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Skin Drone, Evocation (Bluntface Records)




Skin Drone, Evocation (Bluntface Records)
CD Reviews: June 2, 2016

06/02/16
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Skin Drone, Evocation (Bluntface Records)

This long-distance duo, consisting of Arkansas-based singer Erik Martin and local anti-hero Otto Kinzel on guitars and laptop, has put together a wildly noisy mishmash of extreme metal, stoner and industrial that’s actually clever in its variations, at its best a sort of Dillinger Escape Plan for people with longer attention spans. It’s scream-a-mania from the outset of opening track “Scarlet Road,” but the spazziness eventually gives way to a nice Isis-like chill-screamo break three minutes in, which takes us to “God Complex,” a back-and-forth exercise between Cannibal Corpse-ish mud-monster death-metal and goth-swirling-fog ambience. “Witching Hour” is an old-Ministry-style asskicker, hinting at roots industrial when it’s not banging out a pretty ambitious drum line or stopping for a gloomy arpeggio. Overall a stubbornly eclectic release but not out of whack at all, and the sound is primo, neither too compressed nor too raw (I hate that local-scene critics always seem to mention production angles, but there it is, and I’m far too lazy to toss it out). A  
 
A Giant Dog, Pile (Merge Records)
Like Trail of Dead with a chick singer and a drunk piano player, this Austin, Texas, band wants to be the Buzzcocks and an arena hard-rock band at the same time. Or I could say Jane’s Addiction on amphetamines if that’d make more sense. Would it? I don’t know, but either way, your mileage may vary as far as enjoying the third full-length from these guys, even if their cred is top drawer, having toured with Spoon, and, you know, being from Austin. I mean, some of it is definitely microwaved, for example “& Rock & Roll” sort of rips off Thin Lizzy’s “Boys Are Back in Town,” even if it’s more agreeably raw. If you wiggle your ears while listening to it, it’s like Rush in some places, if that’s important to you. They spazz and spazz, but not fast enough to have a barfing contest, and the cheapness of production sounds a little forced. But there’s a lot of that going around, you know? Eh, it’s fine. B  





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