Fresh from touring with their esteemed label boss, collaborator and all-round experimentalist hero, Mike Patton, Italian chaos-rock veterans Zu have dropped their new ten-megaton record, Carboniferous.
For those new to Zu, this is the band's 14th LP since the trio's formation in 1999, they've collaborated with the likes of Fugazi's Joe Lally, The Stooges' Steve MacKay, as well as Dalek, The Melvins and Mike Patton. They have also played over a thousand gigs worldwide, so you are quite the latecomer in the Zu saga.
This is high-calibre, top-end experimentalism, people, so if you're averse to the Johnny-come-latelies of the post-rock world then have no fear for these guys are every bit as important, groundbreaking and seminal as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, or Explosions In The Sky.
Zu add more to the mix though, and blend this amorphous chaos with the intricacy of mathcore and the urgency of Faith No More's more frenetic outbursts. Imagine the sound of a more structured, prog-minded Sonic Youth and combine that with chugging, polyrhythmic guitar riffs that sound like Rage Against The Machine meets Slint, all drizzled with the kind of insalubrious, peyote-based molasses of William S Burroughs' jazz soundtrack to his life. That might get you to within a stone's throw of Carboniferous.
If that weren't already as clear as mud, then you can always melt in the electro-industrial synths courtesy of Mr. Patton and swirl them around with the blood-curdling post-metal tweaks here and there and pour that ooze in with some Shellac before pressing it into this damn fine record.
So, a quick roundup for you: that's jazz, metal, post-metal, experimental post-rock, electronica, industrial, math and prog in one record review. Zu are a genre-splicing band that defy simple categorisation and create exciting, heavy, engaging experimental music. If that sounds bad to you, then you are - simply put - wrong.