Monday, September 18, 2017

Kampusch Klub - EP 1

Kampusch Klub bring psychedelic post-doom/drone from Fribourg, Switzerland. The wonderfully-produced 4-song EP runs through the scope of everything contained within the genres. 

Let's get right down to the nitty gritty here:
This album is weird. I was hesitant at first, because I typically just don't listen to "atmospheric drone metal", or "post"-much of anything these days. But, man... this one stuck out like a beacon. The music contained within is like a barrage of experimental Psychedelic/Krautrock with a post-doom veneer. Maybe some Einstuerzende Neubauten sugar mixed in with their Minsk cakes. Perhaps Today Is The Day was hanging out with The Swans, started taking lithium and subsequently began writing music for David Lynch films. Somehow this band seems to go beyond these influences. 
I honestly can't say one way or another what the band is going for with these four tracks. Like I said: It's weird. Nothing about any of these songs stays in one place for long. They slowly build into a crescendo of shouts, harangues, and oceanic turbulence. Much of this comes out as moody, pent-up, and subversive, in a good way. In such a way that it grows on you with each listen.
The EP opens with "Closed Eyes". Right away we are treated to some nostalgic organs and a chilled-out groove. Again, this is all a phase that the song is going through. The mood begins to churn into a frothy, rabid hunt for resolution through caveman bellowing and haunted lamentations.
Next up is "Everything Must Go". This is easily the "lightest" number in the bunch. Beginning with a minor-keyed guitar strum, accompanied by tinkly synth taps, and rounding out with the murky gloom of dense doom.
"Fool In A Pool" is a tri-tonal noise rock foray that brushes shoulders with Earth, but still precariously blends the Kosmische mish-mash. It's a stand-out track on the EP, in my opinion.
"Psycho Killer" is the final track on the EP. This is not the same "Psycho Killer" by the Talking Heads. In the same vein as the other tunes, it starts out as though it were an interlude, but quickly transforms into a wild ride through some psych/doom universe. Ending with a crash into the Denisovans Phil-Disharmonic Orchestra.

Kampusch Klub are kind of different. They're obviously influenced by a lot of things, and it comes out in their music. This could sit well with many different folks.
My personal critique of the album would be the vocals. While this gentleman (known as D - voice + keys) sounds like a hulking beast and definitely adds to the overall sound of the band, I could see Kampusch Klub truly reaping glories by maybe later adding a more melodic edge to the vocals. Not that they would need to worry about what I, as a reviewer, would have to say in that regard. They're doing just fine without some whiny crooner messing their songs up. But, in all fairness, I would have to say that if they kept this sound up, and in later albums could include a broader range of vocal styles, they could easily explode into the psych/doom world with little effort other than just by doing what they do.

Kampusch Klub are recommended for those that want to branch out from what they normally listen to, while still being able to appeal to the heavy music fan within. In that regard, I'd say this album is a great way to get you to pull out all of your old records while you chip away at the multitude of influences that loom in the distance, eventually gnashing what's left of their cavemen dentition.
Doom on, gentlemen. Doom on.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Onionface - Roll Over Dog... And Run!

Ottawa, Ontario's Onionface came out of left field with this one. I've heard some heavy hitters before, but this one busted the bat. Certain albums just have that "Ka-BANG!" to them.

I was browsing and sifting, like I do, one day. I get lost down the rabbit hole pretty often. I don't know how I wind up somewhere, but I usually get there after trudging through endless lengths of turds. I wallowed in the filth for quite a long time, while going further into the hole. Then the whole thing opened up... Onionface was there, beckoning me closer with a bass drum, busking for thuds with a message in electrical tape. I would oblige. 

Now, there's something about a band that starts out with the quieter numbers and builds up as they go. This is a slow burn album, no doubt. Even so, the first track "Goodbye, Take Care" eventually gets a chip on its shoulder. "Dirty Water", a little bluesy weight, a little light groovy, and heavy on the heavy, with a chant-along outro. "Golden Lips" kindly hands over the fuzzy riffs, superb vocals, and attitude. Some dark purple Hammond-y organs show up and psych the event out with fresh milky chords. It's warm.

"Ramblin'" is the song I might request at Karaoke. If you needed a song to start your day out, you could always give this a try. It rocks in several ways. We get treated to a few solos, some salty vocals, and a cheeky delivery. "Long Haired Bald Guy", your personal bedtime theme, creeps in all nasty-like while playing from underneath a huge box. "What's that big box in the yard, and why does it keep getting closer to the house?"

"I'm Alright", might have graduated (with honors) from Wah University, but it could still out-drink your Uncle Lush, AND win a bar fight.

"Tightrope Walker" and "Remember When" boogie on with a feverish frenzy. "Birdman" pulls off some punk slaps, but you like it, and you almost feel the need to bounce around and tear phone books in half. 
"White Cactus" is a tune that got me into the band in the first place. I saw the name of the song, and remembered back to when one of my students was saying he was just getting into "stoner rock", and  he thought "White Cactus" would be a cool name for a band. It stuck out. So I listened to that one first. It gave me the rock-n-roll fuzzies.

Onionface keep it fun, but there's a real attitude in their boogieing that sets them up for appreciation in the stoner rock circuits. I'm hoping for these guys to open up in that fanbase. We're hungry for this percolator rock. Nasty, cocksure, groovy, in-your-face loud rock, spewing brazen punk energy and raucous fervor, gaining more velocity with each track. Dropped like a planetoid-esque ball of fire onto the Earth, spreading its intensity throughout the land, confounding the geological eons into an unrecognizable slurry.. This is the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. Worth every stinkin', lousy penny. 

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