Release DetailsLABEL Exile On Mainstream Records
RELEASED ON 2/2/2007
posted on 2/2007 By:
I haven’t been able to find too much info concerning Exile On Mainstream recording artists Volt, and fittingly enough, the style of odd noise rock this German three-piece perform is as elusive to pin down as the band itself. Almost like High On Fire high on amphetamines, or the Melvins venting in an extreme fit of anger with Frank Black huddled in the corner moaning and screaming about it, the experience of Rorhat is both unnerving and entirely appealing for those who enjoy fuzzed-out, ornery grooves, with no general regard for traditional assembly.
Captured within a clear but slightly tame production, “Kreuz” opens the album with vibrant, bass-heavy stoner rock licks and throaty, whiskey-rough yet somewhat tuneful vocals that show a hint of the calamity to come as the track ends, leading directly into the reverberant, crazed “Griffel” which settles into a steady groove, with occasionally off-timed drum enhancements. “Frommbug” continues with busily structured percussion following tightly along with sharply picked, almost funky guitars and bass, keeping with the somewhat peppy, but hapless pacing of the album.
“Zwiggillusion” delves deeper into the more disturbed, almost paranoid vocals the band enjoys adding during moments where grooves reach their greatest momentum, before withdrawing into the bizarre uptempo psychedelics that dominate the bass-driven “Stativ”. “Hospital In Wales” is a respectable attempt in running one or two good riffs in circles, but ends up being a little monotonous by the time the tune ends, and the self-titled closing track lumbers, wails, and chugs along for nearly thirteen somewhat dynamic, stoned minutes, with shades of pensive YOB floating through an extended, hypnotic segue. I’ve heard other slow build tunes of this nature, and this feels a bit too repetitive due to the lack of those cool nuances that help move along a minimalist tune such as this one. Finally, it’s around the eight-minute mark that things finally do begin steadily switching up a bit with percussive accents, but it isn’t until the final two minutes or so where things finally explode into an all-too-brief climax that just kind of sputters out with no sparks left behind as the disc fades into blah nothingness.
Invariably, I still don’t really know what to make of Rorhat. A great deal of it is quite catchy yet totally unconventional in a way, due to the rather schizophrenic, standoffish moods Volt portray. It also doesn’t sound forced, and is likely a fair representation of the personalities behind such odd, energetically drugged-out, yet not too heavy music. Overall the album could have used a little more punch in the sound department because some of the tunes begged for richer, better thought-out instrumentation to help bring the depth of the music out, and from a songwriting standpoint Rorhat tends to either go nowhere, or go all over the place too many times with no clear point of view.
There aren’t a whole lot of bands out there that sound like these guys, but if tripped out, occasionally insane stoner rock with an early 80’s punk edge is what gets you going, this is something you might consider adding to your collection. Volt is an acquired taste with a bitter residue, that satisfies a craving for the unorthodox. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the mood for a mindfuck.
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