24 August, 2013

Recent Love (That Guy From That One Band Edition)

ROTHKO, Prayer Furnace
Anthony from (the great, almighty, unreleased) CHINA emailed me a while back to hip me to this side-project thing he did in Chicago called ROTHKO. What starts with a couple clanging guitar echos that sounds like shit was about to get mathy instead turned into this big, lurching juggernaut that gets down to baseball bat fight tactics so out for blood that if any of your "rock friends" don't like it, they're plainly wrong. Basically, this EP is going to be your full-of-shit barometer for when you're stuck in a conversation with somebody who professes to know this and that and all that about music. Put this EP on your phone and keep it handy for when someone starts talking ridiculous shit. That way, you can pull it out and ask, "What do you think of this?" If they don't dig it, that's your cue to turn it off and walk away. They are clearly clueless and you deserve better.
Not one of the four songs breaks the 3:50 mark, ensuring that each song is nothing but pure, concentrated fuck-you-up. You know, the good stuff. What dreams are made of.
OK OK OK, so what does it sound like?
Well, buckle up and fix a cocktail.
To my ears, I'm hearing traces of Pink Flag and Mclusky Do Dallas in the influences. "Discovery of a Weapon" kicks things off with the aforementioned clanging echoes that turn to truckers' speed drums and near-drone composition and slide guitar acrobatics. "Waiting for Shit" reminds me of a more violently-ready-to-fall-apart "Steady As She Goes" with a screeching brass arrangement that becomes the centerpiece of this exercise in repetition and tension until the tape goes out. "After the Rape" is a study in tempo and rhythm, with creepy need-a-shower-after-hearing lyrics and a handful of varying sections played linearly rather than cyclically (actually my preferred manner of composition). And if you were waiting for the Birthday Party to get back together (which, you know, they can't do), "Tased and Confused" will surely satiate that need. Avoid smoking any grass listening to this or you'll worry that your soul is trying to escape through your ribs. It's as creepy as it is quiet and simple, with a guitar jangle that will remind you of Sonic Youth's "Halloween".
If ever there was an aural punk analogue to Ernst's Une Semaine De Bonté, this would be it.

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