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CHILD BITE Negative Noise

By Peter Atkinson, Contributor
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 @ 4:32 AM


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CHILD BITE
Negative Noise

Housecore Records




It's probably no secret that Phil Anselmo has eclectic tastes. Just look at the acts he's performed with – PANTERA, ARSON ANTHEM, SUPERJOINT RITUAL, DOWN, VIKING FUNERAL/CHRIST INVERSION, SOUTHERN ISOLATION and his own solo band – which run the gamut from folk and southern rock to cow-punk, hardcore and old-school black metal.

Things get even farther afield on his Housecore label, where old-school thrashers WARBEAST are one of the few traditional acts, sharing space with the mechanized histrionics of AUTHOR & PUNISHER, Australian grind nutters KING PARROT, avant/prog/metal noise makers SYK and the indescribable SURSIKS. So a band as hard to peg, and as tough on the ears, as Detroit's CHILD BITE is right at home there.

The band’s website describes its sound as “music for losers.” So in purely subjective terms, how much you like CHILD BITE - or don’t! - I guess would depend on your relative “loserdom.” In more objective terms, however, your taste for song structure, melody and other practical musical conventions – or lack thereof, as the case may be here – would probably be a more fitting guide.

CHILD BITE’s fourth full-length - the appropriately titled Negative Noise, which is rightfully being issued on April Fool's Day – is an all-over-the-place shitstorm of punk/hardcore, metal, noise/post rock, prog and even surf music in Brandon Sczomak's shrill guitar jangle. It sounds sorta like someone stuffed MR. BUNGLE/FANTOMAS, VOIVOD, old CLUTCH (especially in Shawn Knight's husky baritone and seemingly extemporaneous delivery), BLACK FLAG and THE JESUS LIZARD into a blender, pushed “grind” and then forget to turn it off.

Noise picks up where 2014's frantic Strange Waste EP left off with the spasmodic quick-hitter “Death Before Dementia” before then stretching things out, and heading farther off the rails, with “Paralytic Phantasm”, which sets the tone for the rest of the album. Where Waste delivered songs in two-minute bursts, Noise is less hurried and more elaborate – but similarly weird, as evidenced by the twangy hardcore of “Vermin Mentality” or “Born A Hog” with its unsettling porcine sound effects and electronics.

Save for “Dementia” the songs here average a still tidy 3:30, though “Apex Of Insanity” and “Heretic Generation” near the six-minute mark and “Beyond The Dirt” stops just short of seven. The longer songs do tend to meander and drag - especially “Dirt” and “Heretic”, which makes for a ponderous closer until things grow manic at the very end - and at a total run time of nearly 50 minutes Noise can test one's patience since genuine hooks or meaty choruses are few and far between. But punchier numbers like “Feed Me Septic Dreams”, “Into The Disease”, the aforementioned “Vermin Mentality” and “Euphoria Saturation Point” offer a gritty blend of dissonance, aggression and eccentricity that is both fiendishly clever and surprisingly engaging.

Indeed, for all of its idiosyncrasies, CHILD BITE's clamor has more to offer than just, well, noise. Sczomak's guitar work is as limber and expressive as it is off-kilter and bassist Sean Clancy and drummer Jeff Kraus are always up to the task of handling the challenging, sometimes bewildering, rhythms that take the band this way and that.

Still, Negative Noise certainly is not music for a casual listen or simply rocking out. For a meth bender? Perhaps.

3.0 Out Of 5.0

Pre-order your copy of Negative Noise now in the KNAC.COM> More Store right HERE.


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