Sunday, 16 August 2015

No Form - s/t 12"

Capturing a liveshow as barbed and intense as No Form's regular stage-destructions is an almost futile task. I missed their first London show as they were playing on a Monday night and I was knackered from a real heavy weekend, only to wake up to a barrage of tweets and statuses from all my mates proclaiming them the best live band in the UK. Luckily I didn't have to wait long to catch them and see that the hype was real. I've seen them several times since then and they have always utterly owned the space, filling any room with tortured noise, confrontational theatrics, performance art precision and hardcore fire.

Their first vinyl release, a 12" on Muscle Horse Records, inevitably falls short of those ferocious and captivating sets, but that's no criticism. A band always should be better live than recorded, should always thrive more readily in the whirr and spirit of stagework and affray. For anyone who has not had the luck to see No Form in the flesh, this is a more than adequate primer. Five tracks of acute bitterness, flayed hardcore noise, a grisly clatter pitched somewhere in the barren abrasion/power hinterlands between Harry Pussy and Mecht Mensch, but wholly its own, screeching and keening, pulsing and slamming, writhing and roaring. Freakout upon freakout, scarifying glares and feedback flues. Goddess of Fire, Barrier and Meander are all wild ones, utterly unhinged, paroxysms of buzz and blood, screaming with pain, pounding with ravaged zeal. "Plasmatic ooze penetrates the brain/The liquid becomes the acrid rain" tears Barrier. "Abyss of skin and muscle covered shit. I may be inhibited by a cretinous cancer but at least it means there is something inside" rages Meander.

The Untitled track on side A and the long jam that eats up the whole of side B are dangerous throbs, building out of bassline in the manner of less-spiritual, more-fucked-off Les Rallizes Denudes, hanging the flaying chaos around a simple axial point. Whereas I've always found the rhythm-rooted noiseswirls of Les Rallizes Denudes enormously calming, something that brings me down from heights of anxiety, letting you focus on something central and uncomplicated as the sheaves of guitardiscord slip off and you emerge more focused, less frazzled. No Form allow no such dive into the noise-serene, living more like a wartrudge, beset by demons and lithe scuttling terrors, a monotonous process of bloodied bruised determination, a caustic drag through a mephitic bog. No release, no escape, no compromise, No Form. See them live.

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