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The band that almost makes Boredoms sound mellow by comparison returns with another aural assault, their first album of new material in four years. Haven’t heard them before? Imagine a Japanese cross between Godflesh, DNA, and a faster-and-louder hardcore band – now with added theremin!
More punk than other avant-garde bands, more avant than other punk bands, this cult fave rarely lets you relax for more than a few seconds. Interesting exceptions: the relatively lengthy (by their standards – a few seconds short of four minutes) “Type: Ecco System” has the electronic textures introduced on Cell-Scape. “Spider Snipe,” “Cracked Plaster Cast,” and “The Call of the Vague” have slower moments in which they almost sound like normal rock…almost...but then switching gears. “Crow’s Paint brush (Color Repair)” is downright catchy, though with two mosh sections to keep it from being a hit single. The five-minute closer “Last target on the Last day” suggests a glitch/ambient/industrial hybrid (I know that sounds contradictory).
But of course there’s plenty of driving punk (“Heiwaboke Crisis” is a highlight) and extreme noisecore (“Slide down” should sate even the most radical skronk fans), and such bizarre moments as “Dog Song,” with weirdly near-erotic lyrics and Yasuko O switching between singing and imitating a manic dog. Absolutely brilliant.
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