Frown - "Wallghost" (Stateless Records 2000, SR-001)

From Aural Innovations #15 (April 2001)

The CD-case is rather interesting; plain white digi-pack with no print anywhere. The CD itself has no print or color either; it's the exact same on both sides! For a while I had placed it in my player upside-down and just figured it wouldn't play because the music was so horrific. If you find this in a record store, you'll have no idea what it is! Fortunately the release came with a bio.

Anyway, it's a one-track 20-minute barrage of pure guitar noise. The wall-of-sound fluctuates a bit and there's some drums thrown in, though mainly just an incessant stamping of the bass and toms, and you kind of get the feeling that these guys are just trying to annoy. I can appreciate elements of "noise" in music, but this is just way off. There are some pretty good echo-effects here and there, but not often enough to keep my attention for the whole of the disc. At the half-way mark there's a sudden shift where the whole wall-of-sound crumbles and is filtered into destructive anti-melody grumbling fragmented electric chaos, becoming even noisier! I could imagine no better example where a group sounds like they're actually trying to destroy their music and instruments. I think they found room for some whammy-bar somewhere but they had probably busted them off by the mid-point. It's aggressive, noisy and obnoxious but maybe there are a few potential fans out there. Here's the scoop on how to get a copy (or save the money and just open your car-window a crack while driving on the freeway at a very high velocity whilst banging your fists incessantly against the steering wheel).

For more information you can visit the Stateless Records web site.
Contact via snail mail c/o Stateless Records; PO Box 40734; Providence, RI 02940.

Reviewed by Chuck Rosenberg

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