Release DetailsLABEL Alternative Tentacles Records
RELEASED ON 4/6/2005
Welcome To Violence
posted on 4/2005 By:
As fellow sludge enthusiasts may know, Buzz*Oven has been defunct since about 2000, its members dispersing into lesser acts such as Weedeater and Watch Them Die. Still, every fallen hero deserves a fitting eulogy, and while the 5 year wait has been somewhat excruciating, Alternative Tentacles have put together a great memorial service that will titillate long time fans and neophytes alike. Welcome To Violence is a GREAT and long overdue retrospective collecting the band’s legendary Unwilling To Explain and Wound EPs (where's the Hate Box 7" though?), as well as their debut full length and prelude to the AMAZING Sore LP, To A Frown.
What is presented on this disc is more aligned with Buzz*Oven's punk rock/crust and noise leanings than any of their subsequent outings, something that should be of considerable interest to musical curators in search of sludge’s primal roots. Confusingly, Alternative Tentacles have decided to package these offerings in reverse chronological order, so the record begins with the To A Frown debut. “To A Frown” is a BARNBURNER of a song, a noisy, churning, bass-heavy monolithic monstrosity that very much hints at Buzz*Oven’s sonic parallels to the New York noise rock scene of Helmet, Unsane and Cop Shoot Cop, though Reverend Dicklicker's unhinged vocals brand the track with an unmistakably Buzz*Oven seal. “Drained” is a far more conventionally sludge affair, beginning with a sample and a hollow, foreboding drone that paves the way for an agonizing, skeletal bass riff that coalesces with squealing, feedback guitars and deliberate, beautifully minimalistic rhythms to form a sadistically hypnotic suicide hymn. Elsewhere, “Frayed” sounds like Discharge if you told them to play a Godflesh song, paid them with acid and weed instead of advance money, made them memorize Mentors lyrics and locked them up in a studio for a week with no food. BRILLIANT!
The EPs are in some senses far more frenzied and punk-oriented than the LP, Unwilling To Explain opener “Done” being a frantic, relentless blast of crossover thrash that, on several occasions, almost seems to promise a Dream Death-esque doom breakdown, but cheekily relents and stampedes rambunctiously down a D.R.I. on barbiturates path. “Hollow” is far more enjoyable and less linear, layering shards of discordant, atonal guitar over a molten core of mammoth bass, glass-swallowing sneers and ritualistic, almost Neurosis percussion. The rhythm section has always been one of the fundamental strengths of Buzz*Oven- the rhythms are so trance-inducing that you hardly notice they’re grinding your skull into dust. From the very beginning, Buzz*Oven adopted a more obtuse, angular approach to sludge than more ramshackle outfits like Eyehategod, Noothgrush and Iron Monkey, tempering their jetblack malice with a sophisticated understanding of dissonance and discordance. This is fascinatingly evident in even their most primitive recordings.
Buzz*Oven is theme music to the seediest underbelly of American life, they are the sound of the American dream going horribly, horribly wrong. They are the soundtrack to American excess taken to the most gratuitous extreme, the audial equivalent of a nightmarish drug binge. Where else could this sadistic sound come from other than the bayous of the South, a perilous swamp of treachery and murder? Buzz*Oven, more than any band not named Eyehategod, managed to distill and project this venomous essence with more anguished sincerity than any band I could name. It is my genuine hope that this collector’s item finds itself in stereos the world over, that it will pique enough interest to ignite a resurgent interest in this band and convince Roadrunner to reissue Sore. With the long-AWOL Eyehategod coming out of the marshes to tour with Buried Inside this year, maybe unfashionable ol’ sludge will undergo a renaissance among the mallcore crowds. My fingers are crossed.
This is a great, lovingly compiled collective, an essential historical document for collectors, as well as a uniquely masochistic experience for newbies. BUY THIS!
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