Review of GNAW “Life Is Easy”
Unsurprisingly, Gnaw's appearance makes for the most terrifying moment on Fathers, as they transform "Life Is Easy" into a nigh-unrecognizable rotting carcass of shrieking electronics and putrid screaming, that stirring melody from the original almost obliterated by the shambling, slow-motion horror that the group drag out across the floor.
- Crucial Blast
Reviews of GNAW “Horrible Chamber”
There are lots of creepy bands in metal, but NYC's Gnaw -- featuring former Khanate vocalist Alan Dubin -- are among the creepiest of the bunch.
The seven-track effort, due on October 15th, features the super gnar vocals of none other than Alan Dubin, the same guy that made you shit yourself in doom juggernaut Khanate. Turn out the lights, close the shades and play all of Horrible Chamber (streaming below) at high volume… I fucking dare you.
... sometimes a bleak doom metal dirge, sometimes bleary noise, sometimes 12 minutes of analog darkwave, sometimes just tossing junk around and yelling, "You left your window open!" Gnaw's Alan Dubin should sound familiar to anyone who remembers the tonsil-in-needlenose-pliers yarble-yowl of out-metal bands like Khanate or Old (or maybe old AC/DC bootlegs, if Bon Scott was being stretched on a rack). Their second album doesn’t have the sandblasted industrial grind of 2010's This Face, opting for a more nuanced sound that's claustrophobic, and… well… more like a horrible chamber. There's an Arab on Radar, clutching-your-nuts vibe to this — he screams "humming inside," but it really sounds like "coming inside." The Eyes Wide Shut piano drags it all the way to the dungeon.
Horrible Chamber arrived in mid-October, just as plastic ghouls began to populate small-town storefronts and black-cat cutouts arrived in little front yards. Those fake boogeymen remind us annually of the horror of haunting and the tingle of danger. Gnaw get beyond all that, pushing their tirades and tales to the point where actual destruction seems just beyond the door. So much of that rests with Dubin, just as it has with every band he’s called his own. But this time, much of it rests with the band itself, too, which approaches Dubin’s rampages with newfound reserve and purpose. Gnaw might still lack the dramatic thrall and endless volume of Khanate, but they’ve begun to build themselves stepwise around a masterful instrument and centerpiece that no one else has.
In the long and intimidating history of black metal vocalists, Alan Dubin surely stands out as the most unnerving. His rasping shriek added layers of misanthropic claustrophobia to bands like O.L.D. and Khanate, and on this second album by the hard-to-define Gnaw, he reaches fresh heights of deranged hysteria, sounding like a man teetering on the edge of full-on mental destruction. At its best, Horrible Chamber scales similar heights as Khanate, and there can be few better compliments than that.
Review of Enos Slaughter "On Sunday"
[An]expression of something intrinsically American . . . Enos Slaughter as a group rematerialize the kind of elemental shapes first carved out by Doc Boggs and his like, only according to a resolutely post-Derek Bailey logic. Unlike many other NNCK-related workouts, they dispense with a frenzied "everyone playing at once" feel for more open spaces that allow the group to indulge in some startling shadowplay every bit as damaged as early Royal Trux.
- The Wire
Review of ZASHIKI-WARASHI “Floor/Child”
In between being in avant pluckers Enos Slaughter and leading the free jass ensemble Izititiz, Carter Thornton likes to lie and say he's a duo by the name of Zashiki-Warashi. He enjoys perpetuating this myth so much, he did up a two CD set of his abstract fibbery and titled it 'Floor Child'. He had some friends help him. Some you've heard of, some you haven't. I sure do wish I had heard of Z-W contributor/helper Fudge Bridges before getting this set. With such a kick ass name as that, he'd be more than welcomed at any of my cheese wizz parties. But anyway, these discs are a bold attempt at filling space with the most demented and personal sounds possible. Live and drugged guitar stumbling, weirdo snippets of vinyl being slowed, speeded up and stalled, horns wailing against flailing drums, police sirens speeding by open wondows, crude field recordings...you get alotta confusion for your buck. And it comes off like a ragged photo album full of fractured moments, reminding me of the Vitamin B12 boxset or something.
Review of IZITITIZ “With Our With Jazz”
With our with jazz is a rock/jazz bastard with all the scratchy lo-fi hysteria and ‘live in a room feel of a prime Saturn cut. The opening “Conduit” explodes with the kind of teeth grinding sound that NY No Wavers Mars used to mainline, propped up by an Arkestral sounding rhythm section. When the squeal of the amp dies down guitarist Carter Thornton tears cascades of speed blurred notes from his six strings that sound like Ascension’s Stefan Jaworzn goring one of John Coletrane’s doe eyed ballads. Little eloquent spits of trumpet and flute make Untitled Peace sound like one of Bill Dixon’s front room sketches, while Naked Man is a lot more percussive, with oscillating keyboard noise, walls of chant, backwards vocals and some totally squealing saxophone very much in the vein of Arthur Doyle. The second side is one long screaming improvisation with everything turned full on. A winner.
Review of Enos Slaughter "On Sunday"
NO I HAVEN'T HEARD THE NEW DEAD C. BUT THIS STUFF WILL MOST LIKELY KICK ITS ASS... Enos Slaughter are a loose limbed improv unit from NYC who seem to change their aural plan of attack everytime I witness them live. From foggy trips into the mountains of the moon and mind to full-blown Psych Rock overload, the trio of Dave Shuford, Marc Orleans and Carter Thornton are into traveling a long, endless road of sound. Their pursuit isn't to necessarily find a place to set up camp, but rather to see the sights and make their presence felt with the pulse they emit. Their first commitment to vinyl, entitled 'On Sunday' (Conduit Creations/Sound @ One) catches them in mid-wander. Between the gray shafts of dense abstraction lies a tiny little hole where mandolin and banjo strings braid together to create an Appalachian trial that leads directly towards a massive swamp of cough syrup. Check out 'Side Beast' and tell me it doesn't sound like Biff Rose and Wall Matthews on a higher grade of pot. Go ahead. Tell me. Hopefully their more 'rock' creations will find their way to vinyl or tin foil soon. For now, this'll do. Guest appearence by Keith Connolly noted and accounted for.