Review: White Suns – Sinews

(LP/CD, Load Records, 2012)

It was sometime during the last week, my brain was becoming so over-saturated with peaceful hippie psych rock noodling or vast ambient soundcapes it started giving me ideas. It said: “give me something already! Give me blood! Give me death! Gime me blackness!”. Initially ignoring those “tips”, I continued to listen to lenghty space rock jams and lo-fi cassette drone releases. And then, three or four days ago, while reading Amour & Discipline (gotta write something for them soon, anyway), I came across “Sinews” by the Brooklyn noise rock unit White Suns. I liked the cover, I LOVED the band name, so I gave it a spin.

Suddenly, everything shattered. All the peace and fun-loving visions disappeared, smashed apart by the relentless, metallic feedback and blastbeats. This is the kind of noise rock that is definitely more noise than rock, and to make things worse (or better?), it’s infused with the kind of nihilistic, destructive negativity of hardcore punk – kinda similar to Nicoffeine, but here it’s pushed even more towards metal. The best example here will be “Footprints Filled”, a death metal jam devoid of any semblance of structure or melody, just a bludgeoning wall of blast beats and inhumanly heavy guitar riffs that seems to go on forever… and ever… stripping any remains of humanity you might have left… the sound is bleak as fuck, and there is no hope in sight. The label, Load Records, are known for showing many facts of noise rock, from the playful, hyperactive noodling of Lightning Bolt to the experimental dance-punk of Skoal Kodiak, but with White Suns they enter a darker than ever area, which appears to be some sort of “last man standing” test than a free take on rock music.

Many will probably quit without listening to the album in its entirety, tired (or enraged) by the intensity (and the perceived lack of structure) of music, like the white noise-laden “Flesh Vault”, which sounds like an evil version of June of 44’s “Pale Horse Sailor” with its deadpan narrative vocals drowning in the noise or the unbearably sustained, feedbacky “Temple”, where the sparse, spastic drumming marks pauses in the funeral march of jangly, distorted guitar sludge. “Sinews” is definitely not an album for everyone, it’s jagged, harsh, rough and unwelcoming. It sounds like the eviler brother of Sightings having a toxic affair with harsh noise, grindcore and hardcore punk all at once, the effect being a black cloud that brings the holocaust.


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