A horrible hack

Baxter Stockman

Haul

Year Released: 2017
Format: Download
Label: Ektro - Full Contact
 
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Apr 27, 2017
In terms of the 'big three' (ahahaha) of Finnish noise-rock, I have to admit that Baxter Stockman are perhaps my favourite. They're also the only one who I didn't catch live, and I can't for the life of me recall why I didn't go and see them. Probably something to do with ennui, psychic malaise or a pathetic, self-defeating, low-level desire not to do the sort of things that would lift me out of my ennui/psychic malaise because it seems, when you're in a state like that, easier to go home and stare at the wall than do something positive and proactive about it like watch a horrible band perform horrible music. Needless to say, now all I'm left with is a vague sense of regret and the knowledge that I won't have the chance to see this band again. Anyway: their last release is, at least, a good one. The fundamental sense of clanky, elasticated aggravation is retained, and the main reference that springs to mind is Scratch Acid. It seems here, though, that their ROCK (as opposed to NOISE-rock) sentiments have been brought a little more to the fore, justifying the reference to ZZ Top that I believe popped up in the press release. The balance between these two universes is odd but capably handled, and the sense of seaminess and mental grot is retained despite the ostensible cleanliness – clearly delineated bass/drums/guitars; minimal distortion – of sound. The vocals, of course, are all over the bloody shop and ensure this is all anything but normal, with tracks like 'Cityfister' causing a sense of general perturbation long after the last trebly note has stopped rattling round your inner ear. Gross and wrong, then, but also very, very good.
Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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