Review Round Up #78

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews. This edition includes Eagle Twin's "The Unkindness of Crows," Ambassador Gun's "When in Hell," The Human Quena Orchestra's "The Politics of the Irredeemable," Mothra's "Dyes," and KK Null's "Oxygen Flash."

The Unkindness of Crows

Eagle Twin
“The Unkindness of Crows”
(Southern Lord 2009)

What you get out of this album will be directly proportional to the amount of ganj you put in your system. Eagle Twin present a workmanlike effort of repetitive, dense doom jams. The back third of the album is where the band really gets into gear, as the last two tracks deliver slow-cooked slices of focused groove bliss. Getting through the rest of "The Unkindness of Crows," though, might prove too daunting a task without chemical enhancement.

Sounds Like: Stoner-certified, droning dooooom metal

Key Tracks: "Carry on, King of Carrion," "And it Came to Pass that Birds Fell to Earth as Black Snakes"

B
buy it!
When in Hell

Ambassador Gun
“When in Hell”
(Pangea Recordings 2009)

The "for fans of" sticker on the front of this albums mentions Slayer, Nasum, Cattle Decapitation and Mastodon. Although some of those bands are only tangentially related, and others have nothing whatsoever to do with each other, those name-drops are actually pretty accurate. Ambassador Gun plays ripping grind, with streaks of sludge and old-school thrash. The infusion of other styles keeps "When in Hell" from going stale, and helps keep the band in a groove while assaulting eardrums.

Sounds Like: Intense grindcore

Key Tracks: "Taylor Reign," "Bottom Feeder"

B+
buy it!
The Politics of the Irredeemable

Human Quena Orchestra
“The Politics of the Irredeemable”
(Crucial Blast 2009)

The Human Quena Orchestra is two guys making experimental music that most people probably won't be able to get into. Consisting mostly of eerie electronic washes haphazardly punctuated by thunderous drums and piercing guitar, "The Politics of the Irredeemable" is a formless, uneasy trip into dark territory. So is this pointless and boring or brilliant and deep? That depends entirely on whether or not you already dig this style of droning music.

Sounds Like: Ambient soundscapes intruded upon by shards of noise

Key Tracks: "Aspiration"

B-
buy it!
Dyes

Mothra
“Dyes”
(Selfmadegod Records 2009)

It's usually helpful to mention what other acts a band sounds like in a review, but in this case it's downright unavoidable. There's too much influence from prominent hardcore and early metalcore musicians, like Botch and Converge, to go unnoticed on "Dyes." And while Mothra are more than capable of creating quality songs in the vein of those bands, the Polish crew doesn't put enough of their own mojo into these tunes to create much of an impression after the album's twenty-seven minutes have ticked away.

Sounds Like: None too subtle take on successful -core suffix stalwarts

Key Tracks: "Hooloovoo"

B
Oxygen Flash

KK Null
“Oxygen Flash”
(Neurot Recordings 2009)

Talk about the ultimate niche album: Japanese experimental artist KK Null has offered up 50 minutes of what can only be described as a cacophony of not-so-random noise. About the only thing musical, in the traditional sense, about this album is the rhythmic pulse that sometimes carries through songs. But "Oxygen Flash" is mostly odd electronic bleeps and whooshes, and other strange sounds that approximate a supercomputer frying its circuits in all matter of fashions. The sheer impenetrability of this album will probably appeal to only the most die-hard noiseniks.

Sounds Like: Background music/noise for a Matrix movie

Key Tracks: "01"

C
buy it!