RJ Myato – Drew Blood (C10, Strabismus Tapes)

Drew Blood comes in some pretty interesting cassette packaging. It’s a cardboard box folded to house the tape snugly within, and there’s also a wrap-around with a couple of quotes taken from an Internet message board about heroin use, plus pictures of shooting up and needles. It’s not the most ergonomic design, but it’s definitely aesthetically pleasing to unfold and it is a new design for cassettes that I’d like to see more of.

The noise part of this release is short but very good. First, on side A, we start out with some fuzzy, electronics-laden guitar drones and some really deep, manipulated vocals that apparently state the dialogue included in the insert. The vocals aren’t really anything special, and trying to listen through the cluttered distortion detract from the guitar shifting behind it. But then the track really kicks into high gear with a shuddering mass of static feedback that plays around an even more muffled vocal recording – this time, the noise and vocals pair really well together, and the texturing is excellent.

The B side is labeled “Sick”, and it certainly feels that way with a departure from the cleaner guitar drones that began the A side and jumping directly into a swirling mix of feedback swells, static ripping textures, and a few different lines of manipulated high-pitched squalling. It almost feels like a continuation of where Side A was headed, and I like that the two sides seem to bleed into each other without sounding overwhelmingly similar. This is the harsh side of RJ Myato, an area I really like about the project because of its focus on sharp textures smashed together.

Drew Blood is certainly an interesting release, short on noise but really heavy on the harsh side of things. The packaging is intriguing, and the sounds contained within focus on harsh noise with lots of texturing. Definitely a must for those who enjoy a  short but thorough scathing of the eardrums.

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