Review Summary: Rust, Filth, and Sickness
Finding the words to discuss an album as atrociously vulgar as Thumb Days
is no easy task. No matter how many spins one gives this festering slab of noise rock, it’s hard to sell another person on it. Everything that makes it an amazing feat of cacophony, from the loose and frantic songwriting to the engorged shrieks, is also what could make it unlistenable to some. Because of this and the general obtuse nature of Shorty, attempting to describe the desolate and jarring instrumentation in detail is a poor way to go about relating the jist of this album. In the same manner, it’s hard to describe this in a grandiose metaphor without coming off as contrived and cliche, as the ideas of “odd” and “strange” have been understandably done to death.
What I can tell you, however, is that Thumb Days
is much more than another “kooky” noise rock record from a band full of odd individuals. Rather, this manic soundscape goes farther than its peers, crafting revolting and intense melodies that, in conjunction with Al Johnson’s acute and pained screams, pierce the mind with their slow, abrasive, and grimey grooves. The feeling of freedom in these intense rhythms lends itself to the sense of unadulterated chaos, and said pandemonium adds to the world the record builds.
But to describe this as only destructive is, in a way, dishonest. Despite the previously mentioned abrasiveness found here, the record is too sleazy and loose to be taken seriously as a world destroying release. The disorienting clamor takes a certain amount of fun in its torturous tones, making the atmosphere more lively, in a sadistic sense. The masochistic nature of enjoyment one could get from said elements all depends on the listener’s threshold of musical deviance. The repulsive and impure joy of the musicians, and some listeners, is one of the many things that makes this record so intriguing.
Whatever it is that draws the listener in, be it the violent chord progressions, the general disharmony, the individual and tumultuous cogs in this destructive beast, or the twisted sense of fun the band showcases, it works. Whether one loves or hates the frenzied mess that is Thumb Days
, it’s impossible to deny it of its truly dissonant and attention grabbing approach to cathartic noise rock. This said, one question still must be asked…
What the *** is a thumb day?