Prurient, Bermuda Drain, Hydra Head
Dominick Fernow has long been regarded as one of the most intense and extreme noise/experimental artists of his generation. I witnessed an intimate and violent performance some years back that consisted of me stabbing index fingers into my ears to escape the volume while a sweaty, shirtless Fernow dragged microphones across his torso with the intent of leaving welts and bruises. Considering his recent tenure with post-punks Cold Cave, I shouldn’t be surprised that Bermuda Drain is leagues away from the mutilated squelch and squall I was expecting. While the sadistic and searing static of previous efforts is given a brief respite, Fernow uses retro synths, keyboards and dance beats to get just as fierce and menacing as ever. So what does it sound like? Well, opener “Many Jewels Surround The Crown” sounds something akin to M83’s Anthony Gonzalez scoring an Eastern European horror/torture flick. “A Meal Can Be Made” and “There Are Still Secrets” are teeth-bared, industrial dance jams. Perhaps the most unnerving track is “Palm Tree Corpse,” which is at times expansive and beautiful before Fernow promises, “If I could/I would take a tree branch and ram it inside you/But, it’s already been done” with varying degrees of intensity. If you’re looking for abuse, it’s definitely still here. The difference is that this time you can dance to it.
Recommended For Fans Of: M83, Troubleman Unlimited’s The Lack, John Carpenter