Melted Cassettes – The Real Sounds From Hell Recordings (CD, Mind Flare Media)

EBM, Glitch, Music, Noise, Noisecore, Review

The duo of Melted Cassettes combine trashed synths with other noises for a decidedly rhythmic take on noise music; there’s also an emphasis on screamed, whorled vocals that pepper each track, adding their own type of unique sound to the amalgamation.

“Shining Figures” is easily the best track on The Real Sounds From Hell Recordings, a Locust-ian tune that features no distinguishable real instruments at all. Instead it churns into a rhythmic mess of downtempo glitch, as if a crusty grind band were playing with busted, fucked synths instead of guitar.

With that said, none of the other songs on this disc reach the same crescendo as “Shining Figures.” They’re still good, but they fall into the same patterns and aren’t done to as well as the that elevated track. The vocals swirl within the crunchy glitches, harping with synths and programming that are mostly catchy. “Plastic Bubble Byter” is another excellent cut, but these good ones are often frustrated by “Lor” or “Sounds From Hell Vol. 2”, which never quite click.

But The Real Sounds From Hell Recordings does end on another good note with the noisy “Xzrzrz” that differs from the other tracks with little rhythm or vocal sounds; there’s a good zippy sound to it, and it shows that Melted Cassettes don’t need to yell over their grinding music.

All told, The Real Sounds From Hell Recordings is a promising record if you’re into the sort of noise rock that The Locust or Daughters play; this time, though Melted Cassettes aren’t playing with recognizable instruments. Sometimes they don’t hit with their pseudo-dance beats, but “Shining Figures” is definitely worth a listen.

Cheezface – Circumstantial Pestilence (CD, Mind Flare Media)

dark ambient, EBM, Glitch, Music, Noise, Noisecore, Review

As you can tell from the cover artwork and song titles on Circumstantial Pestilence, Cheezface is a particularly serious individual playing mature noise. At the end of “Fancy That, A Fire In Your Kitchen And Me Without My Pants”, there’s a sound sample of a man saying, “When she farts, it’s going to smell like…” Now you know what you’re getting into, if you didn’t realize it at first.

Honestly, though, I think Cheezface is doing himself a disservice with all of the ICP/pornogrind imagery he peppers his release with, since that sort of thing isn’t entirely well-regarded by the masses (myself included, and I put off listening to this album somewhat because of that I must admit). You see, Cheezface actually does the IDM/grindcore thing fairly well, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t really dig the ADD-addled spirals and cuts of samples that it’s known for.

There are some delightful little pieces of tracks on Circumstantial Pestilence, though; the first track’s drone gets you ready for a darker, more serious jaunt than one might expect. The second, “The Tokyo Sandblaster”, is programmed blasts of grindcore, violin samples, and even a sexy ’80s nightclub saxophone solo. “Gary Glitter Loves the Kids” is a good example of how Cheezface can write good poppy riffs with random digital noise.

It’s surprising how many different samples are included throughout the release, even moreso how good the drum programming is. It’s very nuanced, often with small bits that unobservant ears might not hear. Still, there are rhythmic tracks that just tend to float by unnoticed, like “Let Them Eat Urinal Cake” or “Doing Blow With Foghorn Leghorn”. The best on this end of things might be “Syntax Error Remix”, a MIDI-type atmospheric piece with flowing synth tones that works well until obliterated by drum beats.

The album ends with a five minute closer in five parts; it’s a good example of everything you might hear during the course of the album, and it helps summarize what Cheezface and Circumstantial Pestilence is – having fun with the ridiculousness of what you can do with noise, the areas where contrived bullshit can meet with more serious fare. Kick back a few beers and get down to this if it’s your sort of thing, because Cheezface does it well.