Sunday, July 14, 2013

Big Black Cloud - Black Friday



The DNA test is back and the baby’s father is Fugazi, Mrs. Killdozer. Holy hell it’s a good time for hardcore snot-nosed punk with a heavier than average feel. This year Burning Books stepped on the scene and, somewhat surprisingly, bands like Pissed Jeans and Future Of The Left are still going strong. Black Friday fits easily into the ever growing list of frantic noise and remind me of past heavyweights like Alice Donut and the less celebrated Creeps On Candy. Real sounding skronk pushing past the misguided belief that music has gotten completely tepid as of late (a notion by people who simply aren’t paying attention).

This album doesn’t feel at all like the comfortable, progressive Portland where BBC hail. This is the anger than comes from oppression and great downward pressure to conform. I know Portland has spawned many great hardcore band but always one that seemed to have a message not the exploder soundtrack of Black Friday. Tracks like Barbaric, Mystical And Bored are so sloppy thick and chunky they roar with a spine cringing fury. They rely little on studio trickery, the music itself does the job of ear stomping. On the other hand the recording is clean and tidy with no need to strain your ears to hear the spine finally snap.

Unfortunately bands like Big Black Cloud aren’t on the forefront of popular music. Not surprising too, this isn’t popular music. Like Black Flag, the niche they make can only be their own and I doubt they will achieve cult status but they play like they want it. This is just as urgent as that sound, it should be listened to now. This is anti-austerity music, liberally pissed off and ready to bounce; pushy little rock contenders, angry and torn up. Imagine if the band Harvey Milk were forced Ritalin. You’re getting an idea what this sounds like.

I find these times a bit disappointing. If more people had less rigid walls defining their preferred genres they might actually be content with punk’s progression into the bands that still fly it’s banner. That is a problem as old as culture though. Most folks believe their scene was the only one that mattered; their era. Maybe the kind of rhetoric and bile on tracks like Pile Of Shit is best reserved for the youth. So you can rot in nostalgia and spend all your hard earned money on your favorite punk band’s final-money-grab or help these guys (and gal) out. It’s cheaper, it’s far more relevant and they’re blowing off the doors right now!


--Plague Rat




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