christgau’s last stand

Christgau’s Last Stand ‘shredding winter coat’ (love torture). We love the exclusivity and collectible nature of these releases – this particular one comes pressed up in an edition of just 11 CD-or’s – all hand numbered – ours being #8 in case your interested in such details and pointless facts. We’ve mentioned Christgau’s Last Stand in previous despatches – in fact at missive #209 to be precise wherein we ran the thumb over the Love Torture family noting at the time this lots ‘nickel back is the best heavy metal band ever’ and making reference that they were ‘fu””ing scary’. Well several months down the line and our initial assessment of them hasn’t altered judging by the content of this six track salvo though it should be said that Assholemouthhead – incidentally coming via the same imprint may well prove to both f””king scary and nasty’. ‘shredding winter coat’ is Christgau’s Last Stand’s first outing since ‘I’ – its absence indeed noted here ho hum. According to the liner notes it was recorded just before Easter as an attempt to shift the CLS sonic perspective into a more ambient / noise based realm by way of the fusing of computer synths, field recordings and live electronics. Well we’re not sure about the ambient side of the equation but the noise factor is to say the least skin peeling. Housed in a sleeve depicting – how do I put this – a drawing of a dick and some hairy balls ‘shredding winter coat’ is a demented and damaged decibel distorting slab of unrelenting and scalding power electronics. Opening with the aforementioned ‘nickel back is the best heavy metal band ever’ a scarring slab of aural atrocity which just between me and you sounds like a seriously wired Clangers on crystal meth. ‘media fire’ starts up quietly enough before that is the onset of torrential downpours of sand blasted skree envelop and consume the listening space with a ferocious white noise scowl all metered with Dadaist pulse waves. The aptly titled micro-cosmic ‘tinnitus’ is more of the same, modulating frequency waves cross weave soon finding themselves flanked by armies of marching insectoid glitches and clicks – its all ominous stuff the near negligible sounds casting an unusually ill at ease demeanour to the proceedings. Elitist Bastards step up to the plate to deliver their re-edit of the lead track lulling you into a false sense of security with its ear phone channel switching swirls themselves strangely inducing you into a state of would be hypnotic bliss before without warning literally taking the top of your skull clean off with the violent thrust of their frequency fracturing shards of deteriorating machine gun white noise sprays. ‘yr in the clear’ opts for a spot of unusual calm with its scuffed up lo-fi field recordings leaving ‘whelk’ to round up the pack leaving you admirably pinned in hiding behind the sofa, squirreling noise manipulations, wind tunnel effects harnessing – or so it seems – the extreme elements of nature itself all built upon a festering dronal hum that quite frankly sounds like the equivalent of someone dragging nails slowly down a blackboard and neatly rounded off with the same whining hum that used to accompany the televisual transmission ending white dot. Scary

first published – August 10th, 2009

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