Impressively loud Noise Rock done right
Well here we go again I suppose.
That point in the year where I find that one Noise Rock record that blows my mind, defies all expectations, and has my ears bleeding. Sex Swing’s latest release, Type II, is an excellent collection of psychedelic brain-melters that wastes no time and trims all fat.
The production is excellent, especially considering just instrumentally layered this album is. There is space for everyone, from saxophones to synths. All of this is necessary to warp the usual Noise Rock edge into a more Heavy Psych lane. This album emits a crazy amount of power that is hard to put into words, my ears almost feel the weight of the potential and kinetic energy of the music. I love the use of saxophone prominently across the record in place of guitar solos, it really separates this group from the pack.
The tracklist itself is impressive, with the majority being over six minutes in length. Yes even from the get go on “The Passover”, only a half minute of near silence, only broken by shots of noise far off in the distance, ensues before the cacophony of screaming and distortion begins. The incessant “PASSOVER, PASSOVER” chant and triumphant blast of a conclusion set the stage for the noise to come. “Skimmington Ride” is like a Krautrock jam set to a bad acid trip. It starts out innocently enough, as a slow building Heavy Psych jam, but mix colors itself in as the track builds layers of noise, organ, and saxophone. By god it gets impressively loud by the end, not the “loudness war” type either. “Valentine’s Day at the Gym” is easily the bleakest track here, starting with a The Birthday Party era Nick Cave type drunken belligerence to the vocals, before the building swirl of distorted power chords and saxophone blursts on the off beat. I love the crunchy guitar tone here. By midway you would sure think it has reached it’s noise limit, but good god the train just doesn’t stop. The conductors aren’t satisfied and keep supplying fuel to the fire, reap for the explosion of noise that occurs here.
“Betting Shop” sees the some very interesting varied production, something you may find in the more Post-Punk realm. it definitely has that sort of disjointed coldness to it’s assembly. Spoiler alert, this one gets loud too. Who would have thunk? Seriously though, something about the setup from the songwriting makes all of these pieces work phenomenally. For example this track hides it’s colors under that coldness of the Post-Punk flavor before exploding with a kaleidoscope of color. “Need Battery” stands as the shortest track here, operating as an interlude of sorts. It really is just a noise track that successfully bends and twists into a form that can implode into the following track “La Riconada”. I love the way the percussion here has a way to “harmonize” with the guitar here and the crazy instrument played all the way through. I wish I could tell what it is, but it is just so cutting, almost perceptively off-center from the stereo plane. This track more than the other lands in a more depraved and dissonant climax, flowing slower and more methodical, but more crushing all the same.
“Garden of Eden - 2000 AD” sits as the longest track here and it is a doozy. Don’t get me wrong, I had loved this album all the way through, but on my first listen it was this that really convinced me how much I loved the record. A quick tempo builds with lead saxophones and assorted glitchy production techniques cut into the motorik-like beat. This one definitely takes it’s time developing, but it is completely worth it. By the time the first snare of the drum beat hits at nearly three minutes in, I was locked in for this impressive roller coaster of a track. The saxophone section here is backed by intense delay and reverb, giving an amazing ethereal presence to the instrument. Reality starts to break as the track continues to increase in volume and tempo before falling into what I can only describe as a wormhole. Upon exiting, thick and crunchy bass and one of the fullest noisy jams I’ve had the pleasure of hearing on this earth. Just straight heavenly goosebumps all the way through to the ending distortion fading away.
I’m blown away, there really isn’t much more I can say. I cannot get enough of this album. I pretty much just kept looping the album nonstop once I first got my hands on it. This album is impressively loud and is Noise Rock done right. The Heavy Psych direction is an amazing way to go, letting each track really develop into a psychedelic “Category 5” hurricane. Sure this isn’t maniacal speedster like Lightning Bolt but it definitely was a high-velocity 40 minutes of music. I recommend this to familiar faces of the genre and those outside of it, it’s too good for anyone to miss.