Posts Tagged ‘Omnibadger’

Cruel Nature Records – 26th May 2023

Christopher Nosnibor

If ever a band could be defined by constant flux and evolution it’s this Derby duo, who began life as Omnibael before becoming the more frivolous-sounding Omnibadger. Working their way through doom-grunge riffery to all-out industrial electronic noise, theirs has been an interesting journey thus far, and one that it would seem is by no means over yet.

So many acts set themselves into a mould and stick to its form for the duration of their career. Some may find a market and thrive in it, but for many, it becomes a trajectory of diminishing returns as they plough the same rut over the course of successive albums, as things become evermore predictable and wearisome, and people lose interest. But then, so many acts make a radical shift and lose a substantial part of their audience in the process. You simply cannot win.

Only, Omnibadger have done things differently: they have spent their career trying to decide who they are, meaning each release has been different, with one release often landing leagues apart from its predecessor. To say that they’ve spent their career deciding may suggest that search is now complete, but that would be a wrong conclusion: that quest continues, and likely will: Omnibager exist to eternally push the boundaries, to seek, to progress, to evolve. There is no linear progression, only expansion.

It all kicks off from the outset with ‘Lick One’, and it gives little away in many respects: it’s a semi-ambient collage of rumbling noise which gives way to tribal percussion, and it’s a confusion of collage that’s difficult to find a hold in. But that’s no criticism: it’s tedious knowing what you’re going got get for the entirety of an album from the first four bars. And this isn’t a ’bars’ album: it’s a hotch-potch sonic soup where rhythm really is not a dominant element, and at times isn’t even present at all.

‘Speeding Ground (Part 1)’ is an epic electronic exploration, stun lasers and gleeps and glops and trilling top-end drones shrill and challenging, like a Star wars scene – and then it goes hypno-prog, a thumping rhythm backing a screeding sheet of noise. And on it goes, thumping and thundering a relentless beat. At Nearly fourteen minutes, it’s a monster.

‘F.I.X.’ slams in some gnarly electro stylings, with undulating synths and insistent, fretful beats twitching away as a backdrop to howling vocals. It’s as if Gnaw Their Tongues and Cabaret Voltaire had bit in a head on collision. There’s no winner here, just a mangled, smoking mess. And as if to reinforce the point, ‘You Never Tell Me What You Think’ crashes in with a nagging bass groove and aa shedload of aggro, and battering away at a simple monotonous grind while the vocals are mixed low in a ton of reverb with the treble cranked to the max, it sound like early Revolting Cocks. Elsewhere, ‘But What I Want Is Not the Most Important Thing Right Now’ spins like an outtake from Pretty Hate Machine, all mangles electronics and gritty guitar.

Clocking in at over ten minutes, final track ‘Equations for a Falling Body’ is the album’s second monolithic piece, and it grinds and scrapes and sheers and saws it way through its duration. Within a couple of minutes, it’s built to a full-throttle racket of discordant electronic chaos, a tempest of noise.

That’s ultimately a reasonable description of Famous Guitar Licks Vol. III (their second album, which is largely guitar-free) overall: audacious, like Throbbing Gristle ironically calling their first (and second) release ‘best of’ and their second album First Annual Report.

By way of a ‘difficult’ second album, with Famous Guitar Licks Vol. III, the only difficulty is for the listener, who is faced with a harsh and challenging listen. But for all of its racket and unpredictable nature, the experience is rewarding, and even enjoyable in a perverse way.



Front & Follow – 14th April 2023

Christopher Nosnibor

These are shit times to be alive in Shit Britain, UK Grim: having taken back our borders, this green and pleasant isle is floating in a sea of shit – literal shit – that we’ve pumped out onto our beaches for our domestic holidaymakers to swim in, and we have 16-hour quest to leave the country to go on holiday for those who want to escape for a bit – damn those French bastards for checking the passports off non-EU visitors. But hey, at least we got rid of all of those foreigners working on coffee shops and bars for minimum wage and those doctors from overseas, right?

And yet, while the cost of living is spiralling, major corporations – and not just energy providers – continue to push up prices, not to cover the cost of paying their workers, but to preserve profit margins. It’s not that they can’t afford to increase wages, they simply won’t because capitalism is built on maximising profit. Fuck the staff, look after the shareholders. And of course, rent continues to rocket: landlords, too, need to protect their rental yields

An investigation undertaken in behalf of The Guardian late in 2022 found that ‘asking rents on new listings are up by almost a third since 2019, and some people are facing increases of up to 60%. Prices in 48 council areas are now classed by the Office for National Statistics as unaffordable when compared with average wages’.

The trouble is, capitalism is based on exploitation, and invariably, the wealthy become wealthy and grow their wealth through the exploitation of the less wealthy.

There is an irony here: in nature, the most successful parasites achieve a symbiotic relationship with their host. Under capitalism, the parasites seem determined to kill the host (the poor) on the premise that there will always be more. But then, the same is true of the human relationship with the planet: only, the resources are finite and there isn’t another planet, so we’re fucked.

The accompanying text pulls no punches in explaining the context:

“As we travel further into the year of our overlord 2023, the cold snap that had enveloped the country no longer seems to mock us as we struggle to complete the simplest of daily tasks. With public services at a standstill as the people actually doing the jobs fight tooth and nail for honest payment and work prospects, the rest of us eke out a little more of the heat reserve to keep us going as the ice finally begins to thaw. But the Rental Yields do not stop. The opportunity to make hay while the sun refuses to shine carries on as if no one was suffering. The money continues to be made and the towers in space continue to be built. Dark shadows now dominate the skyline of a city that has been forgotten to the wishes and demands of the few. Some will say this is the progress promised by those in charge of levelling up. But many others will suffer as the bankrolls of the rental yielders grow ever fatter. Still, the spring brings promises of its own.”

What makes life in this endless torrent of shit in which we’re all sinking is that there are some people who aren’t cunts, and who go out of their way to make the quality of life better for others, as well as themselves. The guys who run Front & Follow are among them, as are the many, many artists who have contributed to the Rental Yields compilation series, of which this is the fourth, showcasing tracks by myriad underground acts, remixed by myriads more in an exercise in infinite cross-pollination.

Featuring 26 new tracks and 52 artists, all money raised from this release will go to SPIN (Supporting People in Need), whose purpose is to feed, shelter, clothe and generally support the homeless and people in need of Greater Manchester.

As with the previous instalments, Volume 4, is very much geared towards ambient and more sedate electronica. With so many tracks and such an epic duration, and given the nature of the material, Volume 4 is a wonderfully immersive experience.

The overall quality is, again, excellent – meaning it’s consistently great across the duration and there’s nothing that makes you feel inclined to hit skip. There are, as always some names that leap out for a range of reasons: Kemper Norton. Yol, Omnibadger, The Incidental Crack, Field Lines Cartographer, Sone Institute – but the main point of this is not the names, but the merits of collaboration and collectivism.

Some tracks do stand out, notably ‘Acid Bath’ by BMH vs Lenina for it’s pumping beat, and CuSi Sound vs Robbie Elizee’s ‘I’m Not A Tourist, I Live Here’ for its overt wibbly synth weirdness, for starters. ‘The Enamel Hamper’ by Cahn Ingold Prelog vs The Ephemeral Man is a nine-and-a-half-minute dark psychological drift, while Omnibadger vs Grey Frequency’s ‘Speeding Ground (Part iii)’ is a glitchy, collaged morass of disorientation, with layers of noise, tribal drumming, and disembodied vocals, and ‘Home on the Whalley Range’ by Opium Harlots vs Yellow6 combines dark ambient, murky noise, and a hint of The Cure’s ‘Pornography’ to forge something intensely claustrophobic.

Solo1 vs yol’s ‘Black Spoons And Crosses’ is a collision of ambience and noise that will twist your brain, and the sonorous drones of Laica vs Learn to Swim’s ‘High Yields, Low Prospects’ is a doomy post-punk affair with an agitated drum machine hammering away amidst a sea of murk, and both the title and sound encapsulate the sentiment and the message of the album as a whole.

It is, once again, a triumph, not only artistically, but socially: the Rental Yields series is the epitome of community. And while our government speaks of community while acting in every way to destroy it, promoting division by every means, and social media has become a warzone whereby the goal is achieved, musicians are showing the way. This, this is how we will survive the shit and create a better future.



New label Dead Music Club, which specialises in limited-edition cassettes, today announced its first three releases to showcase what they described as their ‘fledgling catalogue’.

The Stoke-based label, which is pushing the parameters not only of music, but of underground by shunning social media and making news of its releases available via mailing list subscription, is kicking off with a compilation of ‘Stoke weirdness’, which features Aural Aggravation faves Omnibadger, as well as the debut EP from ramshackle punks Dog Train on 10” vinyl, and an EP of mangled noise courtesy of one Christopher Nosnibor in his Noisenibor guise:

DMC-001 ‘DeadMusicClub’ cassette – a collection of Stoke weirdness £5
DMC-002 ‘Extractions EP’ cassette – Chris Nosnibor documents extractor fans £5
DMC-003 ‘Dog Train EP’ – Dog Train’s first EP on 10” vinyl £20

To subscribe, and for order details, go here.

There will be a launch event at Captain’s Bar, Stoke, at 8pm on December 30th.