The Blind Surgeons Operation
Torn Flesh Records
My inner grammar nazi (and by "inner" I mean about two microns below the dermis) keeps itching to stick an apostrophe somewhere in The Blind Surgeons Operation's name. Just how many surgeons are there and how shall we establish ownership of said operation? But that's pretty much the totality of my complaints about Wolfram Syndrome, which speaks well of these Canadian grinders.
For the medically inclined, Wolfram Syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes diabetes, loss of vision and deafness. Wolfram Syndrome the album is more like an auditory interpretation of an epileptic fit courtesy of introduction "Me Gusta," which blinks, strobes, flickers and flashes through a pastiche of lounge jazz, dead channel noise and missing number dial tones. But once you survive that hallucinatory assault, The Blind Surgeons Operation grind like Maruta meets Parlamentarisk Sodomi with Mathias Huxley of thedowngoing chipping in guest vocals. Songs like "Second Degree Ghost" and "Pulling Teeth" just reek of that open grave stench that pervaded Eduardo Borja's best swamp water riffs.
If there's one hiccup to Wolfram Syndrome, it would be antepenultimate song "Organ Farmer," a seven minute slog that chews up The Blind Surgeon Operation's momentum. It's a plodding, throbbing single chord workout that sounds like something Floor would have tried back during their garage days. While The Blind Surgeons Operation keep the song shifting and moving, in context of the album it slams the whole affair to a halt as effectively as plowing your car into a brick wall at top speed. It's a relief when the demonic wind of the aptly titled "Ultraviolence" lives up to its name.
Despite that one detour, Wolfram Syndrome is a snotty, snarly ball of spiteful venom. Like the song said, me gusta.
[Full disclosure: the band sent me a download.]