No Anchor. Now this is an interesting one. I have always wondered, ever since first watching Spinal Tap with my first drummer and first girlfriend (not one in the same) and exclaiming in bafflement “are they all using basses?!?”, during the performance of 'Big Bottom', whether any band had taken the multiple-bass-no-guitar route. And low and behold, here is the very band!
“The End”. Slight, touchy delay, then the bomb drops like an all bass Neurosis tribute. Drummer Alex shifts between steady Mitch Mitchell style grooves and brief machine gunning staccato hammers while an atmospheric alt-rock vibe is established, until it all goes back to deathly sludge just shy of the four minute mark. All powered by one of those riffs you don't want to end! But alas, at six and a half minutes The End finally ends (chuckle), and we make our merry way into the hostile depths of “Wolves Bite and Disappear”. This is fuzz country right here! The distortion laid on thick and sharp with wonderfully echoey vocals moving gracefully over top. The whole affair is over as soon as it has begun.
Already it is apparent to the innocent blogger that this band is uncompromising, and more power to 'em for that very reason. There is something that has to be loved about bands that make their records hard on the ear but pleasant on the mind.
“Dead Pony” comes out of nowhere and hits you a smack in the gob like Boris on coke and alcohol; just a brief layover before the 17 minute monster, “Gatton Bohemia”. This one could make Troy Sanders drool with all the mighty stoner rock influenced bass-from-hell riffing. These lads don't spare the feedback! Just south of six minutes they do something I just love to hear: musical use of feedback. There is almost a discernible melody in the tortured squeaking.
We chill out a little (but only a little) with following track “Shut My Mouth”, which is there to download for free folks. The raw production works to great affect with this mostly instrumental outing, during which one pictures OM playing with spiked drinks. Things now take a turn in the cynical Nirvana direction with the stark and vindictive “The Perils of Small Town Living”. It builds up gradually, as if it is never due to break out, yet at four minutes in a mood a million miles away comes rushing in and changes the landscape entirely.
The fx is brought out for the stomper “Come Again”. This is a little more Smashing Pumpkins tinged, with a solid flow to the riffing and letting the drums guide the dynamics. And sticking to the fx, final track “Key Cutter” opens with some traditional synth-like fuzz, but only for a moment before launching straight into the meat of the song. Key Cutter is by far the most unique track on the record, closer to a ballsy Kasabian than the earlier Neurosis leanings. It is certainly a noteworthy stand out, the 'shouting down a length of drainpipe' vocals are enough to make it fascinating, add in the relentless bass and you've got this blogger listening! And the most unexpected ending to boot: a minimalist beat underneath a chorus of slow girlband style vocal harmonies: utterly fascinating!
This is a very interesting record for many reasons, most of which I listed above (in accordance with my job!). This is a record for those who want to test the mettle of their ears! It's not easy, between the sheer volume of it all; the raw as fresh meat production and the feedback galore, it is testing. But, as I said before, you gotta love bands who do that and make the record they want to make. Check it out at the link below and enjoy! Edward OUT...
No Anchor – Real Pain Supernova (Digital Edition), 2011.
Stand-out Tracks: Wolves Bite and Disappear, Perils of Small Town Living, Key Cutter.
By Edward Gerard Brophy