Noise rock is on fire at the moment. There's a small number of bands putting out absolutely killer stuff at the moment. Pretty much the only thing I'm scrabbling around collecting vinyl of. A lot of it seems to fall through the cracks and not get much attention. That's why I thought I'd bung together a list of the great stuff that's out there in one place.
It's probably worth stating roughly what I'm defining noise rock as to avoid confusion. I'm thinking of the output of labels like Amphetamine Reptile. Bands like Unsane, Helmet, Big Black, Distorted Pony, Glazed Baby, Hammerhead, Fudge Tunnel, 16, Cherubs etc.
It'd include Jesus Lizard but not the millions of post-ATP Lizard wannabe indie bands littering University cities across the world. Nor really the Lightning Bolt/Skin Graft/Load kind of thing (although you definitely need to check out Xaddax). The bands all probably like Swans as well but I'm not talking about hour long brutal doom stuff either.
Hope that makes some kind of sense. Anyway, all the following bands vaguely fit in that description. Also, I fully approve them all as quality noise rock. I can't be bothered finding a load of different ways to say each band is good. Every one of the bands on this list is good. Now go check them out. Oh, and feel free to make any suggestions in the comments. Keeping up with the noise rock tag on this here blog might be a wise idea too
After a killer 7" on Kvlt Of Nihilow the gods of awesome Finnish music, Circle, have released the new LP on their Full Contact label.
A review, another review, another one.
Hebosagil on facebook
"fans of Unsane, Die 116, Tad, Bastards etc take note and obey." - Collective zine review
Another fantastic noise rock band from Finland. They've been putting out some great releases on Kvlt Of Nihilow, At War With False Noise as well as their own, excellent Kaos Kontrol label
"The guitar parts crawl and lurk, reminiscent of the Jesus Lizard or some of the snakier, more aggro moments presented by bands like Crain, Rodan or the Shipping News while anchorage is provided by glutinous lumps of bass gloop that slide and slump ominously in the background" - Collective zine review
Yet more awesome Finnish stuff put out by Kvlt Of Nihilow and Ektro
Baxter Stockman on facebook
Think of stuff like Trance Syndicate, Band Of Susans, The God Machine, Foetus, Swans, Old Lady Drivers, Bastro, Steel Pole Bath Tub, Amphetamine Reptile etc. The guitars go from the really noisey end of indie stuff to all out sludge. Vocals go from almost-sung stuff (that's actually comprehensible) to agonised screams.
Lurch on facebook
I've been waiting for this album for quite a while. They put an amazing 7" on Kvlt Of Nihilow but that was back in 2010. Thankfully it doesn't disappoint. It's more top tier noise rock. At times there's Pissed Jeans-esque tunes but generally just thunders the riffs along. Definitely an album I'm picking up on vinyl.
Tile on facebook
DRUNK IN HELL
Best band in the UK by a mile. "Vile noiserock shitstorm" was the description i put on a flyer once. There's been talk of them doing a split with the mighty Kilslug. Fingers crossed for records soon. In the meantime youtube will have to do - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOvOKIm4mdc - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41S2NNUHI-I - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he4W0DVMgK4
Drunk In Hell on facebook
This is sick. Horrid, slow, relentless, pulverising dirge. Swans. Describe themselves as "kraut violence". Imagine Man Is The Bastard covering a Neu song. But a Neu song written by Chrome at their bad acid addled worst. Like being tarred and feathered and thrown into a cesspit.
Wölfbait on facebook
Drum machine noise rock duo that "have found some FX and parts sound a bit like Nirvana drunkenly trying to do My Bloody Valentine stuff" Spoonful of tar
Pink City on facebook
Got a bit of math-y Chicago rock going on amongst the noise rock riffage
Like a jazzier Dazzling Killmen or a punkier Caspar Brotzmann Massaker. the Decibel thingy mentions Dysrythmia and Sonny Sharrock. a friend mentioned Nels Cline and Sun City Girls' jazzy moments.
Hyrrokkin on facebook
the awesome Built On A Weak Spot blog compared them to Swans, Glazed Baby and Drunks With Guns. 'nuff said.
Friend Collector on bandcamp
Murderedman on facebook
Only a raw 3 track demo so far but hopefully there'll be records soon
Faking on facebook
Interview at Destroyed Human, Collective review
Drose on facebook
If you like stuff like Unsane, Ken Mode, Kowloon Walled City and Coalesce then you're going to be into this. It kind of exists in the grey area between noise rock and the good offkilter end of metallic hardcore (ie Hydrahead, Kiss It Goodbye, Botch, Deadguy etc). In some places the vocals even reach Steve Austin of Today Is The Day levels of intensity.
Dirtdrinker on facebook
"horrid Swans style noise rock. Repetitive dischords battered out in a most uncomfortable manner." according to me
Destroyed Human review
KOWLOON WALLED CITY
Their first 2 albums, Turk Street and Gambling On The Richter Scale that Feast Of Tentacles put out are totally essential. Pounding rhythmic noise rock stuff. New album veers into a slightly more shoegaze-y sound but is still awesome. UK tour long overdue.
Kowloon Walled City on facebook
TIDE OF IRON
Keelhaul/Today Is The Day inspired stuff from Newcastle. Only a split on Super Fi Records so far. In the meantime, this video they made of Bill Cosby dancing to one of their songs is quality - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0BqXqoLgp4
ART OF BURNING WATER
"AOBW channel the prime noise-rock of vintage Zeni Geva and Godflesh with the more complex rhythmical riff obsessions of the Melvins, Keelhaul and mid-period Voivod" according to their press release - http://spoonfuloftar.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/art-of-burning-water-this-disgrace-riot.html
Art Of Burning Water on facebook
"Somewhere between the Thunder-Pop of sparkly heavy-hitters Torche, the aggressive sludge of fellow Floridians Cavity and the awkward stop-start dream-logic quasi-operatic noise rock of Pony Express Record-era Shudder To Think" - Sleeping Shaman
"stop thinking and get deep into a dichotomous band where dream pop meets nightmare metal, with a healthily unusual mixing of chiming major chords and filthy bass stabs together with chanting underpinned by crushing doom" - Collective zine review
Godstopper on facebook
Melbourne, Australia must be a bleak place. This lot have got a sparse, post-punk thing going on. kind of taut basslines with those old goth-y tom-heavy drums. But then there's also hints of 90s touch and go, Bastro, God Machine, Trumans Water and similar things.
Bone on facebook
The excellent folk over at Shiny Grey Monotone mentioned Killdozer, Steel Pole Bath Tub, Scratch Acid, Tar, Crucifucks, Big'N, Sicbay and Distorted Pony in their review.
Sinking Suns on facebook
Well, there you go. A bunch of awesome noise rock bands. By the way, there's a gig in London waiting for any of these bands plus some help sorting a UK tour.