Craig Clouse (ex-Hammerhead/Todd) presents the latest filthy missive from his consistently fascinating Shit & Shine project. ‘54 Synth-Brass, 38 Metal Guitar, 65 Cathedral’ is an eccentric brew of trance-inducing rhythms, sampled mischief and oddball noise which quickly proves addictive. If The Butthole Surfers were reborn as post-rave perverts, they might sound a lot like this. Or perhaps not. In any case, Clouse has pulled another fast one here.
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- 54 Synth-Brass, 38 Metal Guitar, 65 Cathedral by Shit & Shine
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This morning I placed a lukewarm cup of coffee in the microwave and marvelled at the whirring grind drone for a good 30 seconds before realising that the microwave was actually a CD player into which I had placed the latest Shit & Shine. While this tale is actually a false combination of two events which actually occurred in two separate rooms, the microwave’s mechanical repetition was the perfect accompaniment to 54 Synth-Brass [etc...] and its industrial reign of terror.
If you’ve been into his recent output, you should already know what this is like. Pounding marches of grim gas-guzzling percussion and formless splatting - think Dr Robotnik slicing up Iron Man and similarly machismo figureheads with a circular saw. Being 7 tracks over 50 minutes or so, you’re presented with lengthy jams over a central groove with imaginatively abrasive chopped noises easing in and out - a clanky rumble here, a maltreated voice there. Metal Guitar is no lie, with some tunes like opener ‘Electric Pony’ resembling Sleaford Mods backing tracks run through the Rammstein machine.
Craig Clouse is a master of distortion. Is he a disturbed man? I think all men are disturbed to some degree - take those Prodigy blokes for instance. If you got an early Prodigy 12” and played it at 33 it probably sounds something like this. In fact, I’m almost certain that 54 Synth-Brass... is entirely built from those blocks, but don’t worry Craig, people will still buy your records. Things get mildly less grim on the disturbed psych odyssey that is ‘Writing Poetry On Your Forehead With The Tip Of A Hunting Knife’ with a guitar sample that’s like The Phantom of the Opera played backwards and a noodly fusion feel throughout. The standout track has to be the 4th, because who can resist that 5/8 hypnotism?
This record has such a diversity of brutality, from a slight whiff to full blown bonecrush. Even when tackling trap on the final tune, there are some subtle dissonant layers amongst the skittering hats and strained clanks that help propel you into Clouse’s world of pain.
I hope this has been packed with enough horrible metaphors to sufficiently describe the music. If not, head back to the top and repeat.
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