If you haven’t been paying attention, you’ll have missed our championing of the wild underground scene in Denmark. Well, pay attention, idiot. Kicking off your week the right way, we have a savage premiere from another fantastic new act from the Scandinavian territory. We’re debuting “Screwdriver Hymn”, the second track from anti-genre band Oxx‘s new LP The Skeleton is Just a Coat Hanger; These Are the Black Strings That Make You Dance (we’ll just call it The Skeleton… from here on out). The FFO section for this band reads so extensively that I have no fucking idea where to begin. Try it out.
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A self-confessed group of clusterfuck-core enthusiasts, these Danes have thrown click tracks, overdubs, and other studio tricks out of the window in favor of a spontaneous, rough around the edges sound bordering hardcore, sludge, crust, math and grind. In short, nearly everything you come to Heavy Blog for in one killer three-minute package. “Screwdriver Hymn” has a floor-scraping bass riff that the guitars lurch alongside, flirting with math-rock guitar noodling and chaotic, dissonant hardcore scrapes that fans of KEN mode and GAZA will enjoy, just as much as the fans of Clutch might enjoy the dirty southern-friend groove that closes the track. It’s a mess, but it’s fantastic.
The seemingly unhinged nature of the track fits with where the band comes from, as the members have all been involved in punk and metal bands as well as afrobeat projects and film and TV scoring. It shows. The trio in Oxx were also nice enough to share a little bit more insight into “Screwdriver Hymn”, so here they are:
“”Screwdriver” is a sort of crisis of faith. Or maybe, a thoroughly unwelcome reaffirmation of faith. In either case, I guess it’s a song about the involuntary shift of conviction you have when you realize everything is so irrevocably fucked that it can no longer be ascribed to some pseudo-existentialist notion of indifferent contingency. Instead, luxurious uncertainty is replaced by a growing paranoia of predetermination: that, paraphrasing Pynchon, the hands of Providence are in fact creeping among the stars, giving you the finger.
While I’m not that big on referencing other bands when trying to describe your own music, in this case there’s no fucking way getting around mentioning Jesus Lizard. As anyone should be, we’re massive fans, and we’ve been particularly preoccupied with worshiping Duane Denison’s penchant for writing drudging mid-tempo songs that makes you, to quote Henry Rollins, want to ‘fuck on the floor and break shit’ just as much as the most blistering hardcore freak-out. And so, Screwdriver is our attempt at dominating the mid-tempos with that kind of intensity.
Trying to align our hyperactive musical impulses with that kind of intention, we’ve had a hoot cross-breeding sludgy riffs and discombobulating time-signature fuckscapes into an amorphous blob of a song; a banging-your-head-but-never-knowing-to-which-beat kinda deal. Whether or not that succeeded will be for you and your, hopefully, soon to be broken shit and fucked-on floor to decide. Thanks for listening!”
Thanks for sharing, Oxx. You can find preorder links for The Skeleton… both from the band and via Nefarious Industries, just in time for the band doing a full-run in the States between September 26th and October 26th, with dates announced soon. Strap in for a bit of a wild ride, as even though I’ve heard the whole record a bunch of times, I’m still surprised by something every time I hit play. It’s the most wonderful bedlam you could imagine, and then some.