Great Falls - Fontanelle (Paradigms)

Drawing the ear in the same way that a car-crash draws the eye, Great Falls are mandatory.

Released Aug 15th, 2011 via Paradigms / By Paul Robertson
Great Falls - Fontanelle (Paradigms) Those with functioning long-term memories may remember Playing Enemy, the band that spun out of noisecore legends Kiss It Goodbye. Lead by guitarist/vocalist Demian Johnston, PE were a bleakly angular, spiteful black hole of discord, and Great Falls is a continuation of that current, only further down the spiral and further into feel-bad territory.

What once was bleak is now positively arctic, and what once was spiteful is now vehement. Johnston vents his spleen with full-throated, pop-eyed fury over mechanised beats, the filthy surging bass of Shane Mehling and warped angular guitar skronk that calls to mind the killing technology of prime Voivod as much as it does the black-hearted skree of Big Black. Swarming, bent discords mix with bluesy swagger on opener 'Hundreds Of Child Soldiers', and moments of Shellac-ish-melody emerge during 'Untitled Women' and 'The Bank Agnostic', but elsewhere all is disquieting, uneasy listening.

An atmosphere of dread casts a pall over the whole recording, informing the sound and feel of the tracks and seeping out of the speakers like a choking miasma. The ominous thud of the drum-machine feels like an encroaching threat and Johnston sounds incandescent with rage. These are not happy people making happy music, these are people playing for their lives and souls, exorcising serious demons. Cold, unyielding and writhing with difficulty, this is not for everyone.

Great Falls are channelling the stark filth of early Swans, the inhuman crunch of Godflesh, and the primo weird riffing of Voivod, boiling it down and fashioning pointed gobbets of concentrated rage and disgust on Fontanelle. Drawing the ear in the same way that a car-crash draws the eye, this may be uncomfortable listening, but for lovers of noiserock and connosieurs of skronk, Great Falls are mandatory.