Why Patterns – Regurgitation

Posted: 15 February 2022 in Albums
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Human Worth – 4th February 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Pitched as being for fans of Primus, Lightning Bolt, Swans and Mudvayne, the accompanying text informs us that ‘Regurgitorium was haphazardly constructed with the sole goal of distressing and alienating their few remaining friends and family. Members of Warren Schoenbright, Wren and Deleted Narrative come together to deliver angular drums, discordant bass, and harrowing vocals accompanied by themes of existential paradoxes and day-to-day despair. The result being something best described as “Not Subtle”.’

If there was ever a strong and perfectly nihilistic reason to make music, that has to be it. It’s one of those hilarious band clichés that get wheeled out when they say they make music for themselves, and if anyone else likes it, then it’s a bonus. It’s almost impossible to not to be sceptical, because, well, fuck off. I mean, I believe Nirvana were sincere in not wanting international mega-stardom and that they wrote In Utero to get back to their roots and piss off casuals and their major label, but they still wrote songs to be heard by an audience – just a more select one. Of course, it depends on your ambitions as an artist, but I would say it’s better to have a small but devoted fanbase than one consisting of a larger but fleeting, fickle bunch of casuals whose interest will have cooled faster than their post-gig McDonald’s fries.

Regurgitation is not subtle, but it is high impact, and it’s a monster racket from the outset, with a clunging bass-rattling racket and squalling guitar mess of noise bursting forth with ‘Parapraxis’. It’s a minute and a half of total mayhem.

They hit optimal Big Black drilling grind on second track ‘Bachelor Machine’: the bass sounds like a chainsaw, while the guitar fires off tangential sprays of metallic feedback and harmonics, bringing together ‘Jordan, Minnesota’ and the intro to ‘Cables’. It’s a brutal squall of noise, and it goes beyond guitar: it’s sheering sparks off sheet metal that singe your skin as they fly, and it really makes a statement about both the band’s influences and intent. It’s messy, and it’s noisy. And it’s perfect.

Every track just gets nastier, more deranged. ‘Elective Affinities’ is all about wandering verses and choruses that sound like a seizure. Everything is overloading all the time: max distortion, max reverb, max treble, max crunch: the bass sounds like a saw, the guitar sounds like a drill, the drums sound like explosions: it’s intense, and it’s punishing, in the best possible way. It’s the sonic expression of a psychological spasm, and everything goes off all at once.

There’s no obvious sense of linearity or structure to the songs on Regurgitation. There’s a bass that sounds like a bulldozer grinding forward at the pulverising climax of ‘Bone Apple Teeth’. And then things go helium on ‘Wretched Makeshifts’: it’s like the Butthole Surfers gone avant-garde. And then there’s the stark spoken word of ‘Silentium’, which is tense, dark.

Listening to Regurgitation is like taking blows to the head in rapid succession. It’s not just the hits, but the dazing effect. Everything mists over, you don’t know where you are, and you’ve even less idea what the fuck this is. It’s bewildering, overwhelming. ‘Railways Spine’ is a nerve-shattering explosion of feedback-riven chaos and there is no coherent reaction. ‘Untismmung’ is the epitome of wordless anguish, this time articulated by means of experimental funk that yields to head-shredding noise. Noise, noise, noise: I keep typing it, and that’s because Regurgitation is relentless in its noise. It’s noisy. So many shades of noise. It’s fucked up. It’s deranged. It hurts. There is just so much noise, and no escape from it. Not that you should seek escape: bask in the brutality, the yawning bass grind and King Missile-like spoken-word segments that provide the brief passages between the blasts of noise, noise noise.

Closer ‘Vomitorium’ sounds like a collision between Shellac and Suicide, and the maniacal laughing at the fade sounds like the only sane reaction to all this madness.

AA

HUMANWORTH_WhyPatterns_CoverArtwork

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