into “He Shi” and its steady, electric pulse. “Dian Dong Dong Wu” and “Zhuan” are more straightforward techno tracks, with the former as a stealthy, shuffling tune, and the latter a sultry number with a urban beat, kickin’ cymbals, and some ominous synth work.
And yet, after all that seamless integration of rock and techno, Reykjavictim ends with some pure stoner bliss on “Beumont”, with its stupidly thick riffs and punky mantra (“It’s got everything you need, but nothing you want, in Beumont”). The clean production has been stripped away, leaving this one rough and ragged – but, really, that’s EXACTLY how this one should feel!
Yup, I do highly commend this one. How this guy is so criminally underplayed is beyond me, because he’s got a rare knack for crafting a varied and thrilling LP. Download his [Chinese symbols] album, for whatever price you wish, on his Bandcamp page.
PRINCESS – If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you would’ve probably gathered by now that I love noise. (See BRUTES, Micachu and the Shapes, or even Marblemouth above for vindication.) And PRINCESS satisfies my cravings for discord. I discovered the dude (yes, dude) on Audio Antihero’s latest comp (which you’ve downloaded by now, I assume?) via “Junk Mail”, a slow-crawler that screeched from the abyss with some deliciously hideous distortion. At the time, however, the only other tunes I could dig up were two singles on PRINCESS’s Bandcamp page.
Now, be assured: both singles are sublimely noisy. “Tortured Wings” delivered the menacing vibe that I’d been seeking, serving up a grungy slab of beastly guitar. “Square”, on the hand, is a brighter, more vigorous racket, graced with these gorgeous, distant “ooooh”s, that sounds more like the sunny realm of Souvlaki than the bowels of In Utero. Not a bad thing, I assure you – in fact, it’s golden - but not exactly the PRINCESS I was hunting for. Wrong castle, you could say.
However, just today, the dudes dropped this Black Cat EP on their Bandcamp site – and my appetite has been slaked. It’s wicked. Ten minutes of bliss ensue from the one-two punch of the creeping “I Look Around” and the mind-bending swaths of fuzzy distortion on “Come And Go”. Ohh, but then there’s “Fall Slow”, a poppy, MBV-esque number with a stratospheric solo. Also nice.
But the clincher for this EP is clearly the closer, the 8+ minute groove of “Excuse The Voice”. Sliding in on a shuffling beat and a beefy bass pulse, this track mystifies at first – then the monstrous wave of guitar screeches in, but pulls back, leaving a echoing void behind. As the groove chugs on, the distorted wave trickles back in, regaining strength ever so gradually, until it completely EXPLODES at 5’48”. EUPHORIA.
Like all our other releases today, Black Cat is also a pay-what-you-want, so snap it up here. PRINCESS will not disappoint.