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Posts Tagged ‘noise’

MU – Out of Breach (Manchester’s Revenge)

December 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Output Recordings Limited, 2004mu_outofBreach

Hey alright, an angry Japanese girl with a knife.  She’s also wearing the Hamburger Helper mascot as a hat and thinks a sheer, white skirt with polka-dotted leggings are valid accompaniment.  Then there’s the bright pink logo, which causes a conflict.  Is this a fun, quirky pop album or is this a deadly noise effort by a batty songstress?  I was crossing my fingers for the former when I picked this album up for less than a dollar, but you probably already know what it turned out to be.

There is no Japanese pop on this record.  Forget anything cute, either.  MU, otherwise known as Mutsumi Kanamori, is one truly aggressive Japanese chick.  She may have some fun-lovin’ photos throughout the enclosed booklet, showing her in a witch costume or smiling happily in front of a peaceful audience, but every song has a sharp edge. Call it noise, art rock, or a violent stream of consciousness, but “Out of Breach (Manchester’s Revenge)” is a teeth-grating assault.

In the opening track of “Haters”, Kanamori screams and yelps about those who, of course, hate her music.  It’s not hard to imagine who consists of this hater group, since it likely encapsulates most of the listening public.  However, although Kanamori does confess that “Yes, I might have no talent” that does not mean that a woman is not allowed to express herself artistically.  It’s just a rough venture to sit through twelve tracks of “no talent” noise that’s the rub.

The tune “Stop Bothering Michael Jackson” is another shout out to haters, except this is to those who complained about Michael Jackson’s success back around 2004.  No mention of Jackson’s eccentricity or child-based accusations can be found within this six minute epic piece of confusion, for Kanamori is an angry fan.  Kanamori comes across as angry in other places, like on “Tigerbastard” (“I’m holding you by the balls/Every time you restrict my freedom I’ll squeeze this hand tighter”) and “So Weak People” (“I’ll kick hard into your face/Put handcuffs and hold your neck”).  Then there’s “I’m Coming to Get You”, which sums up that album cover nicely, eh?

There are some decent moments here and there, whether it be lyrics or the music (essentially, when she’s not singing the album is tolerable).  On “Throwing Up”, there’s a solid instrumental bit at the end of the song that Boof (aka Maurice Fulton) puts together.  Unfortunately, he’s also responsible for the manic background to Kanamori’s abrasive delivery on each song, so he doesn’t really get a pass.  Kanomori, for her part, reconciles with her heavily drunk self on the tune after reflecting that the toilet is her best friend too often.  There is something to learn here if you can get this far into the record.

If you want to hear the equivalent to a brick to the face, head on over to Kanomori’s MySpace page.  She’s been updating it.

I got a bit of a headache listening to this album by MU, most likely because there was utterly nothing to grab onto.  None of the electronic, thudding beats were cohesive and Kanamori’s vocals were like an ice pick to my ears.  Unless you want to hear what the other side of the J-Pop spectrum sounds like then there is no reason to pick up this album.  The album cover’s curious lure only serves to punish those who approach the lady with eclectic style.  Still smarting from the audio ambush, I gotta throw this one in the Can.

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The Lappetites – Before the Libretto

September 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Quecksilber Music, 2005

This one was a real mystery.  Well, aside from the tongues.  I deduced that there were four members in the band.  I, uh, had no idea what they were going to do, though.  There were no song titles on the back and, aside from a very pink color scheme, I couldn’t tell if this was going to be some kind of pop or rock.  The message on the back declaring that the Lappetites are “a forum, a meeting place, a concept within which to make and exchange new music via digital and sonic linking games …” had me scratching my head.  Okay, electronic music perhaps, but this could have gone anywhere… and it did.

The Lappetites consist of four ladies from various locations who are into electronic editing of music via laptop.  There’s a woman from Germany, another from Japan, as well as one from England and France.  A real nice mix of international backgrounds.  This record, as it turns out, is meant to be a beginning to end sort of artistic piece with visuals, but I had to kind of visualize things myself as I spun it.  Well, here’s my initial reaction ten seconds in:

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?  Wh … what is this?!  The first ‘song’ of “Tzungentwist” is just people speaking in what I think is Japanese and repeating some kind of word over and over.  Y’know, using my serious track title analysis skills, I bet they’re tongue twisters.  But no, this is not music.  Then the dooming sound of “My Within” piledrives my senses, mainly because my volume was rather high.  Nonsense yammering continues the song.  Folks, I have stumbled into a dreaded experimental CD.  This is not going to be good.

The title of “Avoiding Shopping” is great, but it’s really just a cacophony of screeching electronic notes that succeed in grating the silence.  Maybe it’s the conversion of my boredom senses when I have to lope around a department store while the wife looks at jewelery.  Hmmm … well, “Disaster” is aptly named as after two minutes of brooding tones it abruptly blips off into near silence with only a rather irritating light noise in its wake.  The tune does end up bringing back the moodiness, though it wasn’t as loud as I thought it was going to be.  Maybe it’s referring to a depressing disaster, like you are sitting on the edge of the bed thinking about what went terribly wrong.  Guys, I’m just trying to work with this right now.

Oh no no no, the chirping sounds on “Kuchen Keiki Cake” give me visions of microphoned mice chewing through paper while staggering backwards at bizarre speeds like in a horror movie.  “Aikokuka” is a vacuum cleaner in space that duets with a maniacal Japanese string instrumentalist.  There’s actually some singing in here too, but it’s the madness-inducing kind.  Gahhh I am hating my life right about now.  I want the CD to end!

“Prologue”, which shows up more than halfway through the album, is merely a pulse that is similar to a dial tone.  Ever listen to a dial tone for more than two minutes?  Uh huh.  Well, shockingly, the nearly eight minute “Funeral” could actually be deemed relaxing.  It’s mostly one long tone that has various levels of warmth which eventually degrades into a foreboding and deep depression.  I can’t believe it, I actually find a tune that is decent!  Of course, the Lappetites finish off the record with this sort of rave on track “Overture” that absolutely kills whatever zen was found from “Funeral”.  It sort of reignited my headache from this morning.  But hey … I made it.  I … finished … listening to the album.  Goodbye, Lappetites.

If you want your ears to go numb, give the Lappetites a listen by watching their video or listening to a few tunes on Last.fm.  Or, perhaps, you want to provoke a hostage taker to give up the hostage.  Maybe you want the North Koreans to suffer across the Demilitarized Zone.  Maybe you could use this to shoot up into space and scare off any aliens that are thinking of invading.  In that case, give the group a listen to see if you can use their music as a sonic weapon.

Okay, I should probably put a disclaimer on my blog stating that I am not likely to ‘get’ or enjoy experimental music.  Therefore, the Bust label is probably a given whenever I find one of these meandering records.  I would like to say I’m open minded but I just have never caught onto this kind of music, so perhaps I just need to find that wildly eclectic artist to help me catch on.  Zappa?  Zorn?  Jandek?  No idea.  If anyone wants to send a thought along to get me started please do.  As for the Lappetites, the ladies are still putting out music and hosting shows as of 2009.  Go check them out if you want an experience.  I, however, must send this frightening electronic and experimental doozy to the Golden Trash Can.

Some Girls – Heaven’s Pregnant Teens

April 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Epitaph Records, 2006

Epitaph is nothing if not consistent.  This had to be a punk record and, given its dark color scheme and songs like “Dead in a Web” and “Bone Metal”, it was likely going to be a hard one.  For a cheap price any punk record is worth a listen.  Unfortunately, like most modern punk records, it likely wasn’t going to be rewarding in the long term.   I took a chance.

Oh man, what a mess.  It’s a typical thrash and bash affair with Some Girls with lots of yelling and jolting twists and turns.  It’s interesting that the band consists of guys who have some experience in this type of music (the Locust, Give Up the Ghost, etc).  However, that doesn’t mean they are any better than a hyperactive chimpanzee with pots.  Since the record is so short, here’s an equally hurried overview of this recording that sounds like an audio explosion.

At an epic two minutes, “Beautiful Rune” probably comes across as the most ‘enjoyable’ of all the tracks.  The band spends most of the time playing one riff while the drums numbly crash about in the background.  Vocals and lyrics are a complete afterthought given that it just consists of a guy scratching out gutteral sounds with minimal care towards clarity.  “Hot Piss” is a hot mess, like when a brick hits you in the face.  Not fun.

“Dead in a Web” actually has a pretty good power riff, but then turns out to be mimicked shortly thereafter by “Warm Milk”.  I guess thrash bands only have so much diversity.  “Ex Nuns/Dead Dogs” is nearly two minutes long, with about half of it comprising of a single chord repeated over and over.  That must have been “Ex Nuns”.  The ravaging “Dead Dogs” part must be where I’m supposed to forget that “Ex Nuns” completely blew.

“Totally Pregnant Teens” is just like … ah hell, just like the rest of the record.  “Bone Metal” provides the only moment of peace with a tone that sounds like a flat line (the sound of my interest level to this point?).  Inevitably, the band shows up at the end and throws a TV.  “Marry Mortuary” is a horror show theme, “Religion II” is a PiL cover that does not make me wish to hear the prequel from these guys, and though “Skull’s Old Girlfriends” wins the song title award, the bludgeoning punk song makes me feel sympathy for Skull given that his old girlfriends sound like loud, nagging hags.

Then there’s the nine minute “Deathface”.  C’mon, you think that I want to hear nine minutes of this stuff?  I decided to stick with two and call it a night.

Some Girls can be looked into at their website and MySpace.  Bring the earplugs.

The song that epitomizes what the band may say to any listener is “You’ll Be Happier With Lower Standards”.  Some Girls, you are right.  I should probably come down a few steps from my little hill of taste.  As it goes with music, there is certainly a market for these type of tunes for those interested in sheer volume of noise as well as aficionados of the mosh pit.  Unfortunately for fans, Some Girls called it quits back in 2007 … hmm, maybe “Deathface” was their “Long and Winding Road”.

For me, this whole album just makes me scratch my head.  What makes me laugh is that the liner notes include lyrics.  Good joke, guys.

Wolverine Brass – Wicked Witch

April 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Auxiliary Records, 2006

I suppose with a dollar one can find a reason to buy anything.  This particular record stood out not just because its cover art was pleasantly simple with brown hues, but also that they included the word ‘wolverine’ in their band name.  I had never heard of them and their song titles didn’t give me much of a clue what they sounded like, so I considered this a shot in the dark type of purchase.  Okay, yes, it had high risk for tossability, but so do half of my random pickups.

A group of four guys in the Kentucky area formed Wolverine Brass to make loud, pain-ridden music.  Or at least, I think it’s pain-based.  I couldn’t really tell because the duo of Billy Bisig and Stephen George trade off unintelligible vocals from song to song, sobased on their strong, scratchy tones I assume these guys are going through emotional issues.  Some songs just sound awful with this approach, like “Leviathan” and “Percolator”.  The former just gets too carried away with divergent sound and poor vocals whereas the latter not only is too slow at the beginning of the record but is lacking in a spark of interest.

Where the band actually excels are heavy-edged instrumentals, for “Wolverines of Ambient” is an excellent tune that harnesses the hardcore element while setting a mood.  It is apparent with this tune alone that these guys can play, even if they can’t sing.  “Outdated and Overrated” starts off as if it will be a debacle, but the band rebounds during the middle with a chorus that trickily combines raw volume with catchy riffs.  The third tune that I found to be promising is “Prayer”, which could actually be considered the prettiest hard rocker of the entire bunch.  This is not only due to the heavy and light dual guitar work on the chorus, but also to the fact that the vocalist decides to sing-speak the song at a middle tone.  I know this goes against their in-your-face mission, but the vocals sound much better when they’re not trying so hard to be anguished or vulnerable.  Apart from the instrumental, this is likely the best tune on the short record.

Check them out on MySpace if you want to have a listen:  Wolverine Brass

I have mixed feelings about this record.  This is due to the fact that I believe that half of it is noisy, confused junk whereas the other half has some good potential.  Since I don’t tend to listen to the screamy loud stuff all that often, I propose that those who enjoy a little more chaos in their rock to give this record a listen if they can find it.  Unfortunately, anyone who becomes a sudden fan of this group will be sorely disappointed that they were one and done with this record before moving on.  Reading some information from their MySpace page tells me that they have all been prone to hop around from band to band, so perhaps we will see these guys separately somewhere else soon.

Categories: TheRest Tags: , , ,

Crushes – Hyperirony

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Dendrite Records, 2008crushes

Alas, I fall as another victim of cover art trickery.  Truthfully, what does one expect from a band that features a traffic cone impaled by a fork on the cover of its debut record?  I don’t know, but coupled with the duo’s shot on the back cover of being unceremoniously dumped out of a cardboard box filled with styrofoam peanuts I thought this was going to be either a synthpop or garage rock affair.  As it so happens, I am certainly finding that my genre-sensor needs replacing immediately.

Crushes are a demolition troupe from Boston that collides with one’s ears using electronic drums and a wide assortment of screeches, chugging guitar samples, and bad radio frequencies.  Add all of this up and you get experimental noise, which is probably my least favorite music genre if there’s ever going to be one.  A guy named Smith does most of the noise with his futuristic looking noisemachine, which is in the form of a guitar but it really looks like a soundboard concoction.  The woman named Jones taps away at her drums while singing once in awhile.  Notice I wrote ‘singing’, for she at least tries.  Smith, however, is the guy who makes no attempt to pretty up the air with his voice and instead sings like a drunken guy at a karaoke bar wobbling off a version of “Living On a Prayer”.  Can you picture how bad that sounds?  How about for nearly thirty minutes straight?  Welcome to this album.  I do find it amusing that within the gatefold cover of the record there are printed lyrics as if they matter within this mess.

Here they noisily are on MySpace:  Crushes It has videos as well which are more interesting than the music.

I imagine that if you’ve been looking forward to a new experimental noise act that isn’t saturated with mainstream stuff like Autotune and booty-shaking videos (I make joke) then Crushes will thrill you.  As for the rest of us, the majority will despise the music Crushes is blaring out.  This record goes in the Golden Trash Can as well as the real one.

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Categories: Bust Tags: , , ,

The Coachwhips – Peanut Butter & Jelly: Live at the Ginger Minge

September 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Narnack Records, 2005coachwhips

Oh man, was this a mess.  Even though the album isn’t actually live and doesn’t take place at a spot called the Ginger Minge, the cover looks excellent.  Something about black and white covers with a lot of detail tends to look attractive, at least to me.  This is why I picked this record up, along with the fact that I liked the band name and was curious how a song called “Oops. Uh. Uh” sounded like.  Well, that song, as well as the rest of them, sounded like a lot of noise.

Here is the premise of a Coachwhips song: straight-forward, quick 1-2 rapping of the drums, drowned by a constant guitar riff, with a vocalist who sounds like he’s singing through a CB radio.  Include some ineffective keyboard notes and make sure you’re usually done under two minutes.  There, that’s the gist of the record.  Now some may find this chaotic music rather fun and good for a thrashabout in one’s room (or at an actual live show).  However, I didn’t really find this to be too listenable after a few songs since they mostly sound the same in quick succession.  If you want a preview of how this record generally sounds, check out their MySpace page.

Coachwhips on MySpace

These guys are no longer together though I imagine they’ve continued to bludgeon people’s ears in other bands. Regardless of what they’re doing now, this record deserves a Golden Trash Can because it’s truly awful.
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Categories: Bust Tags: , , ,