London’s Art Of Burning Water mark their debut for Birmingham’s Riot Season (co-released with SuperFi & Swarm Of Nails) with the LP ‘This Disgrace’, album number four and the follow up to 2010’s ‘Head of the Tempest’ which saw the light of day via Super-Fi and Hate Life Records. I have kept an eye on this band since first being introduced to them a few years back by one of the guys from London based DIY promoters ‘I Hate The Kids’, who had hosted one of their gigs and thought they would be to my liking. Their sound is hard to categorize, their off the wall approach combines elements of noise rock, punk and sludge and thrives on feedback and discordance whilst delivering the entire package like a sledge-hammer to the face. With ‘This Disgrace’ they have managed to up the ante some-what, still sticking to the initial formula, yet honing their skills, delivering an extremely focused and intense statement which should definitely turn a few heads.
Feedback and dissonant repeated phrases open proceedings on ‘You Won’t Know Till You’ve Cried’, some (German?) vocal samples kick in and then we are hit with the opening salvo, an intensely heavy riff which is interspersed with more off kilter guitar tones and scathing, tortured vocal deliveries which build in intensity before ‘It Didn’t Get Any Better’ kicks in with one hell of a crushing, techy riff that just gets me every time – low down and dirty stuff. From here on in they don’t really let your attention drift very far at all; ‘Lacerations To Hands And Faith’ has simply one of the best breakdowns I have heard in a good while, around the halfway mark take the already ridiculous riff and drop the tempo to a crushing pace which will have people banging heads so hard as to induce whiplash. ‘Way Of Bastard’ sees out the A side with an explosion of feedback, distortion, vocal manipulations and frenzied drumming, the shortest track on the album clocking in at just over a minute acts as a brief, yet chaotic intermission.
‘We Failed’ does not mess around, a repeated drum flurry underpins the hardcore influence of the guitars and vocals until the piece breaks apart into a completely unforgiving, despair-ridden dirge then back again, a technically excellent piece of work. ‘Since His Collapse’ rears its ugly head next, vocal murmurings and a particularly melancholic guitar line that smacks of post-rock sets the scene, before yet more delicious tech-heavy riffage simply melts your face off, one of the highlights of the album in my book. ‘The Live You Live’ is rowdy as hell, definitely one to get the crowd going pit crazy, relentlessly heavy from the word go, choppy riffs and agro vocals beat you to a pulp getting you in the right state of mind to deal with the closer ‘Way Of Snake’. A huge wall of noise washes over you for the duration as the album comes to a close, blast beats are heard way off in the background while swathes of vocals are distorted beyond comprehension, simply kicking the last bit of life out of you as the LP comes to an abrupt end. Fantastic stuff and another step up the ladder for Art of Burning Water, make sure you snap up one of these limited 12”’s before they disappear!
Scribed by: Todd Robinson