Thursday, March 27, 2008

BLUE SABBATH BLACK CHEER / VESTIGIAL LIMB Split (ESR)

Epicene Sound Replica created an interesting match-up for this split in combining two relatively new artists which can dish out the harsh stuff but usually build to it from different angles. Blue Sabbath Black Cheer's entry starts out with a slow, minimal machine pounding before detonating a compressed, fuzz-laden mass of rhythmic industrial sludge, complete with snarling yowls resembling buzzsaws. All manner of obscure chirps and creaks plug away in the background, with dismal synth tones only appearing at the right moments. All this, the sheer chunkiness and overall sound quality make for a slab that rewards successive listens. Due to the vocals-noise-drum machines lineup the group draws an inevitable comparison to Wolf Eyes, and although that isn't the only influence you'd have a more realistic idea of BSBC's sound with this than by basing any guesses off the band's name. At any rate it's commendable that there are still noise bands that bother creating structured *noise* compositions to pull them off as songs. BSBC is doing this well, and here's hoping they continue on for a few more years to come.
Vestigial Limb's mode of operation stems from the natural "incidental" sound (if that makes any sense) characteristic of Japanese harsh noise. The combination of manipulated tapes, record player and miscellaneous electronics present a pretty confounding wall of moving textures which get 'nuff burly but not so much as to completely obscure any tones from source material. Some predictable contact mic fuckery temporarily distracts the attention, but the additional layers of hum and hiss (with a touch of whatever it is that makes laser sounds) more than make up for it, culminating in a raucous climax of seizure-inducing feedback, crumbling static and dense motor reverberation before the finale. The nicely textured insert on heavy stock depicts some sort of psychedelic lightning storm, which is appropriate. RECOMMENDED!