This time the reviews page has the excellent fuzzy new EP from Dez Dare, the hard post punk of FACS, the drones and static of Clang Quartet and the dark ambience of 400 Lonely Things, read about them all below.
Dez Dare – Critical Mind Dump EP
Six Tonnes De Chair
The keyword here is Fuzz, magnificent, wonderful fuzz, slow and overpowering music flooded with fantastic fuzz. Dez Dare’s new EP is short, sharp and succinct. Four songs all about the world and how we see it. From a mental overload from blank acceptance, slow and deliberate. To a faster stronger slice of prime grunge nastiness, this time the fuzz takes over, how can you concentrate on anything with the big stuff looming over you. You get a short tack that pretty much falls apart around you, fantastic mess. To finish a tirade against idiots spreading conspiracy theories wrapped inside a slice of fuzzed out pop goodness. Got hit single written all over it.
Seriously, this is ace. I mean I’m a bit of a sucker for distortion and fuzz and as I may have mentioned, this has fuzz. But that’s not all it’s got, it’s more, it’s the sound of someone trying to cope, trying to hold it together and not get lost in the mediocrity of the crowds of squares around him.
FACS – Still Life In Decay
Trouble in Mind Records
FACS have given us a dense, hard edged angular post punk record. The groove is low down, hard and despairing. It’s embedded with brick dust, cold pouring rain and discarded plastic food packets blowing into the corners of housing estates. I mean it does get brighter on occasion but it’s not the overriding feeling you get from it.
The vocal has a strange intonation, it’s almost robotic and this goes well with the cold feel of the music, the songs are sung clearly but this isn’t about the vocal, it’s all about the music. As such it fits exactly. The music is subtly distorted, echoing, robotic sounding and hypnotising in places. It feels weary, sick of it, whatever it is. Just had enough. A record for the lost and angry.
Clang Quartet – A Slow Death For The Peacemaker
Strange Mono/No Rent Records
This is constructed from drone. There are strange things going on alongside, underneath and around the drone but this album is constructed, first and very much foremost from drone. I mean there is a huge amount of static noise too, distorted, messed around with and flowing through. Throughout the album the drone does disappear completely occasionally but only so that when it reappears it’s twice as harsh.
On top of the noise, at various moments in the record are the sounds of whirring saw blades in a vast, forgotten factory churning out God alone knows what. A monstrous metallic crow calling with violins and a heartbeat. Then hums and clicks, drums and guitar that are almost jazz, drawn out and intermittent under a vocal proclaiming religious mania and what sounds like a cold wind across a desolate landscape. To finish, over the drone, no cohesion just battering and throbbing until it stops.
It’s hardly an easy listen but it is rewarding in its own way.
400 Lonely Things – Mother Moon
Cold Spring Records
This record is a ‘dark ambient, sample-based séance to the Banning Mill – a real-life decaying “mansion” and haven for artists, freaks and misfits in the backwoods of the American Deep South in the 1970s-1990s – and an extraordinary piece of art that lived there.’ This is an exploration of the solitude of the painting, the Minotauress that hung in the Mill until it closed and the artist behind 400 Lonely Things purchased it, the painting graces the cover of the record.
The record itself is an ode to loss and loneliness, the synth waves build up an atmosphere of loss and sorrow. But it’s also beautiful and magical. The snatches of speech sound like the introductions to fairy tales and the dreamlike qualities of the music make it ethereal and weird. The sounds do brighten a touch, there’s a feeling of dusty light, like sunrise through a dirty cobwebbed window but that brightness is lost again by the end of the record as a forgotten lonely feeling pervades the shuddering, juddering synths.
Dez Dare’s website is www.dezdare.com, he is on Facebook, Instagram and Bandcamp.
FACS are on Facebook, Instagram, have a Bandcamp page and Tweet as @wearefacs
Clang Quartet are on Facebook and Bandcamp.
400 Lonely Things are on Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram and Tweet as @400lonelythings.
All words by Adrian Bloxham.