Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Health Problems-Counterproductive (2013)

Right from the get go, Health Problems throw you into a punk surf rock frenzy with an unrelenting bass guitar taking center stage.  The vocals presented are similar at times to Daughters.  The vocalist of the album makes me want to categorize the music as noise rock, but the instruments on display in the first track are much cleaner sounding than traditional noise rock.  These are some strong surf punk.

On the third track, 'Mr. Man', we are given a Rollins-esque monologue that eventually devolves and tears itself apart.  This is the longest track on the album, the strongest track on the album, and showcases a band taking risks with their sound and it paying off.

After hearing 'Mr. Man', it is hard to jump right back into the surf punk sound, making the placement of 'Boy Problems' one of the few flaws on the album.  I imagine this is a much subtler transition when you have the pause of flipping the cassette first, but on digital release, the transition could be improved.

Overall, this album has good songwriting that is highlighted by the singers powerful delivery.  Never does an instrumental standout, but the musicianship is solid enough.  While this album will probably be overlooked by the majority of the music community, it is a strong release that is worthy of a purchase if you want noise rock with an outlandish vocal delivery reminiscent of Daughters-Hell Songs.
The album can be streamed and purchased on cassette or digitally at their label's Bandcamp Here.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fadensonnen- White Night (2012)

White Night
Here is an amazing album that randomly arrived on my doorstep.  If you were a fan of Aufgehoben’s 2012 release, Fragments of the Marble Plan, than this album is for you.  This 9-track release spans just under 50 minutes and is filled with free-improv. noise.  Let’s put it this way, if I heard this album last year, it would have made my year-end list.

Fadensonnen consists of two people, PD (on guitar) and RD (on drums).  Despite the band only being a duo, Fadensonnen’s sound is full and textured.  At its harshest it still manages to stay pleasant, a feat quite difficult when sounds are occasionally journeying into the harsh noise genre.  At its softest, the guitar work of Glen Branca may be an accurate comparison.  Usually though, it sounds as if Bill Orcutt decided to be a little more cohesive.

White Night does a great job of toeing the line between rhythm and chaos.  Track’s like “Fire of Nights” prove this.  More importantly, though, is that after going to the edge of chaos, they are able to bring it back, (however briefly), before throwing the listener into even deeper sonic holes.  “Street Smokin Eyes” is probably the most challenging piece on this album, but it is also one of the most rewarding.

In sum, Fadensonnen came out of nowhere and blew me away.  Buy this album for that Keiji Haino fan you know, because I know he will thank you for it.
Listen in full Here 
Buy the CD Here