Meat Glue – Winona (CD-R, Not On Label)

Glitch, harsh noise, harsh noise wall, Noise, Review, Shitcore

meat glue winona

Meat Glue is a difficult project, not just because of the sound but because their releases are so illogical, mysterious, and unlabeled that it’s hard to document them or review them for something like Memory Wave Transmission.

I take pride in keeping a fairly well-organized blog of information about many limited-release noise albums that might not be readily available on the Internet, but everything Meat Glue does kind of undermines that. I had to search high and low to figure out what exactly this release was called, because the packaging I have for Winona is simply a double-sided CD sleeve with lots of graffiti-ed paper artwork, all of which tells me nothing about this release. The only thing I managed to find was a scrawl on the CD-R that says “Winona,” as well as being able to compare the sounds to an Archive MP3 Meat Glue uploaded.

With all of this in mind, with no track titles (or tracks themselves) to guide me, I sat down to listen to Winona. All 74 minutes of it. That’s a long time for any release (it completely fills a CD-R), but for a project like Meat Glue, 74 minutes feels like an eternity. That’s not because I hate their noise or I think it’s bad, it’s just that Meat Glue loads this release with tons and tons of sound. It’s hard to keep track of everything that’s happened after you finish with it.

That’s one way to look at noise – to dispense with all the trappings of “music” and to piledrive the listener with sound. Meat Glue lives up to their moniker; like the pasty substance derived from mounds of waste meat from all different animals, they take any bit of sound they can get their hands on and then mush it all together.

That means Winona is both crushing and frustrating at the same time. There are parts of this release that I really loved, and then there are parts (like the first few minutes of vocal collage) that I could have done without. But since Winona isn’t divided at all, and it’s thrown together haphazardly even though it seems it was recorded at different times and then edited together, you’ll never have the chance to just go back and revisit the good moments. You can fast forward, of course, but that’s time-consuming in itself.

That leaves you listening to the mountain of noise on this release just for key moments, and maybe you don’t have the time to invest in over an hour of trash-banging analog and reverbed samples. But there’s a reverse edge to this as well; if you can’t listen all at once, Winona works well as a CD-R that you can pause and come back to, as though every time you listen it’s a different recording.

It’s up to you whether you like this sort of thing, and I can’t say that I have an interest in going back to Winona anytime soon. But Meat Glue present this CD-R simply as-is, and they don’t make a claim that it’s anything more than a pile of shredded noise molded into thick, clumpy mess. Take it at face value.

Various Artists – Austin Noise 2013 (2xCD, Instincto Records)

dark ambient, Drone, Glitch, harsh noise, harsh noise wall, Industrial, Noise, Noisecore, power electronics, Review, Shitcore, spoken word

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Austin Noise 2013 is a compilation from Instincto Records collecting tracks from harsh noise/drone/experimental acts located in the Austin, Texas region. Over the course of two discs and two hours, the compilation features 46 artists, most of them rather obscure projects that many might not have heard. The collection is available in a set of 200, though I’m not sure how many of those went to the artists themselves.

The two discs of Austin Noise 2013 span a variety of different noise configurations. There’s the more experimental workings of Odor Baby’s “THE LIVE MISTRESS CAPITOL OF THE WORLD!!! AWESOME!!!”, which features a spoken word poem about sexual deviance delivered by an erotic mistress; drone offerings from Jacob Green and Pat Epley; then there’s the more harsh noise-oriented stuff from Mucophagia’s devastating “Fold Mold”, Aunt’s Analog’s harsh noise wall, Skullcaster’s “Blaggard”, and Sex Bruises’ “Good Lawyer.” There’s also the weird, thanks to Crashbarron’s channel-flipping track “Exciting Biceps” and Breakdancing Ronald Reagan, a project that always manages to crank out something off-beat and disturbed.

As you can see from the above amalgam of just some of the artists, there are those that are more well-known and those that haven’t really been experienced before. But what’s great about Austin Noise 2013 is that it gives the listener the chance to experience all of these acts at least once. Like any compilation, there are some really outstanding tracks on here coupled with those that might not tickle my fancy; yet that’s what a compilation is meant to do. Will you end up checking out all of the artists on here? Probably not. But you’ll definitely find some to whet your appetite, to force you to go out and find their discography. That’s what you want in a comp, and Austin Noise 2013 delivers.

There’s far too much on here to go into detail, but definitely check out this double-CD set if you can get your hands on it. You won’t regret hearing what Austin, TX has to offer.

Disleksick/Humanextermination Project – Split (C30, Hair On My Food Tapes & Records)

Noise, Noisecore, Review, Shitcore

On this cassette we’ve a got a side of noisecore and a side of I’m-not-sure-core. Disleksick plays a familiar type of shitgrind in the same stylings of other releases from Hair On My Food, while Humanextermination Project gives a side-long track of heavy repetition of sound samples. If you don’t like your noise annoying, you won’t like this tape at all, so let’s get that right out of the way.

Disleksick start things off with “No Melody/No Talent”. Neither of those attributions are quite true; the track does have a few places where noisy melodies do take shape, and they’re actually quite good when they appear. They also seem to have some talent, or at least stamina – it takes a lot of fucking energy to sound this angry, pissed, or drunk. Whatever the case, this lengthy track is split into areas where there’s a lot of blast-beating, then some lulls with guitar feedback galore leading into new areas of “song”, while the vocalist tends to exert a lot of moans and dying sounds over the instrumentals. It all sounds like a blast to watch and listen to live, even if the track does get a little sloppier than even normal noisecore towards the end.

On side B we have Humanextermination Project with “Untitled”. It’s a side-long track of audio torture. There’s lots of hiss, some rumble in the background, and a very repetitive loop of two vocal clips, both of which get pretty fucking annoying during the 15 minutes. Besides the crumbles and the musique concrete background sounds, which don’t sound like much simply because the vocal samples are so loud above the noise, there’s not a whole lot to like about what Humanextermination Project does, and I found it more annoying and a slightly lazy composition.

Though the Disleksick side of the split is pretty good, I’m not sure how often I will return to this cassette, simply because of the chore of having to sit through HEP’s side – I’ll probably play Disleksick, rewind that side, and start again. If I wanted to hear what Humanextermination Project offers on here, I’d find the vocal samples and a fan and put them on loop. Then again, I’ve never felt that urge to begin with.

Gravhund – Caffeine Overkill (3″ CD-R, Shit Music for Shit People)

Noise, Review, Shitcore

Gravhund play their own affectionately termed brand of noise called shitcore, which certainly sounds appealing to the senses. The duo of Ablablablablabla and Herr Doktor have put together twelve tracks of ridiculousness, from tape loops to sound and vocal samplings to pedals and bass and any other noises that they could put together to form weird, nonsensical sound.

On Caffeine Overkill, you really don’t know what you’re going to get on each track. “Grim Blim” features a looped sample of a chipmunk laugh, played over and over with different sounds added to the mix; “Caffeine Overkill, Part 1” features a coughing sample which leads to a bit of vomiting, looped again and again with new effects filtered through it. There’s a lot of spontaneity in these tracks; that doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily good, but the shitty effect of all of them certainly shines through. The thing is, Caffeine Overkill isn’t really trying to take itself seriously, and there’s a sense that Gravhund is just having fun with meshing weird samples together and seeing what people make of them. They’ll probably laugh at this review, since the essence of reviewing something that has been intentionally made shitty might seem the highest sense of irony.

Still, attempting to be serious here, there’s not really a track that stands out on this mini-disc; there are moments of fun, certainly, like on “Wauw Wauw Wauw” which features a lot of samples that sound like the onomatopoeia of the title, but no track ever distinguishes itself as something more than the sum of the entire release.

Listening to this takes a bit of sarcasm and a love of nonsensical, tasteless junk. It’s a good listen when it’s on, and it serves its purpose as a lighthearted attempt at noise, but how much you listen to it after will depend on how much shitty, pointless noise appeals to you. And I’m sure Gravhund take that as a compliment, so feel free to use it as good press.