Review Summary: Brian Chippendale makes some more noise.
If you've ever heard Lightning Bolt, you're aware of the cacophonous fury that drummer Brian Chippendale is capable of, so it's no surprise that his solo project Black Pus delivers the goods in very healthy doses. And boy, does it ever. Without LB bassist Brian Gibson, Black Pus glues his songs together with deep sine-waves that are deranged and distorted beyond recognition, oscillating every which way with the rhythm of the beat like some industrialized didgeridoo. Similar to Lightning Bolt, he adds equally fubar vocal tracks that squeal and soar their way through an array of distortion pedals into the noise, elevating it and ultimately contributing to the earache that is Black Pus. Of course, all of this chaos and nausea is to be expected, but what does this album mean for our hyperactive friend?
Lightning Bolt's 2009 release Earthly Delights
saw them taking a more poppy approach to their music. It show cased more sensible vocal melodies, sharper production and even a guitar (err, banjo string on bass) solo here and there. Yet even the most hardcore fans had no reason to complain, because it still brought that grating brutality that the duo is known for. The same thing can be said about All My Relations
. Chippendale is free to stretch his legs and make some ridiculous tribal onslaughts peppered with dissonance while also showing some real signs of catchiness as heard in “1000 Years”. I mean hell, the simplified beat and inclusion of an actual lyrics sheet gives the sense that he wants you to sing along and hear what he's yelping. It would only make sense that this album is more drum-centric, which it is, but Chippendale does not take this as an opportunity to be overly self-indulgent. Every one of the beats on this album has its own quirks and nuances, never over staying its welcome despite this album's several 6+ minute songs. It's just too damn hypnotic for any listener to give a ***.
Unwavering driving drum rhythms, bowel shaking tones to ground said rhythms, and tortured vocals that switch between strangely catchy and hauntingly ***ed up, Black Pus delivers what fans expect and does it so well that the question of whether or not Chippendale is stagnating is neither here nor there. Just listen and feel your innards shake, but don't say I didn't warn you.