Jasön Stoll sure has had a busy 2020, releasing albums as part of Twin Sister and Sex Swing, running his label God Unknown Records, and now yet another project with KLÄMP. Consisting of Jason on bass, Greg Wynne – guitar/vocals, Lee Vincent – drums, with additional sax by Colin Webster and synth by Wayne Adams. The album has been mastered by John McBain (Monster Magnet/Wellwater Conspiracy) and is the follow-up to last year’s Self-Titled debut.
Opening track Hate You is a short blast of aggro noise-rock with semi blast beat drumming and atonal vocals that makes for a delicious slice of absolute nonsense that sets out a great statement of intent. Next we have the longest track on the album Arise, the title isn’t the only thing that reminds me of Amebix; the combination of snarling post-punk, anarcho punk and downright nasty metal recalls that band at their mid to late 80s peak.
The repeated vocal refrains of ‘Its Not An Opinion‘ reminds one of a more aggressive and belligerent Mark E Smith and Webster’s mad Ornette Coleman style wigouts (which also featured on Sex Swing’s brilliant Type II album), enhances the sheer musical cacophony on offer and is a demonstration of how effective an instrument it can be outside of corny 80s white boy soul (take a bow Style Council).
The video premier for An Orb was featured on The Sleeping Shaman back on June 9th and if you haven’t seen it, makes for a reasonably disturbing affair. The El Duce-esque tattooed figure is in a bare, sparse white nondescript room miming (?) along to the track. Musically you have a pretty decent amalgamation of noise-rock and metal, not a million miles away from Unsane and Helmet, but with more of a discordant punk/post-punk spirit.
The album finishes with the aptly named No Nerves as its unlikely you’ll have any left by the time you get through this unsettling, yet thrilling experience…
Big Bad Heart featured on the excellent Human Worth Vol. II compilation along with the likes of Modern Technology, Sly and the Family Drone and Mummise Guns, all of whom have been reviewed on the Shaman. The track itself has more of a Krautrockian feel, especially with the motorik drumming reminding one of Faust and Can. If those bands were around now, there is no doubt they wouldn’t have sounded too dissimilar. There’s also something of a slight industrial influence ala Head of David and Godflesh present.
TJ takes a sludgier and darker tone with cues being picked up from the likes of Iron Monkey and Black Sabbath. There is a distinct sense of menace with the lyrical content, invoking the listener to bring along various family members and to ‘relax’. Relax to do what exactly? This palpable tension is punctuated by the quieter passage roughly halfway through. There is nothing soothing about Colin’s sax either, only serving to add to the general unease. In an age where we are inundated by boring EyeHateGod copycats it was a genuine pleasure to hear a fresh and original take on the genre.
The album finishes with the aptly named No Nerves as its unlikely you’ll have any left by the time you get through this unsettling, yet thrilling experience. The track is kind of mix of PIL post-punk (especially vocally), uncompromising Flipper/No Trend noise-rock and slitherings of sludge metal. Quite a hefty combo and a brilliant one at that.
Jason hasn’t shed his experimental tendencies completely, but these have been tempered by a more aggressive and direct approach. It should be stated that this by no means makes the album any less of an intriguing listen, its Jason adding yet another string to his bow, cutting loose and is another musical triumph.
Scribed by: Reza Mills