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Profile for Mr. M. C. Hood > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Mr. M. C. Hood (Bury St Edmunds, England)

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Burn Piano Island, Burn
Burn Piano Island, Burn
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £7.71

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dont judge a book by its cover., 2 May 2004
This review is from: Burn Piano Island, Burn (Audio CD)
there is a fine line between twisted post-modern genius and pretentious art-school nonsense. one look at the song titles on the reverse of this cd would suggest it would fall into the latter. random, semantically redundant collaborations of words and phrases portraying some form of 'abstract-metaphor' that anyone other than the artist just "wouldn't get" prompt images of 'if you need to ask you dont need to know', 'kid A really was radiohead's best album' art punks, with ironic haircuts. the nonsensical cut and paste/my 4 year old cousin could do a better pen and ink drawing than that cover art does little to dispell this image.
how disarming then to nonchalantly place the cd in my stereo and have my philistine ears blasted by the most discordant yet intrinsically beautiful cacaphony since converge's 'petitioning the empty sky'. at first this album lives up to all the conceited expectations. kicking things off with a 40 second blast of post-at the drive-in art-noise, all jittery guitars and fingernails-on-a-blackboard vocals, leaves me wondering whether my hyphen key will make it to the end of the review. but unlike fellow peddlers of high-brow spazzcore the locust, blood brothers sound far too ridiculous to be massaging their own egos with their unique self-indulgent brand of punk. they seem to be having too much fun. this is not, however, ridiculous in a bad way just in the sense that you will never have heard anything like this before. dual vocalists jordan and johnny reject traditional call and response structures coming across as a pair of restless children squabling for the limelight in a sequence of screeching tantrums. anywhere else it would be aural torture but within the confines of their own warped world, perversely, it sounds the most logical medium to vent their musical frustrations. throughout the album guitars switch between jangling rhythms and serrated, spiteful blasts of bittersweet noise and drums fidget and twitch like a nervous cat. yet despite its distracted exterior it is an album which conceals something far more beautiful. amid the off kilter percussion and insane-asylum vocals lay sublimely delicate melodies. the glockenspiel in 'ambulance vs ambulance' or the piano led outro of 'every breath is a bomb' show that beneath the layers of spiky riffs beats a heart of opulent melody. and it is the ability to allow these melodies, no matter how understated, to define and make sense of the confusion of noise that is the blood brothers' true artistic genius.

The Beyond
The Beyond
Price: £8.94

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars here come the swedes., 21 April 2004
This review is from: The Beyond (Audio CD)
With sunny pop-punk and whiney emocore bands breeding like a virus overthe world's airwaves many a rock fan is searching for something torekindle the link between heavy metal and all things dark. look no furtherthan sweden's Cult of Luna. to describe this band as sludgecore or doomwould be doing them a great disservice. while the snail's pace tempos,crushingly heavy riffs and lumbering bass lines may echo acts such as ironmonkey or electric wizard in this slice of post-apocalyptic cinematicdoomcore COL have created something entirely unique. unlike the southernfried boogie of american contemporaries such as eyehategod or misanthropicbeligerance of uk stalwarts mistress COL have shunned outright brutalityfor something altogether more eerie. one can only assume the dark nightsand long winters in sweden have pushed these musicians over the edge ofsanity and deep into their own nightmares. riffs cascade in an avalancheof feedback whilst the vocals wail and moan from somewhere deep within themountains. but COL are no one trick pony. as the desolate and iceysludgescapes painted by swathes of mournful sound are balanced withpassages of calm, almost warming, swedish influenced folk. yet such isCOL's intellectual grasp of dynamics that these acoustic interludes donothing to soften the brutality of the harsher aspects of the music.rather, after being battered by a mammoth riff they sooth the listenerpreparing them for the next onslaught of titanic heaviosity. there are noreal standout tracks on this album. the whole thing needs to be taken inas a piece of work in its entirety it is not to be dipped in and out of.simply put the disc in, increase the volume to maximum and allow cult ofluna to engrave their bleak vision of the lonliness of a snowsweptwasteland on your mind.

Amplifier Worship
Amplifier Worship

7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars down-tuned sludge-o-rama., 21 April 2004
This review is from: Amplifier Worship (Audio CD)
for the last decade or so music coming out of japan has been increasingly interesting and diverse. from the acid-drenched wailings of the boredoms to legendary noise terrorist merzbow we have come to expect japanese bands breaking through into the western markets to be challenging. and on paper boris are a mouth-watering prospect.
there is no mistaking the fact that boris are, at heart, a drone band. songs last 8-9 minutes often with lengthy interludes of monotonous feedback yet unlike labelmates sunn o))) they introduce elements of stoner and even crusty punk to their low end rumble. its an inspired concept, yet unfortunately boris dont have the song writing skill to pull it off to best effect. in order to use feedback you have to do something interesting with it. sunn o))) bleed frequencies to create thunderous walls of sound and khanate incorporate it into eerie atmospheric, pant-soiling tableaus of sonic evil. boris, however, hold the same note for a very long time which may be all arty but is in fact terribly boring. thankfully they are not a one trick pony as other elements of their style are commendable. they show a sound grasp of stoner riffing playing in a similar vein to sleep and their punked up numbers lurch and grate like discharge on downers.
this is all well and good but, and this is a big but, boris dont seem to know how to structure a song. they have all the right concepts to impress southern lord devotees and should, by all rights, be producing an extremely tasty slice of psychadelic pie. yet it just doesnt fit. blissful drones burst into mammoth riffs without warning and tribal drums appear out of nowhere. these sort of 'turn-on-a-dime' dynamics are exciting in hardcore music but in snail-pace sludge it just sounds awkward.
with a bit more time spent on melding their waywards styles together boris could be something truly spectacular. perhaps a collaboration with drone overlord stephen o'malley or some sonic advice (there are more dials than just reverb!!) from experimentalist aaron turner could see this japanese trio mate their drone tendecies with their zepelin fetishes successfully. until then, however, boris will continue to be a mediocre band with ideas above their station.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 27, 2012 11:09 PM BST

The Repercussions Of A Badly Planned Suicide
The Repercussions Of A Badly Planned Suicide
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £5.79

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars noisecore never sounded so good!, 17 April 2004
in my view hardcore or any of its -core suffixed offshoots needs 1 of two ingredients to be successful. it must either be played with a blazing fire-eyed intensity in the vein of dillinger escape plan, or a gut-wrenchingly heartfelt passion such as the work of the mighty converge. noisecore/mathcore/whateverthehellyouwantcore is particularly dependent on such a power of belief and emotion as it lacks the hummable riffs or catchy choruses of its more accessible cousins such as post-hardcore or metalcore. it is a genre which all too often disappears up its own arse in a whirlwind of impossibly technical riffage and more irregular time-changes than a london bus service.
until now.
i am not saying johhny truant lack emotion or intensity as these brighton boys play with as much passion as any of their heavily inked american counterparts. yet they are able to deliver their particular racket with a pinch of salt. but take them lightly at your peril. the din they create is as complex and chaotic as the claustraphobically oppressive aaron turner artwork would suggest. unlike many of the US noisemongers, however, they are not satisfied with sheer brutality for the sake of it and look to amalgamate a variety of influences into their brand of dextrous riffing and glass-gargling vocals. the laid back jazzy drum and cymbal rolls of 'puparia', the robotic industrial feeling bass riffs of 'infamy', or stuart lee's (jacob's stiories)soaring melodic vocals on 'seven days at knife point' show a melee of musical influences rather than the usual refused, black flag etc etc.
coming on like dillinger escape plan but with memorable riffs (the opening riff from robert sapolsky is as catchy as any funeral for a friend sing a long)johnny truant are clawing noisecore back from the brink of self satisfied, smug muso hell and into the consciousness of punks and metal heads who just want to have fun.
armed with fantastic haircuts and even better riffs JT will rule the live circuit. so hunt down this cd like your life depends on it, get yourself along to a johnny truant show and i'll see you down the front for dancing.

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