SARIN “Just Beat the Devil Out of It” C45
(5cm Recordings)

Yes! Sarin’s imperative to “Just Beat the Devil Out of It” (the title of this album, you wretched person) is as timely and legitimate today as it was in the “satanic panic” heyday of 1980s Evangelical Christianity that still, somehow, mindbogglingly, pervades to this day, in 2016, on this very planet. Far be it from me to suggest a Catholic alternative – bah, exorcism! – when a good ol’ beating is just as good. Because if the devil’s in ya, you did something to get that devil there. It’s your fault, you sinful slice of unfortunate meat pie, and we love you so much that we want to save your ever-living soul by beating the shit out of you. Let the festivities commence!

Commence they do, and Sarin, named after a chemical weapon that does as much physical damage as the church does psychologically, is a poison cloud of improvisational noise rock, enveloping listeners to cleanse, in a burn-y kind of way, all spiritual and physical limitations in order to better their kingdom here on Earth. I cannot be more clear – listening to Sarin is the aural equivalent of inhaling sarin gas. You will probably die a painful death after listening to it. But on the other hand, it’s pretty pleasant listening from an improv group – everything is coherent, and the players feed off each other and move from one passage to the next with ease. They’re clearly of one mind here. Add to that the fact that they’re playing this music at the highest stakes possible – to save your life, and your soul – and you’ve got a recipe for unmitigated success. Let’s replace all our hymnals … no, let’s toss our hymnals out the window and go with our gut. Let the spirit move us, let’s speak in tongues. Or play guitars and drums in tongues. Either way, we’re all doomed. Or saved! Or doomed. I can’t figure out which is which.

--Ryan Masteller