Belle Royals – MaBH – MAQUINA. – Gvantsa Narim – album reviews

Today on the Fighting Boredom album reviews page we give you the ‘ frenzied noise punk and samples, alongside a lyrical hotchpotch of satire, in-jokes, cultural references, oddball obsessions, improvisation and cut-outs’ of Belle Royals. The ‘longform journey that glides through shadowy rooms like lost debris gathering glimpses of matter’ of MaBH. The ‘krautrock repetition, pounding industrial techno and EBM’ of MAQUINA and the ‘two long transcendental meditative tracks’ from Gvantsa Narim. Have a listen and read below

Belle Royals – Robustly Armenian

Cruel Nature

Put this on and immediately you’re like, oh, another shouty punk band. But it’s very quickly apparent that this bunch of lunatics are not only not just another punk band, but that they are very much something else altogether. I’m not at all sure where this music fits into today’s multitudes of genre names and nice alcoves. Which, for me, is usually for the best. So while there is lots and lots of angry shouting the music pretty soon navigates away from rough punk guitars and drums to take in both total discord through to swirling jazz. It skitters, slithers and runs around in circles waving a flag. At times it seems like the sulphate, mescaline and rum are kicking in at the same time and at others it’s simply sipping a mug of tea shouting abuse at the telly. Have a listen, it’s worth it.


Cruel Nature

This sounds like an old worn record, tics, crackles and scratches creating a patina of sound that gently cradles everything else on these two long pieces. The sound changes as the time flows on and it feels like a wander through a huge abandoned mansion. With each room echoing the emotions and events that have occurred through the years there. None of it is loud and most of it is very subtle so you can lose yourself in the environments it conjures up in your mind and drift into wherever it takes you.


Fuzz Club

This is industrialised music, distortion, beats, big synths and guitars, massive basslines and looping rhythms. It’s very focused and everything about it is big. Just look at the cover, the broken scarred dented piece of metal is what this music is all about. Dance as the wheels turn, as the molten steel is poured into moulds and the coal is shoveled into the furnace. The vocals match up too, not quite shouted and not quite sung. Hard and cold.

Gvantsa Narim – Cruel Nature

Cruel Nature

Two pieces of music both just under half an hour each. Rumbles and drones and a synth line rising and falling, it’s a delicate feel that envelopes and cocoons you. It’s gently soothing and meditative, making me think of misty fenland with seabirds wheeling over the ground , reeds rising out of a dark pond as herons flap overhead across the light of a full moon. As it goes on it becomes unsettling and feral, like footsteps in the dark behind you but then I am settled again, sitting, floating away on the sound. The second piece ‘nature’ is subtly different but built on the same rumble deep below and synth lines forming drones subtly changing and morphing over the sound. This sounds more like twilight as the day falls and the night rises, when you suddenly realise that everything has shifted to monochrome and the nocturnal noises are shuffling around you. It’s mesmerising and enveloping.

Belle Royals are on Instagram, Facebook and X as @belleroyals.
MaBH are on Bandcamp.
MAQUINA. are on Instagram and Bandcamp
Gvantsa Narim is on Bandcamp.
Cruel Nature Records are on Bandcamp, Instagram, Facebook and X as @CruelNature

All words by Adrian Bloxham

Adrian Bloxham

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