November 30, 2008

Discordance Axis - Jouhou (Devour, 1997/Hydra Head, 2004)...

Hell yeah. This was originally released on Devour Records in 1997, and here it is again in new packaging with bonus tracks from the split 7"s with Plutocracy and Melt Banana, etc. "Jouhou" seems to remain my favorite output from the band, if for no other reason than I find the recording to be thicker and more effective than many of their other sessions. The percussion is really thick and smooth, the guitar tone is dirty but has a lot of chunkiness to it, and the vocals are as scathing as ever and fight their way out in front of the instruments. I'm sure most people know the drill here: Most of the songs are a about a minute, some a little more, some a little less, lots of frantic speed and dissonance, relentless screaming, plenty of blasts, a general feeling of controlled chaos that does definitely come off as structured and well performed, etc. The vocals get a little deeper during parts of tracks like "Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said", which also covers a wider range of textures and tempos. "Aperture of Pinholes" also has some very noteworthy slower rhythms that are among the heaviest the band ever displayed. The recordings on the 7"s are also pretty good. Slightly muddier, especially the guitars, but still dense and clear enough to get by with ample rawness factor in place. Plus you'll get a couple of token grinders like "Tokyo" and a cover of Melt Banana's "So Unfilial Rule" (All nine seconds of it!). The last track on the disc consists of the sounds of the venue being cleared out and cleaned up after the band's last song at their last show in Tokyo on their 1997 tour, as the recording wasn't stopped when the set ended. (Aversionline)



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