The Inbox Giveth: Aperiodic, Mala In Se, Joe 4 and Knife The Symphony double-split 7-inch

Aperiodic/Mala In Se/Joe 4/Knife The Symphony
Double-Split 7"
Phratry Records
Released: 5.14

If you'd like to know what Phratry Records is about, this isn't a bad place to start.

The label's 42nd release, this 4-song double-split 7" features the bands Aperiodic, Mala In Se, Joe 4 and Knife The Symphony, a selection of bands that range from artful shapeless oddities to quick-and-to-the-point riff-motive noise rock.  And, since we are living in a digital world, an additional four songs are available with the accompanying download.

If you need a quick and solid recommendation, I bought this after listening to it via Bandcamp.  Otherwise, here's what you'll find:

Aperiodic — Synthesizers lather the unsteady arrhythmia of "Something That Satisfies Me," Aperiodic's queasy lack of symmetry presented like a drunk's litany of complaints complete with the irregular rattling in his head.  "Scene Crush" follows as some static-riddled combination of noise excursions via Wolf Eyes set to a disco beat.  One could read it as some update to the fringe element Brian Eno documented with his No New York compilation, a similarly abstract series of ideas too absurd to exist anywhere other than some underground art scene.  Sounds great.

Mala In Se — Funk-driven bass noodling initially drives "Crowd of Dead Grandparents," whose lapse into quieter, more ethereally blanketed tones adds some emotive character.  The Cincinnati-based Mala In Se seem students of D.C.'s post-hardcore tutelage, reveling in the charge distortion can grant a guitar chord, but dialing it back enough to come up with some lush melodies.  You hear this especially in "Cats," its midway guitar embellishments and phrasing revealing some emotional engagement.

Joe 4 — A product of the Croatian underground, Joe 4 produces a jagged, pulsing throb in line with what was being cultivated years ago by record labels like Amphetamine Reptile and Touch & Go.  They don't reinvent this type or rock music, some of what you'll hear might even sound like mimicry to some extent, but there's respect to the source material and the noise quotient is consistently reached.  "S.A.L.E." is a solid listen.  The band's digital-only contribution, "Sui Generis," features a few rhythmic shifts that add some interesting variation to the track's theme. 

Knife The Symphony — Rhythmically and sonically, it was as if Knife The Symphony was meant to make a case for Neurosis as a post-hardcore act.  "Room and Pillar" has a great bass riff:  truly, all other elements (guitar, drums, voice) benefit from this very magnetic anchor.  Love the stride; love the aggression.  The digital track, "Suit Up, Sleep It Off," has somewhat of a Lee Renaldo/Thurston Moore guitar treatment initially, though the song eventually grows more percussive and metallic, ending in fury of drum sounds.   

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