Review Summary: Laddio Bolocko oozes that propulsive krautrock energy into a disillusioned psychedelic whirlpool of black humor and sunset jams.Strange Warmings of Laddio Blocko
is an absurd record and is all the stronger for it. It’s certainly a noisy bastard of an album, but remains constantly driven forward by a rhythmic pulse that undeniably lays the groundwork for some spectacular instrumental exploration.
Don’t get me wrong, though; this isn’t your average feedback-drenched noise rock band. This is a band that effortlessly dances with Can and Pere Ubu, tangos with Albert Ayler’s ecstatic spirit, electrocutes outsider punk. They ooze that propulsive krautrock energy into a disillusioned psychedelic whirlpool of black humor and sunset jams.
That krautrock-ian influence is manifested most in the ol’ drumkit, which sets the tone for the entire record. Deceptive in his ability to turn repetition into ritualistic hypnotism, the drummer has a nasty habit of contaminating straightforward beats with quivering ghost notes and offbeat rhythmic asymmetries that won’t allow the mind to sit still, even as it melts into the twisted world Bolocko creates around the rhythmic framework. The frenetic atmosphere that results opens the door for massive washes of building tension and exploding freak-outs, but tempers the primal scream with a—albeit often delusionally distorted—textural, structural, and atmospheric quality that sets them apart.
The album starts out bleeding electric energy without remorse. The first tune, amusingly titled “Goat Lips,” opens with a catchy riff but soon descends into alarm-mode, with a wailing and repetitive guitar figure like police to a crime scene. The anxiety seeps into the following track, a short noise sketch that crumbles under its own overdriven momentum, while “Nurser” culminates in a mind-blowing duel of dissonance between guitar, overdriven, insane saxophone and stomping percussion. The percussion is forced to nail down a groove as the guitar schizophrenically finds its path, in turns jumping out and then retreating before finally overtaking the piece with maddening hysteria and a mutating wall of noise.
Constant recontextualization of the album is necessary as it plods along. “The Man Who Never Was” follows “Nurser” and it turns the tables completely as a film noir mystery set amongst a record of noisy decay. Tension abounds in this plot, though, and before one can say “Alfred Hitchcock,” a passionately liberated saxophone squirms amongst the rising intensity of a raucous, snaky rhythm section, leaving “Dangler” to simmer in its wake, closing the album on a meditative note.