The Vomit Arsonist : Wretch

The Vomit Arsonist : WretchCipher ProductionsForce Of Nature : 2009
Format : CD

Andy Grant is a name that’s been making a regular appearance on my personal playlist as of late. Besides running his own Danvers State Recordings label and being one half of US PE outfit Bereft, he’s also been a busy boy as of late with his own releases, all of which seem to get progressively better, “Wretch” being the jewel in his crown so far.

This disc is a co-release between Aussie noise label Cipher Productions and the US Force Of Nature label, who just happens to be owned by Grants partner in crime from Bereft, Peter Lee. As with the previous tape I’d grabbed, the split with Houston’s Concrete Violin, Grant seems to have found that perfect blend of Death Industrial bleakness and pure Power Electronics attack.

The disc begins with “The Warm Body Complex”, a slow builder that sounds like a jet revving up from LAX on a non-stop flight to the Ninth Circle. Subtle synth rumbles give way to heavily filtered vocals that seem to come at you from all directions. The whole track sounds like it was recorded over some scratchy old 78. “Until Death”, as the title would suggest, has a foundation of Italian Death Industrial, but adds the 1-2 punch of aggressive PE vocals and lengthy strains of heavenly feedback. There’s even a hint of some junk abuse. The beginning of “A Moment Of Clarity” reminds me a lot of Texas DI legends Steel Hook Prostheses, but again that injection of feedback that keeps you from getting too comfortable. There’s just enough noise to keep you from relaxing, but not excessive enough to be that vomit inducing ear rupture. The short and subtle “Time Passing” is actually one of my favorites. A simple old school Industrial rhythm coupled with slithering tendrils of synth, or guitar, I’m not sure and it doesn’t really matter. It’s an amazing track, I just wish this one was a bit longer.

“The Light” begins as this beautiful, piano based melody, but almost as a reminder of who and what your dealing with, enter the heavy static rumble. About the halfway mark things turn really ugly as the PE-style shouts begin and the deterioration continues. I love the juxtaposition of light and dark through the first half and always enjoy when artists explore that method. “Beating And Twitching” is a more standard PE offering, heavy rumbles and yelled vocals. one of those tracks that sounds best really LOUD. The disc closer is “Power”. This one seems to be almost an extension of the previous track, but adds some noisier moments so things go out with a bang. The last couple of minutes end the disc perfect with more subtle synth work over the stuck end groove of an LP, which by the way, this release would be perfect for.

I know I sling the “not to be missed” slogan around a lot, but mainly because I buy those things I’m pretty sure I’m going to love. This is one. But hell, don’t take my word for it, you can preview the whole disc at the FON website . Do it, then buy it. Housed in a cardboard slipcase with minimal but appropriate art work.

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