Published on May 31st, 2016 | by Charles Lee Ray0
Album Review: Big Naturals & Anthroprophh | S/T
After multiple listens to this album, the motifs that tear into the cells underlying the cerebral cortex are the eastern drones weaved into the cavalcade of riffs and bursts of white noise.
For those of you unfamiliar with these two bands, Big Naturals are a duo from Bristol, UK, with a penchant for dense bass tones and gaps of piercing feedback and massive fuzz. I first came across them as Gareth Turner [bass] was sharing a house with a friend of mine around 2012. I grabbed the debut LP on the bands own label Greasy Trucker and have been a big fan of its heft ever since.
This track is the audio equivalent of shisha-smoke stench and burnt-out amps singed in gorgeous drones that melt away the mind.
Anthroprophh is the solo work of one Paul Allen from Bristol’s cult fuzzers The Heads. This is not the first communion of this triumvirate, however. In 2014, Anthroprophh released its Inside the Circle 12-inch on Rocket Recordings and the Ebbe/Precesion 12-inch on Cardinal Fuzz Records.
Of all three records, this in my summation is the most cohesive to date. The 21-minute opener God-Shaped Hole is indicative of the myriad dense tones and chasm-like sounds contained within. Beginning with what almost sounds like military sirens echoing over a bleak and unforgiving desert builds gradually from its onset. The track’s droning synth and drum textures are fortified by waves of Allens’ guitar, and the song travels up and down in waveforms of pushing and pulling between the two factions. All the while sounding like a cohesive unit that is taking pleasure in the drawn-out nature of this battle of the senses.
God Shaped Hole comprises the entire first side of the record, and it’s glorious, abrasive, and thick, like really strong coffee that barks and bites as it lures your ears in for a well-intentioned bludgeoning. This is counterbalanced around the 10-minute mark with a jazzed-out drum and eastern drone section, which is hypnotic and expertly built upon with feedback-breaking fuzz and bottom-end power from Turner and Allen’s interplaying bass and guitar.
Farce Without End kicks off Side Two, and is a shorter, punchier, angrier proposition. This track is the audio equivalent of shisha-smoke stench and burnt-out amps singed in gorgeous drones that melt away the mind.
Narwhallian Social Purge is up next and provides the most deliberately assaulting moments of the record. This track touches on what first drew me into Big Naturals as a duo. The attack of Allen’s guitar and the rigorous battery of Jesse Webb’s drums are the focus here, and it’s a beautiful violent thing. Fans of AmRep duo Gay Witch Abortion will love this.
Closing out the record is Chubbok’s Last Tape (Another Nail), which is like a sonic pastiche of the previous songs on one final condensed, writhing mass, but with some of the more thoughtful and considered moments that pulse and drone out the speakers with purpose. The white-noise bursts sandwiched in between the battery of Webb’s drumming and the sometimes seemingly relentless nature of the thick riff elements make this a record one that will appeal to those with a sense of patience. This track is measured and unfurls at a mid-pace and continues to ascend into some wonderfully lysergic reverb-heavy guitar lines, and the Big Naturals component of the band supports these embellishments beautifully.
They say that patience is a virtue. Listening to this record and allowing the short, temporal parts of each track scattered throughout rewards with massive payoffs. Finding melodious flourishes in hiding in small, dark corners that suddenly leap out and hit your ears is especially satisfying. All this found under the burning-coal base of Neanderthal dirge and pulsing momentum that carries these four tracks.
This unit is always punishing and memorable, and Big Naturals & Anthroprophh is testament to their ever-evolving unison.
Play loud for maximum impact.
Big Naturals & Anthroprophh set set for official release July 8, 2016. Vinyl pre-orders are available now at Cardinal Fuzz.