Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth / Mico De Noche: Split 10”
04/12/09 || Khlysty
Back in the late ‘80s the name TAD used to send shivers of dread down the spine of every dopehead, violence-inclined indie rocker on the northwestern part of U.S. of fucking A. Led by a screaming, shouting, profaning, farting and belching mountain of a man, Tad Doyle, TAD was the archetype of what was later to be called “grunge”: a dirty, ugly and hostile re-reading of hard rock’s basic premise. TAD was what Led Zeppelin would’ve been, if Jimmy missed a coupla fingers from his left hand, John (R.I.P.) always bashed them skins dusted to the gills, John Paul was the reincarnation of a berserker-warrior and Robert was a man, instead of a mystically-inclined pussy.
They was one of the first band to sign with Sub Pop and they was friends, co-junkies and champions of everyone who later milked to death the “grunge” cow, even though they themselves never made it big (hey, Tad was –and still is- fugly, so no poster-boy happiness for ‘im…). Anyways, TAD split in 1998 and, after a few years in the wilderness, our boy, Tad, is back with Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth (from here on to be called BOTSC in this here review), which plumbs new depths of misery and sonic fallout. If TAD was user-unfriendly BOTSC is clearly harmful material, what with them combining ‘70s hard rock with sludge’s most ugly aspects.
On the other hand, Mico De Noche (from here on to be demoted to MdN status) was formed in Seattle in 2001. Originally a duo of guitar and drums, they decided that their future must be more maximalistic, so they added a bassist (in the form of Swelter’s Chad Baker) and a second guitarist, so that they could achieve the goal of infesting the world with new and improved ways of doing the sludge northwestern-style; which is just ‘nother way of saying that MdN plays, like, pretty sick-an’-slow music an’ all, if youse catch my drift.
Now, Violent Hippy Records saw fit to split a 10” record between these two bands. Side 1 is given to BOTSC, who offers us a 12-minute noise-athon under the name of “Fires Burn Dim in the Shadows of the Mountain”, while side 2 gives MdN their chance to, ehm, shine with two songs, “Misanthrope” and “Ganges”. If you’ve read any of my former reviews you’ll know that I just HATE doing song-by-song reviews, but in this here case this seems unavoidable, what with having two bands to talk about. ‘Course, I could tell ya that it’s all, like, slow an’ dirty an’ sludgy an’ stuff like that an’ girrover with it, but that’s not how things work here at GD.
Soooooo, let’s see what we shall see, mmmmkay? BOTSC start melodically for a few seconds, before launching into a mid-tempo slow-gallop stoner-space-sludge-hardcore attack, with Tad shouting incomprehensibly over the din. After a while, though, the song remorphs into a slow-stomp chugga-chugga thingy which is satisfyingly headbangable, if a tad (hahaha, yeah…) atonal, which later slows more into an acid-rock coda with soft-spoken words and lotsa space and melodic guitar harmonies and such shit, which then gets even more slow and trippy, only to explode into noise and screaming while retaining the basic melody, and this goes on for a while, only to get faster and more Hawkwind-like around the 9-minute mark and then it gets all space-y and drony for a coupla minutes and then it’s over, thank you, fuck you and g’night.
MdN, on the other hand, seems to like more linear and more metal songs. “Ganges” is a full-throttle, pedal-to-the-metal headbanger’s piece of heaven, which sounds like early Black Sabbath re-interpreted by Nomeansno, which means that it’s pretty cool, in a deranged sorta way. “Misanthrope” is a bit slower, but more strung-out and psychotic, making me thing of Kyuss with dirtier production and more drugs, of the expired kind, although the guys know how to speed things up considerably, giving us a pretty moshing second part (all this shit happening within less that four minutes).
So, bottom line is that this is a good introductory piece of vinyl to the wonderful and frightening worlds of BOTSC and MdN. This is noisy, dirty stoner-sludge-doom with a punky twist all its own and a pretty satisfactory release, with quite a lot of variety in sound and approach to the genre. This is not, nor will it ever be considered as “classic”, but experience and verve are sometimes enough for a happy time…
- Released: 2009
- Label: Violent Hippy Records
- Website: www.taddoyle.com AND micodenoche.com
- Tad Doyle: vocals, guitar (BOTSC)
- Peggy Tully: bass (BOTSC)
- Aaron D.C. Edge: drums (BOTSC)
- Mike Crum: guitar, vocals (MdN)
- Donovan Stewart: drums, vocals (MdN)
- Chad Baker: bass (MdN)
- Reno Dave: guitar (MdN)
- 01. Fires burn dim in the shadow of the mountain (BOTSC)
- 02. Ganges (MdN)
- 03. Misanthrope (MdN)