I've been sitting on some of these international noise rock releases for a while, all of them distributed by Tenzenmen Records - and seeing some are on the verge of selling out, I thought I would help tip them over the edge.
First up we have Italian duo Astolfo Sulla Luna (Astolfo On The Moon) and their album Ψ² (which doesn't stand for candelabra squared). They are a experimental noise outfit that look to explore strange time signatures with lyrical, existential lyrics, albeit ones that at times sound torn from their souls. The songs follow an improv jazz aesthetic, but there is a febrile, muscular undercurrent that infuses everything with a degree of gleeful menace. Cerebral and chaotic.
Next up we have Sports from German trio Buzz Rodeo. This is more angular, guitar dominated noise rock, upholding the muscularity and howls of The Jesus Lizard, Pissed Jeans and Shellac. They are heavily influenced by the Touch & Go/Dischord nihilistic rock, even getting their Fugazi out for closer 'Pretty Lousy Bastard'. It's a killer record - let's get these guys over to London for a show soon, yeah?
I have written about Russian spastic rockers USSSY in the past; now they are back with a self-titled retrospective of all they have put to tape over the past few years. They have carved their own niche in that they have studied and implemented Eastern musical styles and instruments into the maelstrom, which makes for intriguing yet no less bludgeoning listening. This little compilation also helps to show the throughline of this evolution. An amazing band that you should explore immediately.
Finally there is this math-rock band from the Ukraine called Gravitsapa. Their album Radio Free Vulgata is as sparked, spiked and abrasive as you might expect. There are moments of melody, but for me at least I find these elements the least convincing - I usually go for the loud/quiet dynamic when employed effectively, but here it's a little insipid, especially when the bulk musicianship here is a brazen livewire of a connection. Bizarrely they are more inspired by film makers than musicians, citing Jodorowsky, Lynch, Sokurov and the great Bela Tarr amongst their idols. Favourite track: 'Its Unicron. The First Initiation' and 'Ghola Tleilaxu'.