God's Country by Chat Pile
Released July 29, 2022 via The Flenser
Chat Pile’s debut album is one of the most unsettling records released all year.
It is near-impossible to describe the pure insanity of a track like “grimace_smoking_weed.jpeg.” Grimace serves as the album’s closer, with nine minutes of noise accompanied by the manic cries of a suicidal man whose privacy is continually invaded by the titular “purple man.” Is it an actual demon or a drug-induced hallucination? It isn’t clear, but the demon nonetheless further drives the narrator to suicide. It’s the most shocking track—and it accounts for almost a quarter of the record—but let’s not overlook everything that comes before this finale.
The stage is first set with “Slaughterhouse,” the album’s opener and its lead single. “There’s more screaming than you think…everyone’s head rings here…everyone’s head rings here…you never forget their eyes…” is harrowing enough as a sliver of text. Prop it up with dissonant guitars, pulverizing start-stop drumming, and thick, desolate-sounding baselines, and deliver it in form of cries desperation—what you get is the first glimpse and the ultimate characterization of the beast (no, not Grimace) that drives the narrator to death by the album’s close.
America and God have a long-standing, confusing, and complicated relationship. Separation of church and state, In God We Trust. “God’s Country,” but we’ve abandoned the many principles God would have wanted us to practice in favor of greed and excessive individualism. Chat Pile’s debut explores the darkest recesses and most gruesome existences to be found within such a godforsaken, capitalist hellscape.
Trudging through each of the nine tracks as if they were the nine circles of hell, God’s Country is continually anxiety-inducing, brutal, and abrasive. It is an absolutely masterful debut that introduces and immediately entrenches Chat Pile at the forefront of the noise rock genre for the foreseeable future. As they say on the track “Anywhere,” “it’s the sound of your world collapsing.” – Dominick (9.5/10)
The debut album from Oklahoma's own, Chat Pile, feels like a storm that has been brewing on the horizon; waiting on the wing. Plotting to destroy everything in it's vicinity for years, the wait is now over; it's time has come. The storm has arrived, and the forecast was right all along. Store away the family heirlooms, lock down your personal belongings, put the pets in the pantry. The buzz surrounding the Chat Pile name has garnered enough power to fire a mega-tonne train down the dingiest of tracks. The sound of Chat Pile is like being tarred by sonics; molasses infiltrates the mindset. Clogged and claustrophobic, the cluttered gutters in which God's Country oozes down contorts in ways that the mind suffocates under. Smothered under layers of viscous sludge, train of thoughts end at sinister stops - far from home, no end in sight. The weight of words held behind clenched teeth exist on an incomprehensible scale. Misanthropic notions lie dormant. – Peter (8.5/10)
Dominick: 9.5/10 | Jared: 9/10 | Cam: 8.8/10 | Pax: 8.5/10 | Peter: 8.5/10 | DeVán: 7/10
Cave World by Viagra Boys
Released July 8, 2022 via YEAR0001
Whereas Viagra Boys’ sophomore record, Welfare Jazz, saw the Swedish punks adopt a bit more of a serious demeanor—their third album might be their most absurd offering yet. Street Worms have been swapped out for “Creepy Crawlies” (the ones in the vaccines, specifically). Shrimps, secret canine agents, and the stealthiest of frogs have been replaced by a newfound focus on primates and monkeys. Few bands operate so well in a space of such over-the-top ridiculousness, but for Viagra Boys, this is exactly where they thrive.
Now, Cave World isn’t solely about the days of Neanderthals, but even the moments that shift into any related topics still hold the same sense of primitivism and, at times, immaturity. Cave World is raw, whether that be the lo-fi loops of “Big Boy” or the barreling momentum of “Ain’t No Thief.”
It’s carefree, and even amidst the few interludes and less intense tracks, Cave World just keeps on rolling without thought or care. With a sarcastic attitude, a keen sense of self-awareness, and pure chaotic energy, vocalist Sebastian Murphy lets it all out. This includes, but is not limited to, tongue-in-cheek denials of kleptomaniac tendencies (“Ain’t No Thief”), satirizing conspiracy theorists with ramblings about adrenochrome (“Creepy Crawlers”), and what it might sound like if a cowboy made punk music for TikTok (“Punk Rock Loser”). Like Murphy, the band switches things up fairly often, with music ranging from blitzing dance-punk to more groove-oriented alt-rock. It’s another great release from Viagra Boys, who are now 3-for-3 with Cave World, as they once again find themselves thriving amidst a sound and style that seems to have very little rhyme or reason. – Dominick (8.6/10)
Dominick: 8.6/10 | Jared: 8.5/10 | Cam: 8.3/10 | Hadley: 8/10
Pax: 8/10 | DeVán: 7/10 | Peter: 7/10
Jazz Codes by Moor Mother
Released July 1, 2022 via ANTI- Records
Pax: 9.5/10 | Cam: 8.8/10 | Peter: 8/10 | DeVán: 7.5/10 | Dominick: 7.5/10 | Jared: 7.5/10