Chat Pile – Remove Your Skin Please
Many moons ago there was a prolific noise-rock band called Big Black, fronted by Steve Albini (tons of other great bands and produced Nirvana’s In Utero). The band also included members Santiago Durango, Dave Riley, and Roland, who was actually a drum machine programmed by Albini but credited on albums hilariously trolling fans who asked “Where’s Roland?” or inquired about an autograph. Hopefully, this is coming off as a cool antidote and not me mansplaining some noise-rock history….
Anyway, when I discovered Chat Pile, the Oklahoma based band who has recently been getting some well-deserved recognition after releasing two fantastic EPs, I noticed one of their members was credited as playing a Yamaha DTXplorer instead of “drums”. “That’s hilarious,” I thought to myself thinking they were paying homage to Big Black, but after some Youtube views watching their drummer beat the shit out of an electric kit I was equally as excited as if it had been the former.
It’s pretty evident on the opening track “Dallas Beltway” that the drum sound is certainly not your average kit, but it definitely doesn’t take anything away. From the anxiety-inducing first notes of the track, you’re hooked. The sing-talk vocals of vocalist Raygun Busch will put you in mind of contemporaries like Pissed Jeans, and whose lyrics read like this summer’s blockbuster psychological thriller, “okay, listen, I’m normally a reasonable guy, listen, okay, you look at me, people trust me, okay I’m normally not that kind of person, but you want to see what ordinary hands can do to something so fragile?” he mutters over the bass-heavy crunch.
Over the course of only 4 tracks Chat Pile, while still mostly rooted in noise-rock manage to slam in some other genres, “Mask” introduces some shoegaze elements, but on “Davis” the electric drum kit manages to whip out some nasty blast beats that would make a lot of metal enthusiasts turn their head to take a look. “Garbage Man” manages to somehow conjure up the feeling of being dragged through the sludge and muck that the profession has to offer.
I can’t say enough good thing about this EP and can’t wait to see what Chat Pile does next. Until then Reptilian Records will be releasing the bands to EPs “Remove Your Skin Please” and “This Dungeon Earth” as a single LP available for pre-order now!
Heads. – Push
Germany’s Heads. are back with their 3rd full- length album Push, a fitting name because over the album’s 10 tracks you’ll wonder how much more you can take! The industrial-tinged churning of album opener “Empty Towns” sets the mood for a bleak listen, the pulsating grind of the song doesn’t let up for its entire duration and also features some lap-steel guitar courtesy of Kristof Hahn of Swans. “There’s howling up in the hills, try to make some sense of it all, or unhear it”, Ed Fraser sings ominously. The band changes gears shortly after, bombarding the listener with dissonant riffage and a nasty “amrep” style rhythm section on tracks like “Weather Beaten” and “Push You Out To Sea”
When Heads. write a minimalistic song, they do an amazing job of taking a great riff and beating the absolute shit out of it..if you don’t need another part in a song, don’t put another part in the song. “It Was Important” is a great example, this track sounds like something straight out of the John Carpenter catalog, the disorienting synth and pounding drums and bass will make you feel like you’re running from something out of your worst nightmares…but unfortunately there’s no escape.
“Paradise” is the opus on the album at almost 8 minutes and features some more lap-steel from Kristof Hahn. “My Own Paradise, it’s fake and clean”, Fraser sings as he takes a guitar solo finally overtaking the distorted bass like your dad stuck behind some idiot on the freeway. There’s enough twists and turns in this track to make it a fun listen instead of feeling like a lengthy tune. “As Your Street Gets Deserted” features the same music as the opening song, “As your shaking leaf blows out to sea, I inhale, I cut through the silence, I let the words come, I’m out” Fraser sings before the song hits an abrupt halt only to start back into “Empty Towns” creating an almost endless loop.
Check out the video for “Weather Beaten” created by Alex Edkins of Toronto band METZ.
Written by Russ Walsh, owner of Sour Cat Records in Owen Sound