Full of Hell – Full of Hell & Merzbow

Full of Hell collaborates with Japanese noise figurehead Merzbow on their latest album.

Black Spirituals – “Radiant”

With Of Deconstruction, Oakland free improvisation duo Black Spirituals has delivered one of the year’s greatest potpourri albums. Bassist and electronics operator Zachary James Watkins and percussionist Marshall Trammell found each of the album’s three substantial pieces on simple and vague grooves, exploring every bit of space they have to offer. Above, check out 20-minute opener “Radiant,” which rides modulated bass riffs, flourishes of static noise, and skittering drum fills through countless phases. Its effortless fusion of such styles as noise rock, avant-garde metal, EAI, free-jazz, and freaking cumbia, makes this perhaps the most expressive rock project I’ve heard all year. Enjoy!

Of Deconstruction is out now via SIGE Records. Although this is only Black Spirituals’ debut, they have apparently already garnered the attention of eminent electronic art musician and theorist Pauline Oliveros, who contributes a quote to the album’s Bandcamp page. Way to go!

Guerilla Toss – “367 Equalizer” (Video)

Often, Guerilla Toss is revered as one of the noisier, more comprehensive American punk bands, with screeching vocals and wide instrumentals that makes up for what it lacks in melody with drive, energy and chaos. “367 Equaliser” is the comparatively quite friendly track, released earlier this year, which now features a music video that is as bizarre as the song is groovy (which is a lot). The drumming is relaxed, the bassline is funky, the singing is more controlled than usual, and overall the song seems to have been more thoughtful and direct, which a big change for a band whose bassist usually likes to take his pants off on stage. The video features moving animations which often mesh and weave into the next. The animations themselves are basic and totally abstract, which lends to the independent art idea that I think they set out to achieve. The song and video are a subtly well thought out combination, and is certainly a league above the previous attempt for the track “Drip Decay” in 2013. Perhaps the group are channelling their creativity more towards the art side than the punk in their widening genre spectrum – but either way, the results are interesting.

- Fin Worrall

Dead Neanderthals – Prime

Get ready for the most pummeling 40 minutes of music in 2014.

Prime is the latest release from Holland jazz trio Dead Neanderthals, and the band pulls absolutely no punches on their album posted above, which is just one immense free jazz track. It’s a wild and overwhelming listen, and not for the faint of heart. Enjoy!

Full of Hell & Merzbow – “Blue Litmus”

Powerviolence outfit Full of Hell has been making a name for themselves over the past few years with some pretty brutal full-length recordings, but their interests reach outside of the dismal worlds of sludge metal, grindcore, and hardcore punk. In a series of EPs I believe they’ve been dropping since 2011, the band actually indulges in some experiments in noise music–not to imply that their LPs aren’t noisy hellstorms, though.

With a healthy interest in the abrasive, the band has invited none other than Merzbow to participate in their latest collection of songs, adding some head-splitting feedback shots and distortion walls to the band’s already aggressive collection of blast beats and punishing guitars.

Give a listen to the track “Blue Litmus” above, which sounds like Full of Hell as usual, but with a bit more noise peppered in between the riffs.

Viet Cong – “Continental Shelf” (NSFW Video)

These guys are almost here, I promise. The anticipation for their debut album brings to light one simple truth: Viet Cong know how to build hype the right way. A strong EP, quite a few scorching singles, and most importantly, quality music have the collective music world drooling for their album. “Continental Shelf” was released in October, but its video was released yesterday. The video features haunting macabre imagery with the occasional cut to chill-wave inspired footage of the ocean. Like the song itself, the video is quite jarring. When describing the song to a friend, I related it to him by simply saying “Imagine if Surfer Blood were really, really angry and a little scary.” That seemed to do the trick. The west coast stomp is there, as well as the monolithic guitar riffs lumbering a long like most surf-rock does these days. However, the sunny reverberation on the electric guitar has been swapped with an dark lo-fi hiss, and lead vocalist Matt Flegel could teach a university class on mastering the post-punk howl. It all ads up to a bizarre yet ultimately catchy experience definitely worth a view and a listen.

- Garrett Cottingham

Andy Stott – Faith In Strangers

UK electronic music producer Andy Stott comes through with a new record that further melds the worlds of techno and textured, noisy dark ambient music. You can stream Faith In Strangers above, which is getting released on Modern Love this week. Enjoy, and check out a review for Stott’s last full-length right here.

YUNOREVIEW: NOVEMBER 2014

The magical monthly segment where I briefly touch down on a gauntlet of albums I didn’t get a chance to review this past month. These are just my short, straightforward, passionate, biased opinions.

These are the albums I touch down on:
Killjoy Club – Reindeer Games
Grouper – Ruins
Wiley – Snakes & Ladders
This Will Destroy You – Another Language
Cannibal Corpse – A Skeletal Domain
Gerard Way – Hesitant Alien
Twin Peaks – Wild Onion
Nachtmystium – The World We Left Behind
At The Gates – At War With Reality
The Contortionist – Language
Jessie Ware – Tough Love

Wilting Sun – Self-Titled

Some strange and relaxing drone and experimental music on this new Wilting Sun album here. While Wilting Sun is careful not to step into anything too accessible, there’s quite a bit of variety on the six tracks here. Some tracks, like the intro here, deliver a mind-numbing drone, but manage to maintain an unsettling atmosphere pregnant with tension. Other moments sound like they’re pulled straight out of the Tim Hecker or Boards of Canada playbook, combining beautifully haunting melodies with soul-crushing noise and fuzz . As the name implies, the music of Wilting Sun is apocalyptic, desolate, and an ideal soundtrack for the end times.

Kijinoise – Kijinoise XIV

Here’s something that caught my ears while wading through Bandcamp earlier today. Kijinoise is a Chinese musician who has been uploading projects quite prolifically since late last month, using solely a guitar to deliver a fuzzy fusion of drone, noise, progressive rock, doom, and free improvisational elements. The results haven’t been totally mind-blowing thus far, but I must say the textures of this self-titled debut are actually quite nice, almost achieving a Sunn O)))-level heaviness at points. Find this guy a label! In the meantime, I’ll just wait a few more days for another release.

Update: It appears as though all the above linked projects have been consolidated into this first one, since renamed Kijinoise XIV.