Out of many musical weaknesses I have, I really can’t say no to much noise rock. A lot of it reminds me of 80s alternative bands like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr., two personal favorites. You have that proto-punk angstiness combined with guitarists willing to try different sounds on their guitars and really blast you with a wall of sound.
Austin’s exhalants is basically what I’m describing. Their self-title record is a little post-hardcore, a little noise rock, a little punk, and it all combines for a great, sometimes noisy, and sometimes slacker rock vibe. It really runs the Pixies style gamut of loud-soft-loud. There’s also a great looseness to what they do, as if everything they’re doing is basically off the cuff and created in the moment. Wild strumming of power chords combined with a pretty even mixing of drums, bass, and guitar give you the feeling of a lower production standard but also feels incredibly real.
This all starts right off the bat with the lead track, “Latex”. You can hear the noise qualities in the bright guitars with some gain behind them. As the track goes on, it feels like the band is teetering on the edge of order and chaos, giving a hand to each so it feels like the song could fall apart at any moment while also keeping it together as much as they can. That’s when you know you’ve found a good noise rock band: it’s so wild that it feels like the wheels could come off at any moment. Especially when it gets particularly noisy like on the next track, “Cauterized”. The aggression is so palpable. It’s not just that they’re playing heavy which they are indeed doing. But it’s that feeling of reckless abandon. Just playing with your emotions but not so much the instruments. That’s what this sound is really about, and exhalants are doing it really well now. You can purchase and stream the record now on Bandcamp.