Saturday, April 12, 2014

Godflesh with Cut Hands, Pharmakon & House of Low Culture US Tour: April 10 - 25

Thursday at Neumos! After the cancelled tour of this past Fall, the west coast finally gets the out-of-nowhere revival of one of the all time defining Metal acts of the 1980's-90's, Justin Broadrick and G.C. Green's Godflesh. Reports from their New York show of last week is that they've reformed to play some of the most punishing, loud, assaulting music ever created by man and machine. If this sounds like hyperbole, then it's safe to say you weren't at the shows on their final US tour for the "Songs of Love and Hate" album of 1996. An album that at the time made 'Albums of the Year' lists for magazines as disparate as Terrorizer and The Wire. "Songs of Love and Hate" and it's companion " Dub" were a convergence of the purity of Metal assault of earlier Godflesh with a growing fascination with the weighty rhythms and hooks of Reggae and Hip Hop. The latter coming to inform Justin Broadrick's splinter project with The Bug's Kevin Martin through the late 1990's as Techno Animal. The rumored new Godflesh material promises to be a return to the era of just straight-up punishing Metal/Industrial assault, ala "Pure" and "Streetcleaner", with a forthcoming album in the works tentatively titled "A World Lit Only by Fire". Broadrick gave a recent in-depth interview with Pelican's Trevor de Brauw discussing his new solo work under the Jesu moniker, "Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came" and the past, present and future of Godflesh for Self-Titled; "When Pelican Met Jesu", that's pretty much essential reading for any fans of contemporary Metal. For their west coast leg of the tour, Broadrick and G.C. Green are joined by William Bennett's Cut Hands project involving a brutalist contemporary approach to traditional African rhythms. Yes, this is William Bennett of seminal 80's noise act Whitehouse we're talking about. Bennett who happens to have one of the largest private collections of traditional African instruments in the UK and since it's a 55(?) year old British gent who's been unrelenting about his aesthetics/approach to sound/physicality since the early 1980's, don't expect him to stop now. What we were witness to in Decibel's 2012 Modern Love showcase was a deluge of brutal African percussion, distortion and extreme frequency f*ckery; a evolutionary/mutagenic leap of the Whitehouse sound/agenda for sure. Joining Godflesh and Cut Hands as the initiating act on the bill, Aaron Turner's House of Low Culture project, which has included contributions from SUNN O)))'s Stephen O'Malley and Luke Scarola of Old Man Gloom, should go some way to establish the necessary ambiance. Photo credit: Greg Cristman