Mark Deutrom is probably best known for his work as producer, sound engineer and some time member of Grunge Godfathers The Melvins having played on seminal releases such as Prick, Stoner Witch, Stay and Honky, making film soundtracks and forging a prolific solo career. The former alumni of the California Institute of Arts constantly challenges and pushes the boundaries with exciting raw rock n roll.
Following on from the release of last years latest solo album, he teams up with North Carolina’s noise merchants The Asound to release a split on Tsuguri Records, an imprint run by ‘sound bassist Jon Cox. Given one track each, this ultra limited 7″ split record (200 copies of Black or Green vinyl) is a completest dream for fans of both artists, not least as Deutrom offers up a previously unreleased track in the form of Miniskirt, left over from last years Brief Sensuality and Western Violence sessions. Deemed too heavy and direct to fit in with the jazz like vibe of the album, Miniskirt is a short, two minute burst of raw punk that recalls his work with Buzz Osbourne’s crew.
It is an almost lo-fi garage band sound that runs in, punches you in the mouth, dances glee and runs out again. Built around an urgent low end groove they manage to give all the instruments the briefest of showcasing in the short space of time; from the little bass flourishes, to the accented cymbal crashes and finishes on the high of an energetic, fret abusing solo that is deft and as fleeting as you could imagine given the time constraints.
In contrast The Asound decide to slow the proceedings down with an almost sludge paced, monolithic pounding. Having reviewed them some years ago I found them to be a mixture of 70’s hard rock, punk, psychedelia, prog and of course Black Sabbath. Here on The Chief Of Thieves they lurch with huge ringing chords that share the same production values and common art rock of Deutrom values in the drum smashes and winding solos.
The difference here is that The Asound take nearly three times as long to get their point across. Much more Doom laden than Deutrom, The Chief Of Thieves is built around a riff that you don’t get tired of, the slow plodding and Chad Wyrick‘s almost Ozzy like wail adds to the swaying, droning feel and offers an almost completely different sonic contrast.
The music on this split is just enough to tease you with promises of each artist but ultimately leave you wanting more. More akin sound wise than the fast/slow contrast would have you believe, both artists look to channel a snotty DIY attitude and create music that slams into your consciousness and leaves a lasting impression.
Scribed by: Mark Hunt-Bryden