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Fecalove - Forever Young [Goat Eater Arts - 2010]

Fecalove's "Forever Young" is an album of sputtering, violent harsh noise with no boundaries and a deranged, sex crazed feeling.  This album is about as coherent and thoughtful as a depression fueled binge drinking session that ends in a blackout.  It is the submissive who bids their dominant beat them to the brink of death.  It an explosion of feeling, unhinged and cathartic, ultimately too intense for most listening situations.  And yet for all that, there is formidable craft behind it all.

The reckless abandon with which Nicola throws himself into the noise reminds me of a select few other noise musicians I've listened to this year - Kanin Krusete, Moke Grotton.  Fecalove is different mainly because his tracks typically come to abrupt and anticlimactic silences several times before ending, even in the case of shorter 5 to 7 minute selections.  In tracks like "Beer", the silences can last up to 10 seconds, leaving the listener wondering where the sound went.  Nicola apparently does not care about keeping the listener enveloped in a womb of sound (despite his noise textures being deliciously deep and full), or building energy up over long lengths of time.  The music is gestural, and spontaneity is at its core.

A distorted (but not harsh) low quality recording of toads and rain begins the record, bringing to mind the solitude of listening to distant animals at night from my room.  A wall of crisp midrange noise fades in, and blares proudly for awhile before beginning to destabilize.  After that, about a third of the track focuses on unlistenably punishing high frequencies.  These sounds glisten in their impossibly harsh, overloaded purity and create some interesting harmonics, beating and rhythmic pulsations, but really, I value my hearing, so I just can't fill my ears with too much stuff like this.

Nicola will occasionally relax a little, just ride a frequency and ease into a track with a droning HNW feel, exemplified most notably with "Shiny Crystal Blue", an album highlight.  It's a very satisfying hyperactive vibrancy he achieves.  The shorter "Maladolescenza" is similar in its slow oscillation, though constructed from simpler waveforms and significantly less urgent; an overwhelmingly loud, yet very warm distortion drone that pleasantly vibrates the bones.  Tracks like this differ from the rest of the album in that they promote clarity and focus, rather than animalistically fraying the mind.  If the chaos found in the rest of the album was more like these tracks, it would still be very intense, but I could stomach it more easily.

"Her Smile, Forever Young", alternates breaks and sections of meaty midrange crackle for its 10 minute duration.  The nasty highs come back again, and the sheer ferocity of the music cannot be ignored.  Though Nicola gets some fat, powerful sounds in the second half of the track, the breaks and silences make this particular track feel like 3 or 4 separate shorter tracks, and a lot of potential power and momentum is lost.  The other tracks generally don't stop and start quite often enough for it be a problem, but this song is the least memorable part of the record as a result of this issue.

"Just Party All the Time (Forever Young II)", a slab of noise more intimidating and confrontational than desperate (as much of the album turns out to be), is one of my favorite tracks on the album.  It sounds like someone took Whitehouse-esque power electronics and added yet another 5 or 6 layers of distortion!  There are vocals, but they are totally indecipherable.  Nicola again uses a few abrupt cutoffs near the beginning, but this time he gets lucky and all the textures have equal immediate appeal.  The concise running time helps.  At 7:38, this song is short and sweet compared to the epic tracks.

"Sound of Summer", the climax of the record, is a 19 minute epic that begins as a partially locked wall with mildly tonal elements and pleasant synthetic pulsations that occasionally generate overloading resonances.  By 5 minutes in, the song is a whirlwind of rich drone harmonics as delicious and full as any guitar tone in doom metal.  Tonality again dies away and we are thrown into the most turbulent part of the gale.  Muffled ghost voices attempt to make themselves heard and punch through the din.  Perhaps the most complete soundworld here, this track promotes visions of windswept cemetery fields at night.

The 13 minute closer "Lost & Found / Masturbation Souvenir" is low quality field recordings of rain (bringing the beginning of the album to mind) and distant yet thick bass pulsation that sounds like the idling of an old truck engine as heard from inside a house or building.  At 7 minutes, the bass has faded away and we are left with only the rain.  From that point on, it's the unadulterated sound of nature, so I expect you'll likely end up thinking about whatever you typically think about as you listen to the rain as this track plays.  The first time I heard it, I kept expecting that at any second the track would erupt into harshness, but as it turns out, this never happens, and after 13 minutes the field recorder clicks off and the album ends.  This track is a much needed breather from the insanity that shows the diversity and atmosphere Fecalove is capable of.

Summarily, "Forever Young" is a lengthy, exhausting and merciless but quite creative album of harsh noise.  Attitude (in spades) and a distinctive take on the genre are evident.  It reminds me of the classic Merzbow records of the 90's (which were my first exposure to noise) in the way it maintains my interest with its deep and satisfying textures alone, even as the songs meander through a dozen chaotic shifts without much of a destination in mind.  If you're looking for the loudest, wildest noise music possible, this album is a no-brainer.  Lovers of structure and form in music may not be able to enjoy this album, but if you typically listen to noise in an analytical or intellectual frame of mind, "Forever Young" still has a lot to offer.  It's really just too much for me most of the time, but his enthusiasm is impressive.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Josh Landry
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