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NOOTHGRUSH "s/t"
[CD]

NOOTHGRUSH \"s/t\"
re-issue of the band's first full length album ever, this is their bleakest, slowest and most psychedelic release, an obscure doom/slugdecore masterpiece. Recorded shortly after forming in 1994, this self-titled demo features Noothgrush vets Chiyo and Gary along with Tom Choi (of Sleep-precursor Asbestos Death) on guitar and Luis DeVilla on second bass and moog. As a result the sound is significantly different from the band?s later, most well-known material. The pace is still cripplingly slow and the mood still depressing and full of contempt for life but there are more psychedelic moments and vocal melodies than in the band?s later work. Final track ?8d8?, for example, is twenty brutal minutes of tortured, twisted riffs, guitar feedback, tape manipulation, samples, moog and general freak-outery. The most striking thing about the record, however, is Gary's clean, clear vocal style which, surprisingly, brings to mind Tool's James Maynard Keenan on crushing opening track "Life Shatters into Pieces of Anguish". Not only are the vocals clean but they are multi-layered and, dare I say, tuneful. Again, "Dungeon" is classic Noothgrush : an apprehensive intro of low rumbling bass followed by suspenseful distorted guitars, and tribal drums ; but where Gary's voice would normally be oppressive and guttural, here it's more commanding, harmonising with itself for dramatic effect throughout most of the song. An early version of "Deterioration", which would later feature on their only album Erode the Person, is also present here but in a shorter and more bombastic form. The main thing that you will likely take away from this record is that Noothgrush had a clear vision of what they wanted to do from the start and quickly got to making some of the most underrated sludge and doom tracks ever made. With so much of the band?s recorded material out of print this is a welcome re-issue : let's hope more of those elusive EPs get the same treatment soon.
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