Grind, sludge and noise rock are three genres that do actually tend to describe the musical content of the bands they encompass. Piss Vortex, with their self titled debut album, find the point where these three meet and proceed to urinate all over the boundaries of each. Piss Vortex is 25 minutes of lo-fi, unashamedly filthy music that fans of Nails, Pyrrhon and Today Is The Day could quite happily put differences aside to sit down and enjoy. Something wicked this way comes, all the way from Denmark.
Never before has an album cover so perfectly encapsulated the sound of a record. A festering pile of who knows what, and is that a tree or a really, really dirty wall? As disgusting an image at first glance, the harsher colours hide the pinks, whites and natural earth tones. This is by no means an art critique – more of a comparison with the barrage of sound that seeps out of every dirty crack of this album. ‘Filth’ and ‘Shit Life’ are exquisite examples of grind tinged hardcore – short stabs of brutality that segue into each other without a breath of air.
Moments of rest are few and far between here, but when they appear they are a beacon of hope in a torrid sea of despair. Albeit hope that is overshadowed by an innate sense of dread at what is to come. Album closer ‘Our Maker’s Invisible Hand’ is a toxic epic that has an overbearing sense of claustrophobia attached that obliterates itself with a giant set of riffs. Not simply noise for the sake of noise, ‘Inoperable’ brings a groove that is immeasurably catchy before it descends again into the dark sludge of ‘Beaten Womb’. Piss Vortex have a fair few strings to their bow and they are more than adept at picking exactly the right one for every occasion.
The vocal performance on this album are similar to Caleb Scofield’s performances with the likes of Zozobra and Old Man Gloom. Tortured yet controlled and perfectly delivered – no gutturals or cleans to be found, just a harrowing scream that draws from deep, deep lungs. While the production matches the albums graphics, sometimes the guitar is simply lost in the cacophony; thankfully the bass is always lurking and lurching from riff to riff, loud and proud. It is the combination of loud, jarring bass and percussion that gives each song its twisted backbone. Much like Pyrrhon’s Mother Of Virtues, the bass and drums are just as important, if not more so than the guitar in creating the atmosphere of tracks like ‘Beaten Womb’.
For a debut album from a band with less than 500 likes on Facebook, Piss Vortex runs the risk of being criminally overlooked. These Danish genre dodgers play their own brand of fucked up sludge that is as aggressive as it is atmospheric and as virile as it is violent. Thousands of music lovers will appreciate the musings of Piss Vortex, they just need to hear them first.
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