New Hampshire, USA band Barren Waste first came to my attention when they sent me their debut release for review: Divine Intervention is an EP of six very short tunes in a predominantly grindcore vein, but with a very distinctive and creative approach to texture and dissonance, which immediately struck me as an interesting and committed artistic statement. The band has since released more material in a similar style (broadly comparable to some recordings by Hack Circle, for example), of which the excellent Dreaming In Aeons is a prime example, but alongside this work they have maintained a prolific schedule of experimental electronic releases.
This three track EP seems to be Septic Trauma’s entire recorded output. A shame, as I could happily listen to a few dozen tunes in this vein. Many heavy rock bands lay claim to terms like ‘technical’ and ‘progressive’, but few have any reason to do so. Aside from the sheer ridiculousness of using a term like ‘technical’ to describe a style of music, most of the metal thusly classified makes no more taxing technical demand on its performers than that they should play fast and stay in time, which quite honestly is something any well trained monkey with a floppy pick can manage.
Apparently (I read in the press release, in a rare fit of journalistic research) The Real Sounds From Hell Recordings refers to a project to record the sound of deep plate tectonics, which is rumoured to have accidentally recorded Hell. I would imagine that plate tectonics sound a lot lower and slower than this, and as for Hell, I imagine it to sound a lot more like Perry Como. These sounds are pretty damn harrowing however. They are, by turns, angry, dark, ominous and brutal; they are however far more complex and considered than most sounds that visit those places.
The word experimental is over-used in descriptions of avant-garde music, and is not always meaningful: who are we as listeners to judge whether an artist is conducting an experiment, or whether the sounds we hear represent their mature practice? However, experimental or not, There’s A Party In My Mouth And You’re Not Invited contains a feast of invention. From start to finish there is no recognisable ready-made rock gesture that has not been transformed, re-purposed and re-imagined.
In 1917 Marcel Duchamp put a pissoir in a gallery: unfortunately, nearly a century later, many people still don’t get it. Those people will have trouble with the presentation of something as deliberately shambolic as Cockdaughter’s eponymous debut as a finished artwork; but it’s precisely to challenge that sense of the polished and refined as the exclusive token of an utterance’s validity that music like this is needed.