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Fotocrime and the Austerity Program explore two points on the electronic-music-meets-rock spectrum

On the Jesus Lizard’s 1989 debut EP, Pure, the noise-rock institution were still figuring things out. Working as a trio, the band hadn’t yet discovered their distinctive mutant swing, instead suspending the metallic scrape and twang of their guitars in the flat, mechanical rhythms of a primitive drum machine. But drummer Mac McNeilly joined the […]

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Locrian’s Terence Hannum crafts cinematic beauty on Dissolving the Bonds

Terence Hannum is perhaps best known as the keyboardist and vocalist of prolific Chicago-born experimental metal trio Locrian, who blend dense, crushing drones and harsh, sweeping black metal to stir up some serious dark energy. But Hannum is also an accomplished visual artist, writer, and solo musician. I was expecting his brand-new album, Dissolving the […]

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Sleaford Mods stir up dark energy on the focused new Spare Ribs

When I first heard Nottingham duo Sleaford Mods, Jason Williamson’s unhinged vocal delivery immediately captured my attention. Their minimalist music—which is simply Williamson ranting about working-class struggles over Andrew Fern’s sparse, chintzy electronic beats—could appeal to anarcho-punks, hip-hop heads, and Mark E. Smith devotees alike. Williamson is a force: wide-eyed and frothing at the mouth, […]

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White Suns merge harsh noise experiments and punk rhythms on The Lower Way

Over the past dozen years, White Suns have created a perfect marriage of folding-table harsh noise and streamlined punk, and the New York trio’s latest full-length, The Lower Way (their first for Decoherence Records), asserts their hybrid style more strongly than ever. By layering assaultive electronics, circuit-bent synths, atonal prepared guitars, fried stomp boxes, musique […]

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Nothing channel 90s shoegaze with winning results on The Great Dismal

Domenic Palermo started writing and recording dark shoegaze songs under the name Nothing ten years ago. Since then, Nothing have spearheaded a shoegaze revival by releasing a constant deluge of incredible material, and their recent fourth full-length, The Great Dismal, is no exception. Nothing’s lineup has been retooled since their previous album: Aaron Heard, vocalist […]

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Merzbow’s four-decade-plus reign of sonic terror continues with Screaming Dove

Japanese sound artist Masami Akita has been revolutionizing noise with his project Merzbow since 1979—he’s put out somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 albums, singles, and live recordings under that name, but who’s counting? Akita has bounced between electronics, tape manipulations, and scrap metal and contact mikes, both in his solo work and his collaborations […]