If you don’t know much about harsh noise wall, you should. It’s quickly becoming the death metal of experimental music. It’s simple, fast, nihilistic, pummeling, and without a second of anything soothing or remotely resembling traditional music. One of the genre’s most endearing qualities is its knack for the concept album. And by concept album, I mean something more akin to conceptual art. There have been wall noise albums obsessed with nylons, see The Rita’s “The Nylons of Laura Antonelli,” cassettes in love with sex dolls like Vomir’s “Dall Woll,” analyses and celebrations of riots, e.g., Mike Payne’s “Your 90 Minute Crime Spree Companion,” CDrs worshiping horror films from the 70s – anything released by I Spit On Your Grave – and even a project called Hoggle, which as you can guess, is completely centered around that random character from The Labyrinth. Finally, with Cory Schumacher’s (US) “4 Teeth In a Ziplock Bag,” we find a piece attempting to recreate that phenomenological experience when you open up a blank envelope left on your doorstep only to be utterly shocked by its contents: the human remains of a loved one now in danger or now passed.
With so many bizarre preoccupations in noise music, Cory Shumacher’s “4 Teeth In a Ziplock Bag” should drown like a drop in the sea. But it doesn’t simply because of its sound. This self-released CDr from the Minnesota gentleman responsible for Isolated Existence is exploding with unique timbre. The album opens with a rumbling wall that could best some heavy hitters such as Werewolf Jerusalem, The Rita, and Vomir. After embracing that reverberating rumbling for a well-timed introduction, Schumacher begins his main attack of piercing feedback and randomly changing harshness. More than likely, the artist is using a no-input mixer processed through a very long chain of guitar pedals. Each subtle change in the mixer or the pedals creates its own novel rhythm, pitch, and timbre. Fortunately, the pacing here is excellent and never slows down throughout the work’s entire 22 minutes. Listening to this is an absolutely intense experience.
One of the highlights of Cory Schumacher’s techniques is his ability to loop feedback. Out of the rumbling and crashing, the track will suddenly stop, splitting into an extremely high-pitched piercing sound whirling around before returning to the previous chaos. By even being willing to change his sound from low-pitched rumbling, Schumacher’s places himself within the old guard of harsh noise. The release reminds me a lot of the noise music that used to come out of California in the mid-2000s from units like LHD, John Wiese, The Cherry Point, and numerous others. For these legendary misanthropes, noise was not about monotonous rumbling and posing; it was about creating the most earsplitting and heart pounding listening experience possible. Hopefully, “4 Teeth In a Ziplock Bag” represents a new shift in experimental music from boring, inaccessible monotony to something that can actually be fun – while simultaneously destructive.
01) 4 Teeth in a Ziplock Bag