Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Playing Enemy - I Was Your City


Label: Hawthorn Street
Year: 2005

The virtual kaleidoscope of riffs and rhythms that followed in the wake of Deadguy (that followed in the wake of Today Is The Day) and begat the late 90s "noisecore" sound was a witchy woman. She could congeal into bruising blasts of frenetic bombast, or degenerate into wanking collections of unrelated sounds strung together for what appeared to be nothing more than shock value. It took a steady hand to coral these riffs into a song that became both effectively gnarly, and memorably...uh..gnarly.

Having the rhythm section of Kiss It Goodbye (and Rorschach prior to that) doesn't hurt at all. They helped refine singer/guitarist Demian Johnston's ideas as he was coming out of Nineironspitfire (who owed quite a debt to Kiss It Goodbye/Deadguy themselves) and took his spastic guitar work and focused the songs into much more flowing, complete works. Bassist Thom Rusnak left the band prior to 'I Was Your City', but the band had by that time established their own version of noisecore that was less reliant on 100-riffs-per-song, and more so on discordant waves of mutilation (Pixies ref...who would of thunk it?). The result was almost a direct continuation of what Kiss It Goodbye was doing, but with Johnston's more straightforward lyrical bite (as opposed to Tim Singer's scathing vitriol). Good shit that rose above the din of bands of that era trying desperately to "out ironic" each other and pack a million ideas into each song.

A label called Corpse Flower pressed this on limited vinyl a year ago, but it's gone (as far as I can tell).

DL

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