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The Rita, "Dark Angled Eyebrow"

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cover imageOn this terse (ten minutes exactly) little 7" single, Canada's master of harsh noise walls indulges in his sonic obsessions once again. Sam McKinlay proves that for a style associated with monochromatic approaches, there is much more to be explored, even if edges just so slightly into uncomfortable.

Amethyst Sunset

Sourced from the sounds of wood, knives, and nylon and paired with the cover art, Sam McKinlay is definitely going for the giallo horror theme that defines his Vice Wears Black Hose collaboration with Richard Ramirez.  "Dark Eyebrow Angled Toward the Nylon" is classic Rita: sharp, serrated waves of sound that is overdriven into fatiguing, clipping levels.  It stays pretty much the same throughout its five minutes:  at low volumes it makes for a nice study in abrasive textures.  Cranked up, it is as jarring and punishing as any good harsh noise should be.

The other side of the vinyl, "Dark Eyebrow Angled Toward the Thigh," is actually a bit more spacious, if still overwhelmingly oppressive as it goes on.  The noise is pushed even more into the jagged, sawtooth realms to almost sound more like hardware glitches and malfunctions rather than harsh noise.  Film dialog is introduced, sometimes intelligible and other times not, but eventually becomes overwhelmed by the noise that, again, is unpleasant in the best possible way until it finally devolves into a traditional harsh noise wave of white noise and reverberated static.

Rather than just sounding like a broken AM radio (like much of this subgenre does), McKinlay layers his sound distinctly, often overdriven to the point of only the smallest fragments of noise become audible. This is a great single that does exactly what it should without any pretense.  I would have not been able to handle much more than a 7" single, however, and I mean that as a compliment!

Last Updated on Monday, 15 July 2013 00:47  


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