VARIOUS ARTISTS: A Butcher’s Waltz: LP

A four-way split between noise outfits Seawhores, Power Take Off, Skoal Kodiak, and Gay Witch Abortion. Seawhores starts things off with a powerfully heavy blast of symphonic, orchestral arrangements in a tempo-shifting metal stomper. They then, somewhat bafflingly, switch gears and deliver a couple notes of pan flute that serve as a transition to an effects-laden synth loop track with chanting, almost reggae-inflected vocals before closing out their portion of the split with a ripping cover of Hammerhead’s “Cleaning Lady,” that has an early Melvins feel to it. Following Seawhores comes Power Take Off, who offers up an epic track in “Plowshare,” which features spoken vocals over a long barrage of slow, heavy, hypnotically repetitive riffs. Skoal Kodiak has a pretty solid groove, a bit of inspired, psychedelic, bong-rattling bass that works its way in and out of tunes otherwise characterized by a bevy of unintelligible vocal howls and a heavy peppering of electronic bleeps and pulses. Gay Witch Abortion rounds things out with some more space sounds amidst bursts of chaotic metal. This was my first introduction to each of the bands and I found this comp to be a solid primer. Worth checking out. 

 –Jeff Proctor (Learning Curve)