Priest In Shit – Icon/Effigy (7″ LP, Phage Tapes)

harsh noise, harsh noise wall, Noise, Review


This is Memory Wave Transmission’s first record review, and thanks to Phage Tapes, it’s certainly an awesome one. Priest In Shit is a harsh noise group featuring Richard Ramirez, Sean Matzus, and Vance Osborne, something like a supergroup of noisicians that often play in their other project Black Leather Jesus. Icon/Effigy is short but intensely harsh, with two side-long tracks barely hitting the nine-minute mark collectively.

With three members, it’s quite apparent that Icon/Effigy would have a lot going on in its two tracks. “Icon” features some scratchy texturing of junk electronics, which often alternates and shifts to give way for some distanced static sounds. Everything seems filtered through a scratchy contact mic, giving the noises an even more lo-fi, undefined sound; what’s great about this, though, is that it allows certain elements of the noise to drop out, for contrasts to be made between the static and industrial clatter of a restrained crunch beneath the more dominating whorl of harsh electronics. Despite being assaulting to the ears, the track also has a refined, almost rhythmic pattern to it that makes “Icon” ironically unlistenable and yet strangely hypnotizing.

“Effigy” has that same signature sound, very scratchy and buzzy but with numerous textures and noises filling its bulk. There’s a sustained buzz and judder underneath, with a heady bit of static that fluctuates atop it; and thanks to the multiple players, multiple layers of slashing static butt heads. It’s interesting that Priest In Shit never really erupt but always simmer and boil; the fact that it’s apparent that they could if they so chose to makes it that much more exciting to follow Icon/Effigy through multiple listens, continuously flipping the record.