Hostage Pageant "Abuse Generator" (Handmade Birds)

"Abuse Generator" (an apt tape title if ever there was one) by Hostage Pageant couldn't be more removed from its protagonist's other band, the blackgaze wonder that is Crooked Necks. Where the Necks are quiet and subdued Hos-Pag is noisy and abrasive. Where the Necks ride rhythm, melody and dissonance HP sack subtlety in favor of blustery reams of noise approved by only the harshest of the harsh, the sort of folks that think Blue Sabbath Black Cheer is too commercial and allow New Blockaders to penetrate them aurally before breakfast.

I'm not necessarily one of those people, but I put a premium on pain if it's balanced out by bliss, no matter how cracked-out. "Abuse Generator" contains the sort of balls-on-the-bandsaw tantrums you'd expect from Prurient and Merzbow, and manages to satisfy the part of my brain that often protests when harsh noise is on the menu for too long. It's craggly, it's screeching and it'll bake your brains, but it's a fun ride that unfolds over a satisfying two sides, taking advantage of the long-form amenities of Ye Olde Cassette without burning too many candles at too many ends.