Battery Face — What's What Stuff
((Not on label) no#, 2014, DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-09-07Continuing my theme of noisy post-punk from the recently-reviewed Can Can Heads, we move to Scotland for Battery Face. Their debut full-length release, 2012's Addams Family Values, contained a set of brief and unpredictable songs based on the theme of Gomez, Morticia, and their kin. Punchy, overdriven bass and heavily reverbed vocals were the unifying factors and Sonic Youth a reasonable reference point. For this set, however, they've turned away from pre-rehearsed material entirely in favor of some longer improvisations, running from nine minutes to more than 18. They let you know how serious they are about the whole affair by naming the first track "Justin Bieber Sausage" though I believe no Biebers were actually harmed in the making of the recording. No telling what damage might be done if he was forced to listen to it, however. It's about as far from fluffy pop as you can get and still have a beat. Battery Face avoids the primary pitfalls of improvised rock, namely falling into one or two chord jams or stock blues progressions. They generally manage to center around a particular tonality, and play off each other, so sometimes the guitar will pick up on a motif that started in the bass or vice versa. As a matter of fact, it's often hard to tell the bass and the guitar apart with both of them so distorted. Sometimes they will get into a groove and go with it for a while, but then wander off to something else, and there's a good amount of variety in tempos and energy levels. It's always loud and distorted, but can be either full of high density thrashing or long sustained notes or various places in between. Going with long instrumental improvisations like this is a bold move for a band on their second release, but I have to commend them for pulling it off. Not for everyone, certainly, but I'll take it.
Related artist(s): Battery Face
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more