American Band – “Low Fiction”

When did noise get some damned complicated? I’ve been sitting here, wondering whether or not I should call this “power noise”– not because I’m all that worried about the precise genre placement of this particular LP, but because there are so many people who ARE. Slapping any label on a release tends to alient half the potential audience, especially in today’s niche-happy post-Napster world.

hr009

So let’s just say that American Band’s “Low Fiction” is “powerful” noise. Powerful at times in the classic sense of being overwhelming, and powerful in a literal sense; listeners should get a real physical reaction to tracks like “Stripping,” which features some sort of grinding tool being shoved about in a highly-reverberant environment. “Outnurture,” from the less-controlled B-side of the record, sounds a bit like a more live Merzbow performance; formidable sheets of noise fill every available space.

Personally, I’m more excited about the A-side material. American Band does a good job of balancing the feral quality of these noisy constructions with their own need to get the sounds doing something useful. Too much control, and they’d be domesticated, too little… well, that’s a different sort of album that nearly anyone can make. Temperance lets American Band show off the wild beauty of these sounds, which often retain enough of their original form as to be tantalizingly difficult to identify (for those of us obsessive enough to care.) At least one track had me puzzling about a half-remembered sound, holding my hand out to see if muscle memory could remind me what object created it. A trip to my garage to quickly scan my woodworking tools yielded no clues– this is powerful noise.

“Low Fiction” is available on Hot Releases as catalog number HR009.

Don’t believe DaveX? Here’s someone else’s review!

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