Golden Oriole – Golden Oriole II

Posted: 21 January 2019 in Albums
Tags: , , , , , ,

Drid Machine Records – 7th October 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

Fuck me. I was trying to remember what I’d thought of the previous eponymous Golden Oriole album, when I read the accompanying press release, which reminded me. Is it an ego thing? Perhaps. But there are times when music reviewing is a pretty thankless task, so to see your own words quoted provides a certain sense of validation. Admittedly, when this happens to me – and it does with moderate frequency and regularity – I find myself staring at the words and wondering if I rally wrote them. They sort of look like something I’d write… But better. Life’s too short to be precious about your words, and there’s just too much new music flying round to labour for a lifetime on every review.

Norwegian experimental duo Golden Oriole – consisting of Thore Warland, Kristoffer Riis – know how to augment a hard-hitting sonic attack. And II continues the trajectory of its predecessor, with some thumping beats and a chaos of discord all around. II contains just two pieces, occupying a side of vinyl / cassette apiece, and given this much room to explore, they really do head every which way.

After an epic – and I mean truly epic – thrashing funk-driven workout that bumps and grinds an grooves and bounces on for about a quarter of an hour, ‘The Waxwing Slain’ crunches to a halt and leaves a painful trail of feedback, holding a single torturous note for a number of agonising, excruciating minutes. The fact I actively enjoy those minutes may indicate a hint of a masochistic streak, and I’ll live with that: the point is that the duo never bow to expectation or even soften toward accommodating any prospective audience’s listening tolerances. It’s the very definition of uncompromising. It’s the apex of angular. If brutal funk sounds like an oxymoron, then you need to get your lugs bent by this demented shit.

‘Až Přijde Kocour’ plunges even deeper – miles deeper – into a frenetic explosion of scratchy, scribbled guitars and spasmodic bass against a tumult of percussion. Just when you feel like your head might explode, they bring everything right down around the four-minute mark…. The quiet strains of distant feedback provide but a brief respite before the sonic mania of Beefheart on all the drugs ever made

The passage that almost contains a strolling bass doesn’t really contain a strolling bass, as much as a bass that tries to stay nonchalant, but can’t help but twitch and spasm like it has a wet finger in a live socket: it sounds like three songs at once as those squelchy low frequencies bounce beneath a rippling sonorous drone while the drums hammer out a rhythm somewhere between drum ‘n’ bass and a military march. It’s :

Of brain-pulping brilliance.

You can’t dance to this. You can’t even not knowingly. In fact, I’ve no real clue what a rational or sane response to this is. Truth is, I don’t even know what this is, other than that it’s deranged, loud, chaotic. If it’s one thing, it’s truly genre-defying.

AA

Golden Oriole – Golden Oriole II

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