Decibel – Controlled Bleeding “Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps” (2016)

Welcome, kiddies… Since I took no part in choosing this album for review, I have to imagine that out esteemed editor saw the track titled “The Perks of Being a Perv” and knew that I would make an immediate personal connection. I would ask him to provide evidence for such a vulgar assertion, beyond the fact that, yes, I totally dig this stuff. But not for the reasons you think, dammit.

Larva Lumps is a sublime (if disconcerting) ride through the avant-garde mashup of rock, noise and jazz. While much of the music is strongly guitar driven, Larva Lumps never deigns to employ accessible rock tropes. Rather, Controlled Bleeding wander through a diverse, stylized and highly abstract terrain built from alternately abrasive and calming performances, all of which play out in tight, repetitive patterns that seek a trance-state even at its most shrill.

Swans fans may find a lot of common language here, though that’s not to say that CB sound really sound anything like Swans of any era. In its frequent active moments, Larva Lumps is close kin to John Zorn’s recent Simulacrum trio, with its perpetually hot guitar soloing and hard-rocking percussion. On “A Evening Fades”, the album cools off and floats on exotic melodies and synthetic atmospheres. Then there’s “The Perks of Being a Perv”, 23+ minutes of noisy bluster and unrestrained experimental fervor with several distinct moments. It’s an uncompromising statement, and your expectations have no place in founder Paul Lemos’ vision. Accept or be churned under. Which, I guess, makes this pretty damn metal.
-Daniel Lake







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