Jack the Stripper – Raw Nerve

Posted: 22 August 2016 in Albums
Tags: , , ,

1st August 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

Which artists come to mind when you think of Australian bands or artists? The ballbreaking hard rock of AC/DC? The proto-punk of The Saints? The various music careers of former Neighbours cast members? Maybe the garage-grunge pop of DZ Deathrays? Or Savage Garden, maybe? Personally, I’d rather not. Allow us to introduce Jack the Stripper. There can’t be many bands as brutal or heavy kicking around down under.

If the press release is to be believed, the band have cemented their reputation in Australia’s metal scene with their ‘fierce and innovative brand of chaotic hardcore, a relentless work ethic and an atypical, ferocious on-stage prowess. Considered by many to be a boundary-pushing, total sensory-inclusive, interactive extreme experience, and one of the most incredibly intense live shows on the circuit today’. On the evidence of this album, I’d actually believe the press release for once. This isn’t mere hyp, and ‘raw’ is the operative word here.

The song structures are taut, complex, and built around frequent changes of tempo, wild and unpredictable key changes, chord sequences that come from nowhere and a choppy, jarring, jolting sound: the guitar is used less for driving riffs and instead provides spine-twisting shudders of noise. Jarring, spasmodic, counter-rhythmic shards of noise define the band’s awkward, dissonant assault.

Unusually for a band whose songs are so thunderously abrasive, with the guitars stabbing and whining and scratching at angles to the stop/start bass judders and frenetic percussion, the frequencies are very much pitched toward the id-range creating a strangely muted sound where the music is concerned. It’s angry, claustrophobic and twitchy. Meanwhile, the vocals are pushed to the fore, again something that’s uncommon on an abbum like this – not that there are many albums like this – but an album that’s so overtly abrasive and mental in its tone. And yet it works., and if anything, accentuates the brutal nihilism that pervades Raw Nerve. Luke Frizon’s vocals really are something else. Gnarly barely begins to scratch the surface. While at times his style is conventionally metal-shouty, ad often shits into guttural, anguished nihilism incarnate, he’s capable of delivering demonic shrieks that sound as though they’re emanating from the very hottest pits of purgatory.

It all melts together in a bubbling cauldron of distilled magma to create an album that’s seriously fucking brutal, and seriously fucking good.

Jack the Stripper - Raw Nerve Cover

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