It seems that there’s an even greater proliferation of quality noise rock bands around right now than even during the halcyon late eighties/early nineties days when the genre was first coming to prominence. Hell, the case could be similarly argued for just about any genre of music these days, really, but for some reason the noise rock scene is currently in the rudest of health thanks to bands like Kowloon Walled City, Survival Knife, Roomrunner and Pigs, to name but a few, and now there’s Pord to add to the burgeoning list.
The French trio waste no time at all in bringing the dirt as the gnarled filth of bassist Max Quintin breaks the silence on Staring Into Space, sounding like the bastard offspring of the Blower Bass of Voivod’s Blacky, circa the spikily unpleasant maelstrom of Rrröööaaarrr, and the tight-as-a-noose low-end theory of Jesus Lizard/Rapeman bassist David Wm Sims. Swiftly joined by the brutalist drums of Sébastien Daudé and the slashing barbed-wire guitar and borderline hysterical vocals of Mike Paulhac, Pord wind themselves tighter and tighter into gritty paranoiac noise rock nirvana across the course of the taut opener.
The overall sound and feel of the band sits right between the mathy avant-skronk of the late lamented Dazzling Killmen and the amped up jitter of latter-day Jesus Lizard – particularly on second track I’m Swimming Home, pulsing with the punk-rock urgency of later Jesus Lizard tracks like Glamourous and Cold Water and crawling with nerve-shredding guitar squawk that would do Killmen mainman Nick Sakes proud.
Unfortunately for people who complain that I mention Canuck avant-metal overlords Voivod far too often, their signature discordant guitar and complex distorted bass power-chord combo rears its ugly head rather prominently on My Bloody Galantine, a track that really is a nasty piece of work, and speaking of nasty, emerging from a cloud of seething distortion, the short but far from sweet Laguiole Bull’s Balls slams into a brutally-bass driven groove that smacks highly of SLAB!, which is sure as shit not a bad thing at all.
Elsewhere What Are Tuesdays For? lurches and stumbles through a complex rhythmic workout that could easily take the wind from the listeners lungs in one heavy-duty punch, spiralling ever in ever tighter circles until the whole fucking thing implodes, Pools ‘n’ Chicks gets furious and hits like a math-rock Motörhead with an insistently repeating riff and some furious drum battery, and closer On The Couch draws all of the previous threads that came before together into a tight-as-a-gnats-chuff display of virulent noise rock headfuck that staggers and rolls between meters, plays with the volume and intensity and quite frankly leaves me bloody cross-eyed trying to follow it.
Wild left me battered and somewhat shell-shocked after one listen but you can be damn sure I came right back again for the first of many repeat listens. I love noise rock, I love it vicious, I love it complex, and this delivers both, and more, in spades.
Wild? Pord are absolutely livid.
Scribed by: Paul Robertson