why is it that we always want what’s not in our own backyards? for some reason, when it comes to noise-rock, the Australian continent always seems to have a certain something that just isn’t there with like-minded contemporaries from elsewhere. edit: obviously, this band is a recent discovery for me. conflicting accounts i’ve encountered cite them as being from various places in the northwestern U.S. misinformation was not intentional. i’m just lazy. whether it’s the damaged blues of The Birthday Party, the coke-fueled snarl of King Snake Roost or and the general what-the-fuck of The Dead C (yes, i know they’re kiwis, i did say the Australian continent), there’s just something in the water over there that sets musicians of this ilk apart were all comparisons i drew when i first made this post, and i still stand by those. Reeks and the Wrecks are no exception and, at the risk of seeming lazy, i picked the above-mentioned touchstones specifically because this album essentially strike s me as the result of all three, tossed in a blender. so take a ride in the nutsack cadillac and set some stoners on fire on your way to the blue ballroom
most of what i’ve encountered from Nondor Nevai working alone has been uninteresting to mildly-amusing-for-one-listen, at best. whether Barr‘s involvement raised the stakes, or Nevai just saves the good stuff for worthwhile releases is difficult to say… but either way, this is a release you shouldn’t miss
near as i can tell, no cover existed for this. hell, the internet seems hard-pressed to prove the record itself even existed. i lied! we have a winner. thanks aw. this is pretty much a sum total of exactly what you would expect based on the names involved. one of those rare “supergroup” type collaborations where the sum is actually greater than its parts
it would be easy to just call this lo-fi black metal, but that doesn’t quite hit the mark, since it’s not typical black metal recorded on a boombox like the majority of what’s tagged with that description. not that the production is top-notch by any means, but, this more like a late-80s/early-90s noise-rock sensibility being brought to metal of the blackened variety. but whatever, easier to just hear for yourself.
hopefully i don’t need to tell you who we’re dealing with here, but what we’re dealing with is a collection of demos, outtakes, rarities, etc; spanning the group’s beginnings through to their mid-90s major-label disaster. Fans of The Melvins might want to pay particular attention to “On the Hunt”, since Dale Crover joined Wino and the boys to do the dual-drummer thing on this track, a good decade or more before The Melvins themselves made it part of their schtick
i might be guilty of throwing Voivod comparisons around a tad liberally… but let’s face it, when it comes to metal, they’re an easy benchmark for pretty much any artist that uses dissonance to their advantage. I’ve probably even used the phrase “if Voivod were black metal” in the past, but in this case, there’s just no getting around it. more specifically, Wolok seems to me like what might have happened if Piggy had ever decided to do the one-man black metal thing. that’s due in part to the drum machine, but the other electronic elements at play take this a lot further down the sci-fi road that Voivod paved than most other corpse-painted basement-dwelling misanthropes ever bother to travel… or even look up on a map, for that matter
both outfits here sound like they graduated from the early-Swans/Skullflower/Ramleh school of sludge-making. Sewer Goddess take things to further extremes of despair/depravity and come up resembling something closer to Khanate (an admittedly easy comparison with both having fem vox in common) or Gnaw. Diseased Oblivion mete out their intensity in a different fashion, droning out completely at moments and slightly picking up the tempo at others. both warrant some investigation into any other material they might have released, but this will serve nicely as a primer for now
mash up Amebix and Killing Joke, pepper it with the type of electronic embellishment reminiscent of late-80s industrial outfits like Front 242 and you’d end up with something like this. for something that came out of Poland a mere 6 years back, it’s almost uncanny how thoroughly this resembles a concoction of most of the good music that came out of the UK in the 80s. considering how few bands succeed at aping those styles and actually holding a candle to the originals, ya gotta love the great ones on the rare occasion that they turn up
over the years, Australia has given us some pretty good sludge/stoner bands… Fire Witch, for example. it’s also given us some of the best noise-rock ever to grace these ears… King Snake Roost being an excellent example on that front. so when you have a band that more or less filters the former through the sensibilities of the latter, you have a winner on your hands. Spider Goat Canyon being an almost perfect example.
on a lesser-known effort that preceded their more well known output by two full years, this shows the group creating the logical evolution of no-wave, instead of merely aping it in a more tributary manner. seen from the perspective of this release, their subsequent material is almost sad in a way. but i suppose like the first “wave” (i’m sorry :-P) of no-wave bands, the burden of such meaningful progress ultimately proved to be too difficult to sustain for any great length of time
neither less nor more solid than their other releases, that doesn’t really matter here, as either way this group rightly and justly deserves a Last Exit comparison… something which otherwise gets thrown around a bit too liberally these days. which is not to say that they sound exactly like that legendary collaboration… just that they attack their own instrumental configuration with a similar spirit
These guys won me over on their split with Nadja. Split releases don’t really have “sides” these days so it’s more about the order… needless to say, Kodiak deserved to go first. Although to be fair to them, Nadja‘s track may have been a throw-away specifically intended to help these guys out. Either way, we get more of Kodiak here (twice as much as we did on the split) and that is a good thing. even when they decide to veer into more “regular band” territory, they tie it together seemlessly with the more “drone” material, using it to reach even higher crescendos. There have been a lot of groups/artists playing “copycat” with this metal-band-that-wants-to-be-SunnO))) style… Kodiak turn in a far more solid example than most, using the “band” factor as an additive to the SunnO))) factor, rather than as a sole means of not-quite-acheiving it.
about three and a half decades ago, Sheffield, England gave us what is probably still it’s most famous musical export. if you guessed Def Leppard, give yourself a prize. more recently, maybe half a decade ago, it coughed up these and a handful of other similarly-minded sickos. in the eyes of some, that might mean that the place finally redeemed itself