It’s been a hectic week and in between jamming my election ’08 theme song (“Floatzilla” by Black Pus—awesome!) I’ve been playing this tape a lot which I received from the, formerly unknown to me, SickSickSick label in New Mexico. This is the first tape by this act which, according to the liner notes, is made up of 7 people; a rarity for this variety of music so I find that to be pretty sweet. And in case you’re wondering, the person with the coolest name in the bunch is Ipytor G. Machislav.
It’s a strange brew down there in New Mexico; I’ve listened to this tape a bunch of times and never could quite a handle on it. I’m gonna go for the review anyhow, because reviewing is understanding right? (maybe?)
The tape starts on its weirdest foot, “Fanfare of the Left Behind”, the coolest track on the tape in my opinion. There’s a vague junk noise feel but more sophisticated. Like rather than a mic’d piece of metal everyone’s using real instruments here. There’s distorted growls, fingertapped guitar (I think), someone going apeshit on the drums and some poor soul soloing on a trumpet trying to be heard above the din—he/she mostly succeeds, so, props. Hand drums come in later providing an awesome loopy groove to the maddening nuthouse. It’s a supremely bizarre track but also a supremely good one, it never fully reveals itself to you which makes you want to revisit it. The title track fills out the side and it’s very mellow. A solo acoustic guitar is pushed into the forefront with garbled muck playing just underneath it, not exactly sure what that is all made up of but I hear violin I think and maybe loops of vocals or something and who knows what else. The piece builds to a slight climax before subsiding and letting the tape run its course. Like the first one I can never quite get a handle on this one even despite the pretty simple arrangement.
Side B’s sole composition, “When, O, When Staid Monolith?”, has kind of a doom Skaters vibe to me. Though maybe Double Leopards would be a more apt comparison since there are a lot of people here partaking in the collective drone. It’s a pretty massive sound that erupts from this side. I can make out at least one voice but I can’t vouch for anything else. Since these guys are called Death Convention Singers though I kinda hope this track is everyone singing at a death convention, whatever that is. The big drone fades a bit and a bit heavier, fiery set of drones overtakes it. These guys pull off the noise-drone thing pretty well because they create a massive unified sound as mentioned before but little individual sounds still slip through the cracks and meet your ears. It’s monolithic not monotonous, and sometimes bands confuse the two.
This is an unexpected little gem. The group navigates easily through different styles while retaining a singular sound and, in general, has an interesting take on collective noise jamming. Packaging is totally classy with a double sided j-card and a labeled tape. Apparently you get different liner notes depending on whether you order in the day or in the night… Your guess is as good as mine on that one.
Still available but limited to 50. Definitely worth checking out.