Posts Tagged ‘Math’

Cruel Nature Records / Sapien Music – 6th March 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

This is one of those releases that doesn’t piss about: ‘Mambo’ blasts in with a squall of discordant guitar and shuddering bass that immediately calls to mind Shellac and The Jesus Lizard, and it’s one of those ‘holy shit!’ Moments where you remember why coming into this kind of stuff in the early 90s was such a revelation. It’s the combination of power and unpredictability that was exciting them and still is now, and Tankengine have both in spades, zooming off every which way on the crash of a cymbal.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise: two members of Tankengine were previously in Yourcodenameis: milo, and the disparate elements that defined their work are abundantly in evidence here. And so as not to confuse this, their second EP, with their eponymous debut, they’ve named it twice. Consequently, I no longer quite so strongly feel the urge to form a band and name it Minotaur, with a view to the first tour being labelled the Minotaur Tour, the tour in support of the eponymous album the Minotaur Minotaur Tour, and the tour supporting the stop-gap EP before the second album the Minotaur Minor Tour. I also digress spectacularly.

The point I’m coming to is that Tankegine live up to the connotations of their name from the opening bars of opener ‘Mambo’, which twists and winds its way through a succession of sections that sound like completely different songs smooshed together yet somehow find a flow in some perverse mathtastic way. It’s all topped off with vocals that sound a bit like Jello Biafra, and it’s punk to the max. Hard on its heels, ‘Giant’ is everything all at once, a driving grunge beast with moments that sound like Talking Heads emerge between proggier segments, while there’s more of a John Lydon intonation in the vocals

‘Swagger’ sounds like it’s going to be a ballad, and it maintains a lower tempo, but shifts from being introspective and reflective, into a roaring inferno of anguish and overdriven guitar, and ‘Banshee’ combines post-hardcore aggression and shouting with a heavy goth hue, with a throbbing bass groove and chorus-coated guitars and a baritone croon.

On paper, it portrays as something between an identity crisis and a breakdown, but in the ears, it’s an identity crisis and a breakdown that resolves itself with a strange cohesion, and it’s all manifest in the six-minute closer ‘Flicker’, which begins low-key and strolls along and takes it time with some mellow melodies before finally delivering a squalling crescendo worthy of such a tumultuous, tempestuous EP, climaxing in a deafening roar that can only lead to stunned silence.

AA

Tankengine Tankengine

Britney – Britn3y

Posted: 16 February 2016 in Albums
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Superstar Destroyer – 11th March 2016

James Wells

Not so much a drone as a collective groaning sigh prefaces the thunderous barrage of brutal rage that splits the speaker cones with pummelling drums and bursts of screaming vocal anguish and stop/start guitar judders. ‘Fully Ben’ assails the lugholes like Truman’s Water having been tortured, brutally murdered, butchered and cast forth to crawl around in purgatory. Fuck me. Three minutes in and I’m dizzy, punch-drunk, giddy and utterly bewildered – in the kind of way I like. And that pretty much sets the tone for this most manic, frenzied albums.

Where do you even begin with this white-hot torrent of noise? The tempos, man! The jolting, jarring, spasmodic guitars! What is this? It’s not metal, that’s for sure. Noisy math-rock? Math-rock is about intricacy, and this is intricate in terms of structure and changing tempos and time-signatures, but at the same time, it’s violent, frenetic. The vocals aren’t your regular shouty, screamy effort, either– this is the sound of pure mania, derangement to the power of 10. Not so much psychedelic as psychotic, the songs – the majority of which clock in at under two minutes – melt into one another, a crazed blur of spasmodic noise.

It’s intense, but not conventionally heavy: the guitars are warped, elastic, and don’t rely on hefty distortion. ‘Neon Python’ sounds like a collision of early Pulled Apart by Horses and second-album These Monsters – only with more drugs. Seriously, what are these guys on?

There are occasional breaks – ‘Sleep Now Dogman’ provides two minutes of respite in the form of some woozy percussion-free experimentalism while someone chunders their guts up, presumably a physical reaction to the exertion of the preceding track – but ultimately, this is beyond full-on, Especially after the, er, ‘interlude’.

‘Boss Moggy’ goes electro-math-screamo – or something and ‘Gum’ ups the tempo and the racket even further, achieving the effect of a sonic blizzard. You don’t know where you are or what you’re listening to, it’s a total whiteout. Britn3y isn’t an album – it’s a convulsive, abrasive explosion of noise, the aural equivalent of someone’s brains bursting from their skull while they twitch uncontrollably having been connected to an open mains electrical circuit. In short, it sounds exactly the way the cover looks.

If you’re in any doubt, I mean it’s good. Mental, but really, really good.

Britn3y

Britn3y by Britney Online