Sloth—A Whole Other World of Fun, aka 13 Songs 13 Samples (2007)

Sloth—A Whole Other World of Fun, aka 13 Songs 13 Samples (2007)

Sloth—A Whole Other World of Fun, aka 13 Songs 13 Samples (2007)

Details

Thanks to At War With False Noise and Paul of Suma. Released in 2007.

Encyclopedia Metallum

Band

  • Ubersloth—Vocals, guitar, drums, electric organ
  • Uberneecie—Vocals
  • Derek Erdman—Guitar, vocals, noises
  • Mr Bearbomb—Guitar, vocals, electric organ
  • Picnic table—Guitar, vocals
  • Sam Pitts—Bass, vocals
  • Dan Pitts—Piano
  • Wedge—Drums, vocals, percussion

Tracks

  1. 1
  2. the wooleybear looked at you?
  3. 3
  4. stak ’em up
  5. 5
  6. a night at the park
  7. 7
  8. i farted
  9. 9
  10. derek’s song
  11. 11
  12. at the laundromat (you can have fun)
  13. 13
  14. your record collection
  15. 15
  16. pika flower shop
  17. 17
  18. b. bob
  19. 19
  20. wrestling quiz
  21. 21
  22. ufo zombies
  23. 23
  24. political song
  25. 25
  26. lagoons

Review

There is something about this album of random snippets and samples, integrated with sludgy, stoner-style punk tracks that is wonderfully affirming. In a world obsessed with global celebrity, there is an honesty and a fragility about this collection that I really warm to. It reminds me in so many ways of something raw like Nirvana’s debut album Bleach.

The thirteen samples —the suitably odd tracks — which appear to be lifted mostly from films and TV have no common theme, but they do a nice job of connecting one song to the next. I did wonder if they would get annoying but listen after listen I quite enjoyed their randomness.

The thirteen songs are varied in style, though all feel loose and laid back but all very different, for example, “the wooleybear looked at you?” (track 2) reminds me of something punky like Black Flag. “stak ’em up” (track 4) is a bit bluesy. “derek’s song” (track 10) has a very Primus feel to it: repetitive and a little atonal and whiny.  “at the laundromat (you can have fun)” (track 12) is a riff on the chord progression A-F♯-G. “ufo zombies” (track 22) reminds me of The Misfits, not necessarily in style but vibe and attitude.

Conclusion

I really rather like this album. It is odd and quirky and unique and interesting. I would definitely choose to listen to this again.

Review score: 85%

 

Opaque—The Cult of Survivors: Unreleased tracks 1997–2007 (2007)

Opaque—The Cult of Survivors (2007)

Opaque—The Cult of Survivors (2007)

Details

Four CD set released by Kovorox Sound to mark ten years of Opaque. Features unreleased live and studio tracks spanning the entire history of Opaque. each disk has been professionally duplicated with on-disk printing and is individually packaged in its own sleeve. the four volumes are packed inside a heavy weight plastic wallet with printed outer sleeve.

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Pure sleaze food
  2. Agony blizzard
  3. Luggage
  4. Slow burning intrusion
  5. Razorwire katatonika
  6. They didn’t seem to appreciate the horror of it all
  7. The plexus of gore and grime and crime
  8. Absence
  9. Queue jumpers water torture

Disc 2

  1. All knowing
  2. Cannabalism, cookery and blood drinking
  3. Cold mist
  4. Consumating axe
  5. The cult of survivors
  6. Masochistic gut rumble
  7. Poured upon the fornicators
  8. The audience was over
  9. The cauterized stumps
  10. The tree on the hill

Disc 3

  1. Home made sauna becomes sweltering tomb
  2. Screams. stabs. aorta. death
  3. Beneath the awareness of mother culture
  4. No depravity taboo
  5. Rupturing organs laughing
  6. Crepitus
  7. Under the knife, under the spell of the anesthetic
  8. The illusion of petty individuality
  9. Spontaneous medical equipment
  10. Veiled assertations

Disc 4

  1. Super-k bills
  2. Anger screams
  3. Inside the voices
  4. Animal blood
  5. From deprivation
  6. Under guise of consolation
  7. The perfect wrongness
  8. Lice infested tea house

Review

More noise. And squeaks. Noise and squeaks.

Squeaks and noise. For girls and boys.

And then some pretty ambient tones.

And then back to noise and squeaks. And some ambient noise. And some ambient squeaks.

Four discs worth.

Conclusion

All very admirable and artistic, and skilfully executed. But not really for me. Sorry.

Review score: 20%

Noma / Rejectamenta—Noma / Rejectamenta (2009)

Noma / Rejectamenta—Noma / Rejectamenta (2009)

Noma / Rejectamenta—Noma / Rejectamenta (2009)

Details

Released on At War With False Noise Records, 2009. Limited to 500 copies.

Bands

  • Tracks one and two, all sounds and dictaphonics by John Cromar
  • Track three, all sounds by Adam Cresser

Tracks

  1. Friede in den gedanken (13:30)
  2. Amusia (22:37)
  3. SSilence (33:10)

Review

More experimental, ambient drone.

The packaging is curious. It comes with, what the record label refers to as “reverse art”, so the front cover is on the back, and vice versa.

Both experimental artists Noma (John Comar) and Rejectamenta (Adam Cresser) hail from Glasgow

The record label described Noma’s contributions to this split release thus:

He takes on two tracks here, the first is a slowly-building tone-fest. Very ambient, and hauntingly beautiful…bascially what Noma does best. Next track “Amusia” is a little atypical of what most people will expect. Imposing thuds are interjected by what sounds like some form of screeching metallic machine being thrown down some stairs, electronic blasts. Surreal, bizarre, unpredictable….very Noma.

Rejectamenta’s solitary track represents only his second ever release. The track here “SSilence” is a follow up to “SServant”. This is clearly not a silent track. It is, to quote the press release, 33 minutes of a “total overload of a billion circuit-bent instruments all melded together into one massive orchestral binary cacophany”

 

Conclusion

There is something intriguing about these sounds. But I’m not sure I’d choose to listen to this terribly often. But it is quite grand, like a soundscape.

Review score: 60%

Neil Jendon—Invisibility (2008)

Neil Jendon—Invisibility (2008)

Neil Jendon—Invisibility (2008)

Details

Performed and recorded May to August 2008 by Neil Jendon. Released on BloodLust! (Chicago), 2008.

Band

Neil Jendon—Everything

Tracks

  1. First invisibility (2:32)
  2. Second invisibility (18:38)
  3. Third invisibility (5:28)
  4. Fourth invisibility (21:58)

Review

While I was listening to this album I asked two of my kids what they thought of it. “Is this music?” I asked. One replied yes, the other no. It’s definitely art, then.

This is very much an experimental electronic album, in the same ballpark as Mike Patton’s 1996 album Adult Themes for Voice. It’s a fusion of noises.

This is the sound of the apocalypse. It is noisy and confusing, it is jarring and relentless.

“First invisibility” made me feel like I was in a submarine, silently passed through a battle that was raging outside. The calmness is rudely interrupted by “Second invisibility”, an exercise in white noise that resolves to a hum, like the ringing of a handful of Buddhist prayer bowls.

“Third invisibility” sounds like how I imagine being trapped in a storm in Antarctica. It is relentless white noise.

And lastly “Fourth invisibility”, which lasts for a little over 20 minutes, is the most experimental and internally varied of all the tracks. It bubbles and pops and gurgles through its duration. This is the soundtrack for crash-landing on an alien planet. Though, to be honest, if I chose to do that then I think I would prefer to listen to Mozart or Palestrina while doing so.

Conclusion

This isn’t an album for every day listening. I’m not entirely convinced that it’s an album for any day listening. Still, it has structure and dynamics and I do find it rather intriguing.

Each time I’ve listened to it, when it has finished and the silence returns like the tide rushing in, I do know that I’ve listened to something. It’s not easily forgettable. That has to say something for the impact of this work, I guess.

Review score: 65%

Koreisch—This decaying schizophrenic Christ complex (1999)

Koreisch—This decaying schizophrenic Christ complex (1999)

Koreisch—This decaying schizophrenic Christ complex (1999)

Details

Recorded in the year of your Lord MCMXCIX [1999] in Sheffield, north England. Calculated Risk products. Catalogue number: Risk #3.

Band

  • Koreisch — Lyrics, music, noise, tape hiss, backward programming, experimentation and improvisation

Tracks

  1. Justification by faith
  2. Forced attrition
  3. Submerged Tao fixation
  4. A premonition of life’s erosion
  5. 1 inch stab wound
  6. Caress this violation
  7. Eclectic powder burn
  8. Preordained incarceration
  9. The Kevorkian solution
  10. Evolution through pessimism
  11. Archaicathodemission
  12. 4,000 years of suppressed dissection
  13. Bleed like Christ
  14. The eating of food sacrificed to idols

Review

Encyclopaedia Metallum classifies Koreisch as “doom metal/grindcore”. But not in the traditional sense are they. While this album contains elements that lean in the direction of doom and grindcore, it is predominantly an experimental album.

I think I have only one other CD in my collection that comes close to the experimentation that permeates this release and that’s Faith No More / Fantômas / Tomahawk front man Mike Patton’s 1996 album Adult themes for voice.

My four year old, Isaac describes the music as “naughty music”. He said while cowering in the corner of the room, through hands protecting his face. “Put it off! It’s horrible!” he exclaimed.

To be fair, I did play him perhaps one of the creepiest tracks on the album “The Kervokian solution” which sounds like a series of Jurassic Park dinosaurs break through a plate glass window while a motorbike purrs in the background, only to discover themselves in a choir rehearsal.

The album is a hotchpotch of noise, hiss, screams and shouting, blasts and riffs. It’s more art than music, at times it feels like it’s almost verging on therapy.

Conclusion

The compact disc itself has a white label with a black ink scribble. This seems to be also a perfect analogy for the music it contains.

It’s certainly not an easy listen, and as much as I appreciate what they’ve done I’m not sure I would choose to listen to this terribly often.

Review score: 50%

 

Detritivore—Pakt (2010)

Detritivore—Pakt (2010)

Detritivore—Pakt (2010)

Details

Music by Detritivore. Artwork by Justin Bartlett. Produced by Joakim Jensen. Mastered by James Plotkin.

Band

  • ?

Tracks

  1. Postludium
  2. Lutring
  3. Messe
  4. Undergang
  5. Pakt
  6. Finale

Review

With an album cover like that I expected something dark and black and Norwegian. And it is but not in the conventional sense.

It’s hard to categorise this album. It reminds me in part of Monotheist-era Celtic Frost (it’s the dirty, slow guitar sound) and Justin Broadrick’s post-Godflesh shoegaze/drone outfit Jesu.

This album is certainly not easy to listen to in the background; the album demands your attention, and there’s something really great about that.

So, a quick run down of the tracks:

“Postludium” is initially like an atmospheric soundtrack to the zombie level of one of the Call of Duty games. Then there’s a bouncing distorted riff that puts me in mind of Apocalytica at their most energetic, and distant sung vocals in the style of something from Towering Inferno’s Kadesh (1993).

“Lutring” builds on a distorted, sustained note. This could be something from Bladerunner. The note broadens to a chord. A heavily detuned guitar punches Tom G Warrior-style riffs out through a deeply distorted amplifier. It closes with the sound of planes flying over a post-apocalyptic landscape.

“Messe” offers more weird noises into which a guitar picks out a diatonic pattern beneath a quietly wailing violin. Eventually these are joined by a bass and overdriven guitar. Sustaaaaaaaaiiiiinnnnn,,,

“Undergang” sounds like it was recorded in the London underground. During a flood. It’s a study in white noise without anyone actually saying “Shhhh!”

“Pakt”. The title track. A clean arpeggio opens the track. Bludgeoning riffs. Dischordant chords. All played slowly and deliberately.

“Finale” beings with high-pitched squeals. Out from it emerges a rolling, almost bouncing riff that eventually burns itself out after eight minutes.

Conclusion

This is an unexpected gem. It’s experimental. It’s interesting. It demands attention. I really, really loved this album. Well done… whoever you are.

Review score: 90%

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum—Grand Opening and Closing (2001)

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum—Grand Opening and Closing Ceremony (2001)

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum—Grand Opening and Closing Ceremony (2001)

About

“Much of this music was written collectively, with song ideas arising out of group improvisations and subject to merciless revision by all Museum members.”

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Dan Rathbun, Polymorph Recording, Oakland, CA. 1999-2001. Produced by Dan Rathbun and the MUSEUM. Flinch & More Time recorded 2006, Ibid. Released on The End Records, 2001. Reprint and expansion, 2006.

Band

  • Matthias Bossi: Drums, vocals and percussion on “Flinch”, “More time”, “Powerless (live)”
  • Nils Frykdahl: Guitars (6 and 12 string), Tibetan bells, autoharp, voice
  • Frank Grau: Drums on “The stain”
  • Carla Kihlstedt: Electric violin, percussion guitar, autoharp, pump organ, voice
  • Micahel Mellender: Percussion, tangularium, lever, wheel, pancreas (electric), guitar on “Flinch”, “More time”, “Powerless (live)”
  • Dan Rathbun: Bass guitar, slide-piano log9, pedal-action wiggler, thing, autoharp, voice
  • Dave Shamrock: Drums, piano
  • Moe! Staiano: Percussion8, metal, pressure-cap marimba, spring, spring-nail guitar, popping turtle, food containers, tympani

Tracks

  1. Sleep is wrong
  2. Ambugaton
  3. Ablutions
  4. 1997 (tonight we’re gonna party like it’s…)
  5. The miniature
  6. Powerless
  7. The stain
  8. Sleepytime
  9. Sunflower
  10. More time
  11. Flinch
  12. Powerless (live 01/06/06)

Review

The unlikely-sounding Sleepytime Gorillia Museum is another band that I’d never heard of, let alone heard. But the more I listened to them, and the more I found out about them, the more I liked.

Formed in 1999 in California, from members of Idiot Flesh and Charming Hostess, they took their name from a “museum of the future” which was owned and operated by a group of artists who called themselves the Sleepytime Gorilla Press. Their first performance, according to the history page on their website, was to “a single banana slug (Ariolimax dolichophallus). The following night’s performance was their first to a human audience.” What’s not to like?

When I listened to the album for the first time last week my immediate response was: at last! Something different and interesting. This isn’t a particularly easy record to listen to. It’s not something to put on in the background to quietly set the mood. Unless, of course, the mood you are looking for is creepy mediaeval dungeon filled with mythical and schizophrenic creatures of doom and despair.

The music sounds to me like the complete works of Frank Zappa, Hedningarna, Faith No More, Mike Patton, TomahawkVoivod, Stravinsky, and Penderecki have been dropped into a wood-chipper and fashioned into something strange and incredible. It is both delicate and heavy; it is in parts beautiful and ugly; there is harmony and dischord; there is hope and despair. I love it.

The album opens very quietly, a little percussion here, a few guitar hammer-ons there, and a guttural mumbling that wouldn’t be out of place on a Tomahawk track. This segues into a Scandinavian-esque, Hedningarna-like riff which takes a left turn into an industrial pounding jack-hammer kind of vibe with growling, plodding vocals. Then suddenly quiet. Close-harmony group vocal. Riff reprise… this is crazy stuff. It demands your attention.

My favourite track of this album is track two, “Ambugaton” which also opens subtly with a plinky, atonic arpeggio that slowly, slowly grows over the next three minutes into a heavy riff that must be so fun to play. Again, this has elements of Faith No More and Tomahawk, which is probably why I like it so much.

“1997 (tonight we’re going to party like it’s…)” runs a close second for me for best song of the album. It certainly has more lyrics, which isn’t hard as “Ambugaton” has only one: “Ambugaton!”

Conclusion

This is a fabulous, experimental album with its feet in many genres. I loved listening to it the first time through. Like I said, I found it interesting and exciting. I’ve loved it more and more as I’ve listened to it again and again.

I’m certain that I’m not finished with it yet. I fully expect it to grow on me more and more. And now I want to hear their other work too. Maybe I could get a couple of banana slugs in and invite them over for a house concert.

Review score: 95%

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