Friday, 16 May 2014

Aspects of War - The Presence of Death

Many shitty punk bands as they go on become more competent, almost by accident, improving musically through force of habit and locking into genre grooves. It seemed that's what Aspects of War were doing, moving from the lo-fi Total Disfuckers demo which buried the vocals almost totally to the equally killer, if slightly more competently put together, In Order To Satisfy Their Mania For Conquest Punks Are Squandered demo and then last year's 4-way LP with Disable, Truncheons and Total War: 全滅 - Annihilation: Konton Crasher Omnibus. They were perfecting their Kawakami-born attack, relentless onwards momentum, noise and volume.

Cos that happens, bands hit the style they want and run with it, using their improved musical abilities to crank out raw rockin taut assimilations of the noise that spoke to them first, using a deep knowledge of dis to lift from the best bits of -close and -charge and -fear and -konto and -honorable Discharge, not deciding to burst out of the genre in a throw of manic misguided self-destruction (people learnt their lessons from Grave New World). Aspects of War had found their place, and yeah it was pretty fucking awesome, one of the tightest rawest bunch of self-identified disfuckers doing it at the moment. Each release would tighten that formula, screw in deeper, ready to take the place of the knowingly named D-Clone as bearers of the true Dis-crown and then they release this, The Presence of Death, on Brain Solvent Propaganda‎, where they come out sounding like a band of teenagers who had d-beat roughly described to them and decided that it sounded really cool and wanted to play it without ever actually hearing it. And as such, it fucking slaughters.

What Aspects of War do here is to take all that proficiently molded dis fuckery and thump it to piss-sodden pieces, manage to sound noticeably shittier, more inept, more unhinged, cracking apart the genre into a rough approximation of itself, each identifier in place, but the feedback hiss viler, seething and eating the sound, the drums thudding clear but on This Is Hell working a weird off-kilter mid-tempo groove, nails to the forehead, the thick bass attack from before gone, halfdrowned in the ghastly mix. "This is hell/Hell is here". Here the solos whinier, more scatterbrained, sudden noiseburps and coughs of indeterminate origin come forth, the vocals desperate and burnt, everything fucked-up, destroyed, ugly past ugliness, into strange territory, loose and wild and incompetent. Presence of Death opens jangling practically like fucking sleigh bells. Sounding less sweeping and apocalyptic, more sawdust and stumblings. A pervasive sense of distaste with it all (NO SYSTEM WORKS!). Getting back to unlistenable fuck-off of dirty-handed youth. Regression as progression.

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