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Chuch - We You Never Know [Warm Data - 2009]

Chuch are a three piece from Wales, although I don't really know who play's what.  I'm assuming this is a rock band (or it's set up like one) that plays mostly very odd-sounding experimental material.  What is recognizable is the guitar work and the electronics, but although there seems to be percussion it's processed in a way that sounds alien.  This is their second album.

This release starts off pretty ominously with what sounds like percussion filtered through some effects.  Kind of swampy and not unlike vintage Organum (especially with that ride cymbal) until a repetitive Sonic Youth-inspired guitar kicks in, and the effect appears alot like what could be very much like a Stephen King soundtrack.  There's some exotic percussion and synth in there as well.

The next track reminds me quite a bit of early Throbbing Gristle-meets-Cabaret Voltaire with a flangered bass right out of Magazine.  This is followed by another soundtrack-like guitar excursion using a tremolo effect in a rather dramatic fashion.  I like how that third track builds up to an intense conclusion.

The fourth track starts out with a rather generic noise loop but then gets a little weird with a percussive synth pattern and some descending tones like you're going though a tunnel into the center of the earth.  Again the inspiration of Throbbing Gristle is quite obvious here.

The next track could be the most conventional sounding on this album, with a simple rhythm, some piano and e-bowed guitar reminding me a bit of Robert Fripp.  I suppose this is the band demonstrating that they can play and it's not about noise-for-noise-sake.  The final track is more so, alot more song-like with some great drumming and even vocals.  Except creepy drones rise up and those swampy effects come back, but just when you think the album is going to end the same way it began some brilliant guitar work makes the whole trip worthwhile.

So this is an amazing group of soundscapes from a mysterious band I wish I knew more of.  Although maybe the mystery is part of the effect here.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Lawrence J. Patti
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