Review: Black Pus – All My Relations
Published on February 21st, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
For the first time in his decidedly unique career, Brian Chippendale – best known as half of Providence, Rhode Island racket-makers Lightning Bolt – has embraced a full studio setup, recording his latest Black Pus LP All My Relations with Keith Souza and Seth Manchester at the Machines With Magnets studio in Pawtucket. Long-term fans, though, will be pleased to know that Chippendale’s penchant for insanely clattering drums and monstrous, oscillator-fuelled bass revs remains entirely intact.
It’s perversely heartening to think of how little sense All My Relations will make to the hitherto uninitiated, but then that fine line between order and chaos has always been savagely lawnmowered by Chippendale’s musical endeavours. Basically, if Animal from The Muppets went insane from listening to too much freeform jazz and metal, and was on a whole heap of amphetamines, it might sound a little something like this.
In amongst the industrial-strength mania, Chippendale’s effect-laden vocals rant away so unintelligibly that it’s not until penultimate track “Nowhere to Run” that Rocksucker is able to discern any of what he’s saying (in this case “Nowhere to run / Nowhere to breathe / Nowhere to hide”), although he does sound at one point in “Fly on the Wall” as if he’s chanting “nanu nanu nanu” (we accept he probably isn’t). His vocal turn earlier on in self-same track approaches a croon, as if trying to transmit signals identifiable to humans, but rest assured that the titular fly would simply not have survived the surrounding onslaught.
“Word on the Street” channels the screeching cacophony of a punk song going to war, the drums introduced by an almighty groan that could have emanated from Godzilla itself. It is of course suitably monstrous – pulverising, potentially terrifying, sounding a bit like being chased by a demon on a motorbike – while “All Out of Sorts” leads some kind of squiggly, high-pitched sound into a colossal wall of blaring screams (or perhaps the same blaring scream looped over itself), then suddenly splits.
“Hear No Evil” briefly threatens with its introductory drum fill to break into reggae, before confirming its misnomer by instead seguing into a bizzarre, glitchy assortment of strange voices over a quick-pounding beat, something that could be loosely described as sounding like “Frère Jacques” remixed by Satan.
We’re then treated to the bleeping, crashing mayhem of “Nowhere to Run” before “A Better Man” draws proceedings to a close with a nice, relaxing nine-minute assault of grumbling bass tones. Basically, Brian Chippendale – Black Pus, Lightning Bolt, comic books and all – is the exact opposite of Taylor Swift. The world could certainly use more Brian Chippendales.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!
All My Relations will be released on 18th March via Thrill Jockey. For more information, please visit www.thrilljockey.com/thrill/Black-Pus