It’s hard to question the cascading noises of Black Pus I
, just as hard as it is to enjoy them. A belligerent, almost senseless assault of self-indulgent fuzz, layered and pounded and grinded and forced into an incomprehensible mesh of what I can only assume is the musical equivalent of a war on terrorism (though it’s up to the listener to decide which side it’s on), Black Pus have, humorously or not, created an emotionally ambiguous album. From the reversed kitchen noises and horns of ‘Take Me To The Other Side’ (sparingly lined with demonic voices, sometimes a child) to the grated metal (actual steel, not the genre) of ‘Berserk is the Best,’ Black Pus I
answer to all of the backlash Converge got for going off on “random tangents.” And it’s all just one person.
Black Pus I
is a childish mirage of sound or music, blasted through squealing guitars (when you can hear them), lazily played saxophones (when you can understand them), and the constant barrage of what can only be assumed is actual drumming. The vocals, diluted and never coherent, are merely a tool of a grander, more obtrusive design; just the name ‘Dildoughnuts’ makes the music sauntering under it a question of actual merit. ‘Wild (Chip) Munks’ begins in agonizingly stereotypical fashion, an Alvin and the Chipmunks on acid at a metal concert, a mess of stilted feedback and reverberating bass. And what to make of the cloaked reversed “melodies” of ‘Translucent Human?’ Call it poignant, or even skilled. Call it redundant and pointless. It is what it is, a barren wasteland of self-recycled junk.
Now, take into consideration that some of the tracks even have noticeable qualities, like melodies or instruments allowed taking some coherent shape. ‘Jazzercise 2005’ plays a relatively downplayed take on its own disheveled being, allowing what can only be assumed is a flute or the own misguided saxophone (maybe even a recorder left over from the days of yore) to upstage the noisy backing section. It all rolls into ‘Missing Damnation,’ which creates a rhythm section of the fuzzy feedback, allowing the thinned out guitars to play a mess of chords. By the time it climaxes into the fellatio of metalcore influences, ‘Missing Damnation’ has set its marks as the most coherent, and messily beautiful, track.
So is it good? It’s in the eye of the beholder, but there’s a charm to Black Pus and Black Pus I
that creeps subtly through what is otherwise the very opposite of subtle. This charm underscores what can sometimes be a hopeful, aggressive, random, despairing, menacing album. It’s in this constant change of tone without every actually changing its tone that makes Black Pus I
, however questionable it is towards an actual musical relevance, almost likeable. When the revving engine of ‘The Foot is Stronger Than the Arm’ subsides to let the album come to a closing sense of quiet desperation, it’s enough to still wonder whether what was just played should be loved, hated, or ever listened to again. This pondering could also allow one to just start Black Pus I
all over again and never need to know.