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James Welburn – Hold


James Welburn - Hold“Naught” is a great start with its verby bass plunges and clip-winged percussion from The NecksTony Buck. James Welburn‘s music brings to mind the grim determination of early Swans or the merciless grind of Godflesh, here coupled with the distant hum of nose-diving Stukas.  The minimal muscle underneath grinding away like a clogged artery, extra drones weaving in, gathering like a Godspeed venture sans the orchestral willow. A magnetic maelstrom tonally piling on the obliqueness.

Crank the volume up and it roars, as lower registers bite and the drone parabolics invert into a destructive swarm effectively drowning out all this annoying electoral babble. There’s some good perspective-filled noise at play here as secondary chords harvest smoking axels, throbbing with almost devotional intent, choiring to a mild clanking finale. This is the sort of sound that envelops, possess you with its agitating verve and throttles its bass and drum skeletons with their own rattling dissidences.

The rest of the album toys with potential of these elements, subtracting, juggling with a familiar doom-laden genre, mixing in a stubbled chin of drone. Sometimes shimmering, others smothered in sustain expansion. The deep bass and drum fractures struggling to hold as oscillatory-bent serpents hiss some lovely GPark-like grainy exhales.  This is definitely an album for headphones, an experience rewarded in plenty of shadowy head spectres. The hardcore yes/no quick fire drums of “(shift)” hit as a bit of a surprise, a density that goes inky with a corrosive tide of shoegrazery fizzle, the bass groping a chord(ic) challenge as the drums attempt to panel-pin the slippery sway snaking your ears.

There’s a lovely minimal vibe here but yielding maximum impact, an aura of flies somersaulting blunt force traumas and heavy plucked bass. Not as hefty as Justin Broadrick’ and Aaron Turner‘s s Grey Machine, say, but certainly burnishes some screechy cordons and cymbal collateral. A murmurous worm, tongue-withering like cloister vocalisations on your third ear, all crafted tinnitus basking in its own textural decay.

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-

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