posted on 5/2006 By:
PCP Torpedo isn’t a new Agoraphobic Nosebleed disc, but it’ll likely shake up fans of this cracked-out grind institution anyway. Originally released on vinyl about seven years ago, Hydra Head has ported the album to CD and repressed it. PCP Torpedo consists of ten straightforward ANb cuts and fourteen remixes by various electronica and noise artists, but the vast majority of the hour running time is devoted to the remixes.
For their part, the Nosebleed songs are...well, exactly what you’d expect. Though the tracks are a little riffier and more traditional than those on Frozen Corpse Stuffed with Dope or Altered States of America, the band’s self-termed ‘hypergrind’ is out in full force here. Scott Hull remains one of grindcore’s most distinctive and talented guitarists; it takes more than a little creative flexibility to make a twenty-second blast fest anything close to memorable, but Hull pulls it off somehow anyway. The programmed drums aren’t as deliberately over-the-top fast as they’d later become, but they’re still manic (and unabashedly artificial). And, of course, there’s a sample: opener “Azido Phencyclidine Electrophoresis/Thanksgiving Day” includes one of the funnier film clips that the band has ever used.
If the actual songs are a little conservative by Agoraphobic standards, the remixes go way off the other end of the spectrum. A quick run through the list of involved artists will give you an idea of what you’re in for here. James Plotkin of Khanate/Phantomsmasher ‘fame,’ DJ Speedranch, Janksy Noise, and even noise immortal Merzbow contribute tracks that are theoretically composed of manipulated ANb songs, but essentially sound like their source artists’ grating anti-musical drug freakouts with a few Agoraphobic Nosebleed clips thrown in. Droks, Hellz Army, Substance Abuse and a Devnull/Xanopticon collaboration all offer up chaotic, fast-paced techno songs that offer a little more standard structure (like, y’know, a rhythm) without being any more identifiably connected to the band they’re theoretically remixing. The Submachine Drum/Vidna Obmana co-op and the infamous Justin Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu) throw in more controlled, atmospheric tracks; the latter of these is a lengthy, intimidating doom stomp that wouldn’t have sounded out of place coming from one of Broadrick’s main projects. Only Auek and Submachine Drum’s solo effort bare any real resemblance to grind, much less ANb’s distinctive style thereof.
I think this shit was conceived with people who have done far more drugs than I in mind, which is perhaps why listening to it became such a chore. I enjoy the Nosebleed, but unless you’re a completist fan of theirs or an active noise aficionado, PCP Torpedo will probably just grate on your ears more often than it pummels them.
Register to post comments.