posted on 2/2009 By:
When you hear band descriptions that involve the word “spazzy,” do your ears instantly perk up? Do you think that bands like Car Bomb and Behold…The Arctopus could really rock if they’d just relax their rigid adherence to conventional song structure? Does the prospect of sticking your head in a dryer full of thumb tacks and turning it on high strike your fancy? If so, then Brazen Bull are probably for you. They certainly aren’t for me.
Truthfully, this self-financed EP is impressive in a lot of ways. Brazen Bull display a noteworthy level of skill and professionalism—the disc’s scads of arbitrary time changes are tight as a drum, the fret-scrambling musicianship often boggles the mind (lots of crazy video-gamey guitar noises here), and you can hear every instrument clearly as the band members whip through their seemingly unrelated paces. Aside from the comparatively controlled “Right Angle Triangle,” Brazen Bull presents the listener with an impenetrable vortex of slightly death metal-flavored noise, broken up only by scattered moments of lurching groove and the inevitable “jazz break” or two. Like The Red Chord falling down a hillside in mid-song, these dudes summon up an incredible amount of tightly-wound sound and fury that signifies absolutely nothing. Though the solid production makes this slab a little easier on the ears, vocalist Fox does the opposite, monotonously screeching like Jon Chang (Discordance Axis) getting an entire pine tree rammed up his bunghole.
As I said, this kind of nihilistic noise/death/grind is obviously hard to do and therefore kind of impressive. That said, there are plenty of bands who engage in this kind of over-the-top showmanship without completely losing the whole ‘writing a song’ bit in the shuffle (the aforementioned Car Bomb, Ion Dissonance, etc.), and ten years after Calculating Infinity came out, it’s hard not to feel a little desensitized to this style. Sure, Brazen Bull want it to hurt when you listen to them, but it’s just not that good hurt anymore, y’know? If they focus a little more on craft and less on the holy-shit factor in the future then these dudes might become pretty interesting—otherwise I’ll take a pass.
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