There is something entertainingly unhinged about the Bleach-era Cobain caterwauling and the raped Television quacking guitars of Dmonstrations. The pressure doesn’t let up once—all we’re faced with is pummelling, dangerous fists of noise and shockingly incoherent exclamations – it’s up to us to deal with it. Turning off is not really an option. You simply can’t do it. This is one of those records people should be getting excited about in a ‘crikey, we haven’t heard anything like this since we saw Lightning Bolt last week’ sort of fashion; something for all the dark indie overlords to sink their teeth into. Unfortunately, they might pass it up as being too straightforward, too linear. But they’re idiots really, aren’t they?
Cleverness is something associated with all these droning, noisy, thrashy bands just through habit, but there aren’t that many who can make it so apparent as Dmonstrations, or apply it with such diversity. From spooky spoken words on “Hair Pretzel” that explode into a frenzy of smacking disco and disambiguated yelps to the confusing time signatures and Mclusky-fuzzed bass of opening clot of a track “Shark,” there is something for every discerning noise-merchant. Best of all, though, is the quite devastatingly pointy and furious attack of cascading guitar squalor that comes about in “Crocodile Brain.” You can hear the strings being bent to their limits and the boards being slammed with astonishing violence. That’s a thrill. Listen to that one first. Then relax for a minute. You are ready for the whole album now.
This is the sound of a band entertainingly childish in their execution. “Uvula” is sickening, with its twisty wrangles of truly rank guitar harmonies that eat your brains like a tiger eating Doritos, and the completely motherless voice of Tetsunori Tawaraya wailing about some horrid “uncontrollable ballerina.” It is unsettling in a demented and entertaining way, utterly gaunt and sparse, but still aware why of why it needs to be. The biological fascination that surrounds the lyrics of this record are matched and bolstered by the guttural and grinding propulsion of the flares of instrumental insanity.
Dmonstrations neatly avoid becoming stale (and this noisy Lightning Bolt/Melt-Banana/Mikaela’s Fiend bunch can certainly do that) by stuffing as much enigma into this record as will fit. There are moments when the irregular stomping becomes hypnotically monotonous, only to be clattered entirely by a deathly howl or scrum of cymbal smashes, taking us as close to the edge of the cliff as is possible without falling off and being smashed on rocks. It’s these irregularities, these little flutters of imagination coupled with the crushing ensemble power created by sweat and instruments that make Night Trrors, Shock! as involving as it is.
Melt-Banana – Teeny Shiny
Mikaela’s Fiend – Mikaela’s Fiend
Daniel Striped Tiger – Condition