Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Reflex Machine/Ghost Embryo Split (2017)

Here's a split from two rustbelt noise sludge rock bands that's pretty fucking rad. The first half is from the Columbus duo Reflex Machine, who sprinkle a little nod of heaviness from Mastodon, a dash of weirdness from the Melvins, but ultimately are At The Drive In/Mars Volta worshipers at heart. Ghost Embryo are the real heavy hitters on this split, with their sickening bass heavy low end, that is gnarly as fuck, and really nasty sounding. Loads of distortion and feedback create an atmosphere of noise sludge dread, with some no wave tendencies added in for good measure.

I can't go on with this review without mentioning the amazing video the band released for 'Evitative". A lot of green screen hallucinatory psychedelic imagery going on here. It's clear by looking at this video that these dudes aren't the heathen hesher types, and are more inclined to be experimental, and that's what you get with their batch of songs. The guitar tone on this reminds me of the way King Buzzo's guitar sounded on the "Jared and Coady era" Melvins albums. It's fuzzy, kind of mechanical sounding, and almost synth like. The rest of the songs play out with flashes of heaviness mixed in with weird chords, and drum noodling. The split ends with a rendition of "Untitled" by Interpol, and this doesn't seem out of place in the least bit, and they pay tribute to it, while also making it sound like one of their own. Here's the original for comparison.


 The cover is almost like a break for Ghost Embryo to enter the fray, coming in swinging with both fists like a ravaged insane caveman, defending itself from a pack of wolves. Simple, harsh, primitive, and brutal, Ghost Embryo hit back hard, creating Noise Sludge music for people who like their rock n roll messy and not dissonant. Freeform noise and feedback from the bass distortion become essential to the riffs, creating something that's a little different, but firmly places these dudes in noise rock territory. Shout out for the "Female Trouble" sample at the end of the split.
Experimental and weird, this split is not necessarily intended for those into your typical Sludge/Doom fare, but I see no reason why you wouldn't enjoy this. It's heavy shit, and if you're a fan of noise rock that's on the sludgier side of things, you'll dig totally dig this. Cheers! -Samir

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