Lacerations is a deep incision, cutting through skin and bone. There’s no let up, no rest. You can’t escape its vicious, static-charged strike. Thought processes are long gone, their garbled images burning on the garbage heap, creasing like a well-worn tape that has finally succumbed to the incessant noise, committing suicide as it deliberately lodges itself in the heads. Its noose is a darkly colored reel. Decaying loops cycle through the metallic air, along with the clunking, intermittent dissonance of ancient slaughterhouse machinery. The chaotic noise echoes as it travels along dark, narrow hallways that suffer from power cuts. Electricity has been re-routed, cutting out the luminescent lighting.
Crawling synths suddenly explode, a bomb of noise that tries to destroy the music. Television static surrounds the pulsating synth, buzzing with tiny white dots billions of years old, a feature presentation brought to you by the Big Bang. Lacerations is the kind of film that’d be shown late at night, but it’d more likely find itself banned for decades, gaining a fierce, well deserved notoriety and a cult following along the way. This is raw, uncensored music, music that comes not just to challenge the system, but to bring the hierarchy to its knees with its fiery, noise-fuelled music – which is what makes it so bold, so good. The riot shields of harmony can’t stop the noise.
Grant Evans hits you with a ton of musical bricks. On the title track, the dissonant grinding of a subway train curves through the tunnel, but it could just as easily be the sound of Sadako’s fingernails as they scrape against the inner walls of the well. It has something spooky living in its core. The music comes close to derailing, deliberately dislocating. There’s something medieval, something primitive and yet deep, that makes the music compelling. The track builds, rising in pitch as it speeds through the black, dingy tombs and into the sickly light. On our exit, a hybrid harmony glistens with dirty distortion, sweat and soil oozing out of its decaying tone. It shifts and swoons, its stumbling skeleton made out of noise alone.
Evans organizes his noise into a semi-coherent language, a structure just outside our comprehension. Black strands of hair descend over the music, gurgling nonsensically as if it were a scene from The Grudge, where the gurgle on the other end of the phone is a sure death sentence. At other times, you can hear a buzzing, a nasty bout of tinnitus, that never goes away. The dynamic range is impressive, cutting the volume back when you least expect it – it’s not just used as an easy fade out to end the track.
Crammed with interesting, dark textures, Lacerations is deep and meticulously crafted in its black, desolate universe. It’s a short listen, but any longer and it would run the risk of losing its potency. ‘Snow/Noose’ is a 47 second video clip that crawls with black eyes and snowy white static, a crumbling piece of home footage that should never have been filmed. ‘Fat Bride’ is even more disconcerting, spinning slowly, endlessly, in its reel.
A void of noise severs the track in two, flinging it out into the black, empty pockets of the cosmos. Alarm bells wail in the dark. You can imagine the flash of the strobe lights and the frantic battle that ensues. Lacerations is absorbing music that will leave you breathless. Its musical skin is wounded on first listen, but by the end it’s an open, addicted conduit that begs for more.