Foot Village – Make Memories (2013)
Foot Village are an American noise rock band, who focus on drumming and vocalisation in creating their own brand of “tribal noise rock”. I don’t remember when I first encountered them, but there is something certainly engaging about what they do. There is something almost magical about the way the body reacts to music. When a rhythm is close to heart rate, the heart will often sync up to the beat, then, if done incrementally, the heart rate can be controlled by music. With Foot Village’s use of drums and of screaming vocals (another affective mechanism), their music has a genuine effect on the body.
Due to the emphasis on repetitiveness and the experimental nature of the music, comparisons to certain other bands become evident; for example, This Song Is A Drug Deal sounds like it could be Boredoms or Ruins. And that is more than enough to earn a recommendation from me. There is not enough music that sounds like this. Opening track 1600 Dolla Bill is an epic noise-fest, entering drone territory at times and Warlock is a primal riot of a track, ending in an almost Fantomas-esque trope, while The End Of The World is a lullaby of a track.
Foot Village would seemingly have little aural space to occupy because of the apparent limited nature of their music. But that is totally false. Through these basic means of banging and shouting, they generate some very evocative music; often noisy and loud, but sometimes sweet and gentle.
Favourite tracks: This Song Is A Drug Deal, Warlock, The End Of The World
Spotify link: Foot Village – Make Memories
Wolvon – Folds (2013)
Wolvon are Dutch. Forming in 2011, they are relatively new to the scene, but have come with an intense desire to entertain with their own brand of music.
This is a tale of extremes, as pop and noise interweave to devastating effect. Take, for example, Slow Death, what starts off as a quiet outing, changes into a grinding noise-fest like a family dog backed into a corner turning into a snapping vicious beast.
The overall effect is one of disorientation, as dream pop gives way to noise rock, sounding like Sonic Youth or the Velvet Underground, all wrapped up in a bit of an acid trip a la the Butthole Surfers. But it isn’t some undirected soundscape; there is pure inspiration here, polyrhythms galore, and experimental highlights. The backing vocals towards the end of Stagnant is fantastic.
It’s an intense journey that leaves you enervated, but exhilarated. Totally worthwhile.
Favourite tracks: Stagnant, Hesitation Walls, Slow Death
Spotify link: WOLVON – folds.
Bandcamp link: http://wolvon.bandcamp.com/
Tera Melos – X’ed Out (2013)
Tera Melos are an experimental rock band from California.
X’ed Out is their fourth album and I’ve listened to it a few times now, but I honestly still have no idea what to make of it!
As a band, they are like a sponge taking in all different genres; the two most prominent are math rock and noise. New Chlorine sounds like it could be Sonic Youth, while Slimed sounds similar to Ruins. There are other influences as well, Sunburn begins with an almost Barbara Ann vocal riff, and indeed has a fairly surf style throughout.
I think if you had an interest in experimental rock, Tera Melos would be a great band to check out; really pushing some boundaries without being unlistenable. Math rock and noise are constant themes and it is done extremely well. As I said, I’ve listened to the album a number of times and am still trying to get my head around it; it may take a few more to fully appreciate X’ed Out, but I think I like it, and for now, that’s fine with me.
Favourite tracks: New Chlorine, Until Lufthansa, Slimed
Spotify link: Tera Melos – X’ed Out
Bancamp link: http://teramelos.bandcamp.com/album/xed-out
Black Pus – All My Relations (2013)
Black Pus is the one-man project of American noise rockers, Lightening Bolt’s drummer Brian Chippendale, and this is his second album, afer 2011’s Primordial Pus.
It sounds like the offspring of Captain Beefheart and Atari Teenage Riot, wet-nursed by Genesis P.Orridge at Belgian breakcore parties. I love it!
It is brutally heavy, with massively distorted bass, sounding like an engine, thundering away. The drums are brilliantly complex, splattering intensely, utterly engaging. On top of that, it is riotously noisy; heavily processed vocals give an air of experimental math rockers, Battles, especially on a track like Word On The Street or Hear No Evil, which I find an appropriate comparison due to the prominence of the rhythm on this album and in Battles’ work. Other times, it is glitchy and playful, reminiscent of breakcore. It is slower and more sludgy than Lightening Bolt.
I love this album. It is an absolute gem. Heavy, experimental, playful and noisy. A real showcase from a very talented drummer.
Favourite tracks: Word On The Street, Hear No Evil, Fly On The Wall
Spotify link: Black Pus – All My Relations