Thursday, July 25, 2013

Crucial Blast on BLOODYMINDED "Gift Givers"

One of the premier American power electronics outfits, Chicago's Bloodyminded continues to crank out their series of reissued albums through member Mark Solotroff's Bloodlust! label, here resurrecting the band's third album from 2005 Gift Givers in a new re-designed eight panel digipack package. Featuring guest appearances from the likes of Eyehategod frontman Mike Williams and Mauthausen Orchestra's Pierpaolo Zoppo, Gift Givers is a cruel assault of rumbling, nightmarish industrial noise and chaotic power electronics, opening with the sound of pounding processed drum sounds throbbing beneath waves of undulating synthesizer drone, while ominous voices are looped over top of the heavy malfunctioning rhythms and blasts of distorted noise.

The extreme screeching feedback abuse that has always been a focal point of Bloodyminded's assaultive sound is all over Gift Givers, but it's layered beneath the heavy, churning noise-loops that dominate much of these seventeen tracks, with lots of layered voices (speaking in a mix of French, English and Spanish) and demonic shrieking and buried percussion creating an intense state of sonic delirium; when that squealing feedback is dragged into the forefront of Bloodyminded's sonic assault, the band utilizes it to form eerie half-formed melodies, as heard on the haunting "Pro-Ana". On other tracks, the synthesizers sputter and shriek, vomiting up streams of garbled fluttering effects and buzzing black drones, waves of harsh granular whoosh and oppressive jet-engine roar. 

The guest contributions stand out among the rest of the album; "Private Thoughts" features synthesizer noise and vocals from Italian industrial legend Pierpaolo Zoppo, producing an eerie, abrasive electronic soundscape, while Mike Williams brings his wretched screaming to the track "Ten Suicides", a standout track that had previously appeared in a slightly different version as the b-side on Williams's That's What The Obituary Said 7" from a few years ago.

Gift Givers also stands out from the rest of the Bloodyminded catalog with it's strange imagery. The free-associative lyrics read like a surrealist cut-up of self-help literature and a coroner's autopsy report, and are laced with a variety of creepy visuals of extreme eating disorders, obsessive self-destructive behavior and scenes of self-mutilation, while the layering of different languages in the vocals give several of the tracks a deranged, Babel-like feel of intense disorientation, especially on the monstrous "Blood Customs", which takes on the aspect of a Catholic exorcism ritual. With these explorations of extreme psychological and physical duress, Gift Givers turns out to be one of the more unsettling listening experiences that Bloodyminded has brought us so far, and fans of the recent Sutcliffe Jugend output in particular will want to check this out...