Scott Walker and Sunn O)))
Soused


4.0
excellent

Review

by Aaron W. STAFF
October 24th, 2014 | 385 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Soused: to immerse; to attack."

The idea of having a drone band and a ‘baroque pop master-turned experimental man’ group up once was thought to be impossible, incredibly ridiculous and implausible. Yet, this sturdy boundary has been finally, at last, rightfully broken by the most absurd match made in the deepest recesses of hell. ”Soused”, the collaborative album between Seattle-based drone duo Sunn O))) and Scott Walker was a work in progress since 2009, when the duo approached Walker to sing on a track for their album, ”Monoliths and Dimensions”. To no avail, he was unable to participate due to a conflicted schedule. Eventually, Walker approached the band with material he had written with them in mind, after he had taken great interest in their work. Known to never back down from experimenting with new ideas, Walker went right to Sunn O))) to make what is possibly the most interesting, and freshest album of the year.

”Soused” honestly, shouldn’t work at all. Not in the slightest bit, with the operatic baritone of Walker, and the crushing guitar/feedback combo of Sunn O))) that once notably caused a photographer’s camera to explode at a live show. Astonishingly, it all comes together neatly. ’Brando’ entices the listener with a nearly-vibrant , but detailed introduction, laden with textured synthesized strings beneath the powerful operatic voice of Walker. Yet, the typical Sunn O))) immediately comes forward to compliment the sadomasochistic lyric of the track. “A beating would do me a world of good” is notable, repeated by Walker several times. ’Brando’ lures the listener in, only to subject them to the cracking of a bull whip, along with an oddly fetishized lyric; introducing a feeling of dread to the listener. ’Bull’, ’Herod 2014’, and ’Fetish’ all bring something new to the table, introducing somewhat refreshing ideas to the drone genre. On the album, there are underlying themes that add an dark atmosphere, with ’Herod 2014’ being the prime example. Including subjects of infanticide, painters from France, and other oddities (like the reciting of bus routes), the track relies on repetition. Here, it is a blaring cry from a saxophone (where on ’Brando’, it was a whip). Throughout ”Soused”, there are several moments of quiet semblance, letting the composition breathe. This only eases you, as the listener, back into the dirge-like noise that this collaboration has whipped up; this also serves as the biggest flaw in ”Soused”. The constant repetition amongst the bravado of Walker gets exhausted after a while, and the deafening noise is irritating at some moments. Said flaws, however, are a minority in this album.

”Soused", to put it straight, has absolutely no business being a legitimately good album. It is far better than it needs to even be; it shouldn’t work in the slightest bit, but it goes above and beyond and excels all expectations. As it is defined in any normal dictionary, the listener becomes immersed in the sounds being emitted by this trio. It also means to pounce on, to attack; a sonic attack on the senses is present here as well, adding to the immersion. ”Soused” is an effort by two polar opposites of the musical spectrum, an album created by the most absurd matchup possibly known to man. Absurd as it is, it succeeds in its intention; and for that, it is definitely one of the most innovative albums to be released this year.



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user ratings (127)
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
RossMonaghan (4)
The powerful and haunting voice of Scott Walker, much loved classic, paired with the avant-garde gui...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
October 24th 2014


19212 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

'Brando' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_NIop72vis



never thought i'd dig this album to be honest

Ire
October 24th 2014


41945 Comments


love this

SharkTooth
October 24th 2014


14137 Comments


Nice rev dude, lookin' forward to your Lipps one as well

treeqt.
October 24th 2014


16964 Comments


wow lakes man wow crazy init

Solbrave
October 24th 2014


574 Comments


i'm not quite sure how to feel about this and that is exactly what makes it goddamn visionary

ChoccyPhilly
October 24th 2014


11954 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Is there a stream of this that isn't on fookin' spotify yet??

Digging: Mol - JORD

Solbrave
October 24th 2014


574 Comments


it leaked a long time ago, i'm sure you could find a dl if you looked

aircycle
October 24th 2014


1103 Comments


well this is interesting

AStableReference
October 24th 2014


2202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Whenever people say that the collaborations shouldn't work or makes no sense it confuses me. I mean, it caught me by surprise when I first heard about it, but looking at some of the stuff Sunn O))) has done in their collaborations with other artists and their already over the top guest vocal performances along with how dark and abstract Scott Walker's later period work has been it kind of makes sense.



It certainly isn't like the Metallica and Lou Reed combo (which I hate seeing come up when people are talking like this)

Greyvy
October 24th 2014


5849 Comments


what the fuck is this shit

AStableReference
October 24th 2014


2202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

An odd album that one should probably be introduced to Scott Walker before listening to.

AStableReference
October 24th 2014


2202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I love how this album starts so abruptly, with the over the top almost cheesy soaring melodies of Scott Walker. It's like they didn't want to give the listener any time to settle in and plunged them straight in to the quirky style. The sudden drop off where the distortion hits is also the perfect contrast. It's like soaring, and then suddenly dropping.

Tyler.
October 24th 2014


17585 Comments


Good review

Digging: -

rockandmetaljunkie
October 24th 2014


8575 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

damn, must check

Jruined
October 24th 2014


1303 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great write up. I've been enjoying this a lot.

Digging: Arch/Matheos - Winter Ethereal

Lord(e)Po)))ts
October 25th 2014


48642 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

sunn O))



the shittiest of the drone greats

Digging: CHINAH - ANYONE

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
October 25th 2014


6744 Comments


yeah never dug Sunn O)))

@Lordepots - favourite drone from this year?

Lord(e)Po)))ts
October 25th 2014


48642 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i honestly haven't listened to any drone this year i dont think. i got really behind on shit over the summer and have been mostly listening to electronic

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
October 25th 2014


6744 Comments


fair nuff. Jam any outsider house by any chance? I wanna scope some of that, but idk where to start

Lord(e)Po)))ts
October 25th 2014


48642 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

the fuck is outsider house



i mean i can rec you house but outsider house sounds like its another new meaningless fad for ppl that think they are super underground that like to blend avant-garde and other obscurities with their house to create some kind of anti-house that you can't even dance to but instead listen to in your mums basement by yourself late at night while u give yourself a really depressing happy handshake am i on the right path?



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