Fashion Week – S/T – Digital EP 2011

Fashion Week - S/T - Digital EP 2011New York trio Fashion Week keep it tight, sharp and nasty on this short but not-too-sweet download-only release from the lovely folks at Coextinction, following on from their equally short and arguably more abrasive 2011 demo.

Guitarist/vocalist Joshua Lozano churns out alternately angular and ripping noiserock riffage, throwing in the odd moment of off-kilter melody, all the time shredding his throat like the bastard child of Barkmarket’s Dave Sardy and Drowningman’s Simon Brody, whilst being ably backed up by the rampaging, clanking bass of Brett Zweiman and the dynamic drum-smashing of Carl Eklof. The trio more than capably follow in the illustrious footsteps of their NY noiserock forebears Unsane, Barkmarket and Helmet thanks to their combination of sheet-metal guitars, depthcharging, rolling bass, dynamic and surgically precise drumming, glass-in-the-throat vocalisms and knack of knowing exactly how to put a damn good song together.

The three tracks here keep up with the band’s running theme of the fashion world – don’t ask me why – entitled, as they are, ‘Heroin Chic’, ‘Andrew Cunanan’ and ‘God Save McQueen’. For those of you less fashion-savvy than I, the song title references take in that gaunt, sickly, hollowed out look that some designers crave for their models, the guy who shot fashion designer Gianni Versace and a Sex Pistols pun on maverick designer Alexander McQueen. As for the lyrics, gawd knows, but I’m betting they ain’t pretty.

‘Heroin Chic’ moves from cascading harmonics and surging bass into stirring vocal harmonies that retain melody without succumbing to the emo-disease and coming out the other end via pummelling double-bass, hoarse shouts and jagged stabs of guitar and bass; ‘Andrew Cunanan’ creeps in with eerie harmonica, not unlike Sabbath’s ‘The Wizard’ atop a Fight Club sample that dissolves into low-slung churning bass and a Drowningman-meets-Helmet-style sheet-metal riff before slowing to a crawl and throwing out a tight, dynamic Sabs-tinged riff, the return of that eerie harmonica and some seriously impassioned raw-throated yelling. And finally ‘God Save McQueen’ piles in on a Helmet/Playing Enemy vibe, throws in some lovely guitar textures and a tasteful li’l solo before checking out again with throat-shredding vocals and a return to the opening riff pile-up.

Beautiful, ugly, stuff indeed, and most highly recommended for noiserock connoisseurs and those with impeccable taste alike.

Label: Coextinction Recordings

Scribed by: Paul Robertson