I2. Skin Prison
A1. Talking To Will Elvin About Al Kizys
A2. Birmingham Is Not The Same Without You
A3. No, I Won't Still Be Loving You Tomorrow
Isolation Tank is a duo that make that powerviolence stuff but are head and shoulders above a lot of the generic, jokey slop being churned out at the moment. Jack and Sam actually utilise discernible, catchy riffs and lots of cool time changes that keep it interesting. Think Hatred Surge and Iron Lung.
Art Of Burning Water continue their mission to annoy all and sundry with their slightly faster take on their usual off-kilter noise-rock with definite hardcore leanings, like a sped up Keelhaul partying with Motorhead. Three short ones from them also.
Ltd. to 250 copies on black.
Keep It Fast
Bring on the pain. Two more acts that want to strip away any idea that we’ll be having a joyous last few weeks of 2014 and rightly so. Total and utter destruction is on the cards and after the crunching riff-machine of Acid Deathtrip and the uncomfortable slow-burn prog of Hangman’s Chair; why not treat yourself to tearing everything apart? West-London noise-bastards Art of Burning Water don’t fuck about in being gut-twisting, savage and cruel in their relentless, pulverising short, sharp blasts of disturbing commotion. Their contribution on this Split EP clocks in at just under four minutes, but it leaves a lasting, blue-screen-0f-death-style impression. First track, Talking To Will Elvin About Al Kizys is a deeply disconcerting howl of sludge-metal bile. It’s sickening, infested and most importantly, freakin’ excellent to boot. The vocals sound as if they’ve been lost in a storm; swamped by the churning bass-grind and the grit-damaged guitar shredding as the track drags itself from the gutter to flail around with dangerous, bruiser-hardcore madness. Second track, Birmingham Is Not The Same Without You is more turbulence through the meat grinder with heavy emphasis on the grind. Whilst melody does try and fight its way through (seriously, I think at one point you can hear a vaguely clean chord) this superbly named thrash attack barrels past, sharing the punk rock tendencies of Zeke on acid. The 58 second venom of No, I Won’t Still Be Loving You Tomorrow is yet more sludge-punk misery and strangled vocal barks, buried beneath the wall of churning spittle. Moving on….Isolation Tank are a two piece death-machine who hail from good old Luuuunndaaaaarrrrnnnnn town and are just as barbaric as their fellow water-burners, if not more so. Their poison is coating everything in noxious feedback and boy does it make a caustic racket. On Binge they sound utterly, totally deranged, like they’ve something has finally fucking snapped and they’ve gone all Michael Douglas in Falling Down – fucking shit up everywhere. Think ’68 if Josh Scogin really didn’t care about tuning his guitar at all and punishing, rusted, garage-hardcore fury was what got him pumped up every single minute. Skin Prison is pure power violence by way of Weekend Nachos – it’s scuzzy, raw and festering with wrath. The short-sharp blasts of frenzied grindcore also bring to mind early Pig Destroyer for their intensity; but it’s the coarseness of their scraping sound that really does shine through. Final track Threads, is breathlessly erratic and demented, closing what has been a howling mad attack on the conciousness.
The Sleeping Shaman
If there’s one thing that could never be aimed at either Isolation Tank or Art Of Burning Water, it’s that they do things by half measures. In fact, restraint seems a completely alien concept to these five ne’er-do-wells, this brief blast of filth, ire and distortion hitting with the force of a claw hammer to the skull and never, ever holding back.
Isolation Tank are a mysterious two-piece who excel in the kind of powerviolence-oriented grind that keeps bands like Brutal Truth in cowboy hats and speed. Binge opens with an acid-bath of distortion and feedback before guttural sludge and a verbal kicking from vocalist/guitarist Jack is launched, tearing feet out from under and launching unpredictable side-swipes at your prone body. Skin Prison reverses course, the sudden violence diminishing into a swirl of blackened sludge and the irate roars of someone exposed to too much humanity. As for Threads? Well, anyone who’s seen that charming slice of British nuclear paranoia might well be prepared for the effect of simmering drone and grindcore shockwaves on the human body, but for everyone else it’s another bleak reminder of mortality.
London’s filthiest chaps Art Of Burning Water open with the enigmatically-titled Talking To Will Elvin About Al Kizys, the air-raid guitars and ragged screech of Grief, a caustic exercise in wrath made sound, drums beating out a high-octane blitzkrieg of percussive force before the tremolo overload dips into a clenched-fist hardcore stomp that will keep the crowd-killers moving for about as long as their attention spans typically last. Birmingham Is Not The Same Without You is vintage hardcore punk grabbed by the scruff of its leathers and dragged into a 21st century dystopia, while No, I Won’t Still Be Loving You Tomorrow mixes up Alan Partridge samples and malformed noise rock à la Keelhaul and MC5 smashing up a caravan park for a minute of bloodletting and frenzied malice.
Yes, this is fast, loud and angry. No, it’s not something to stroke your beard over while reading Baudelaire. That said, though, both bands know how to keep up the pace and keep it interesting at the same time, switching up flurries of speed with solid grooves, and avoiding all the one-trick-pony pitfalls that typically crop up with releases like these. They have just the right mix of dirt and madness for the short ride to remain sweet, and you could feasibly listen to this for an hour on a loop and never feel like you were hearing the same thing twice. In summary, just buy the bloody thing, get the drinks in and try not to smash up the place in the process.
I've written about Isolation Tank before, I loved their demo. Thankfully they are still on the same path of noisy destruction. This time it's a split with Art Of Burning Water, an equally caustic outfit also from London. Unlike Isolation Tank, Art Of Burning Water has been around for a while now, but this stuff they are putting out now is just as relevant as it was when they started. They have a ton of releases available for free download on their Bandcamp page. When combined, these bands create a pummeling crust-fest of a 7", highly recommended.