Friday, 11 December 2015

Halt Ever/EXEK

Two great Aussie acts have joined forces to release a killer tape through Resistance/Restraint Records. Post punk agitators Halt Ever and pitch primordial antagonisers Exek present two damaged sides of the same black coin. 'Patricia' is a gut punch with rusted knuckle dusters - the deep, damaged bassline is gargantuan, the piercing feedback bears its teeth, the guitars and cymbals crash and boil. Chaos reigns, but in a pit of contained dead-eyed disdain. I haven't heard Halt Ever so habitually visceral, serrated - an aural gnashing of the teeth in the darkness, sweat and blood mingling and sticking on bared fangs. Nihilism, despondency, gnarled aggression, Gothic despair - it permeates every fractured corner. Australian bands have really cornered this blasted, bastard sound, yet every time a new nuance rears its head it strikes delicious fear, wanting more, cringing ecstatically when such wishes are granted.

Then Exek take the floor for a different dose of dissonance, 'Baby Giant Squid' a seventeen minute sonic diatribe of disgust and regret - Exek spread out through a metallic wringer, hung out on a forlorn coathanger of morbidity. A sawing, sinuous assault on the dark side of the soul, with Albert Wolski's monotone vocals disappearing into the darkest recesses of the early hours where nothing is sacrosanct and everything can be won - but mostly lost. Depression as an atonal sine wave, devastating and yet somehow euphoric in its final strangled strains.

The 7" comes out next week. The bands launch it at the Old Bar Saturday December 19 alongside SM buds Cobwebbs (Vacuum and Fruit & Nut also support).

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