Chestnut Thornback Tar
This is a vinyl-only release that comes with a bonus CD -- a 75-minute mix tape of sorts made by Jazkamer from elements of their 2010 series of releases. As Norway's premier noise troupe, Lasse Marhaug and John Hegre's Jazkamer project has a certain status to uphold. Rather than resting on their well-earned laurels, Marhaug and Hegre keep a grueling schedule of shows and an even more grueling schedule of releases, which has culminated recently in an ambitious album-a-month series running throughout 2010. While the concept itself is now fairly well-worn, what has astonished this time around is the sheer quality the duo has managed to keep up while flitting from genre to genre with the utmost of ease. Chestnut Thornback Tar was originally the May 2010 installment of the Jazkamer subscription series, and the record that perhaps best sums up the band's wide reach. The album creeps to life with a molten guitar drone well worthy of comparison to Dylan Carlson's molasses-slow compositions. Through wailing sheets of white noise, thick, sustained tones push their way through the track's 20-minute duration, giving the post-millennial drone pretenders more than enough to think about. "Sentimental Journey" feels less like a statement of intent and more like the underlining of a genre that might be well-trodden, but is rarely done with this Zen-like attention to detail. Even this, however, gives little indication of the frothy, hyperactive noise the remaining tracks extol. With a Sissy Spacek-influenced jump cut style, Marhaug, Hegre and their collaborators Nils Are Drønen and Jean-Philippe Gross pummel their way through the back-rooms of metal clubs everywhere, rupturing veins with splattercore drums, burbling noise and screaming feedback. Chestnut Thornback Tar might not be for the faint of heart, but you'd struggle to find a more rewarding collection of intense, metal-drenched experimental noise.