The new moniker for Justin Marc Lloyd, Pregnant Spore, closes out the Dim Dusk Moving Gloom era of the artist. Pregnant Spore is the natural progression from that earlier project, emphasizing the same ideals while trying out some new ideas in the process. This 3″ CD-R from Pigdurt comes in a plastic pouch with printed artwork on a white mini-CD. It’s a numbered edition of 30 (I managed to score the last one), and the packaging is nice and concise. Artwork features some snowy mountains with a pink, foreboding sky in the background, a good mix of colors that’s pleasing to the eye.
First up on the 20 minute 3″ is “_Super Yank_”, a track that plays around with sound balance throughout. Starting with high-pitched squeaks and groaning electronics, Pregnant Spore consistently messes with the balance of the track, switching the sounds around from left speaker to right, creating a disorienting track full of squalls and blips of noise. This track is great to listen to with headphones, as the dizzying effect of the constant balance shifts are quite nice when listened to closely. The track makes a great transition from the opening groan into squeakier sounds, and the progression works very well throughout the five minute length.
“_Phage Display_” opens with oscillations of more buzzing electronics along with a deep droning in the background. Lots of layers to this, with almost a creepy vibe of screeching doors and malevolently chirping crickets, as though an omen of death. Again, sound balance is a factor here, as Lloyd textures that background drone with pulsating electronic shafts of noise that loop and stutter. Pregnant Spore brings the track to a close with dripping analog noise, finishing off with a higher-pitched version of the opening.
“_Magistrates_” is the longest track on Snap_Argue_Cry, and opens with an excruciating whistle that is randomly blasted by static shock. A rhythmic pattern emerges until the screams of abused electronics burst into the mix. The track is constantly shifting, a mix of furious noise shifts while maintaining the arc the track began in the opening. Rarely does Snap_Argue_Cry feel like a set of arbitrary noises; instead, each track maintains a formula, one always drenched in continually changing electronics, but a formula nonetheless. It’s a sentiment carried over all of Lloyd’s projects, one that makes them stand out from the rest. A pulsing bass buzz sputters to life until waves of static and feedback blot out all conscious thought. I love the loops of high-pitched chirrups towards the end; they torment and yet soothe the listener.
“_Pills_” has an excellent beat to it, repetitive at times and meandering at others. It sounds as though Pregnant Spore has broken out a guitar drenched in acid, as if the seriously demented electronics have changed the tone into a beeping instrument of atonal bliss. It ends with a pummeling of pulsating bass. “_Dream Contortion_” continues that same “arcade midway from Hell” experience, a terrifying trip through a deadly carnival to conclude the 3″.
And obviously, Snap_Argue_Cry is another great release from an artist who continually decides to change his sound. Though it’s only 20 minutes, there’s more than enough noise to go around, and the interesting use of sound balance on the opening half is a disorienting entrance for the listener.