Monday, November 21, 2011

G&P Review: thedowngoing

They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

Luke 8:26-32

Untitled EP

In the near future, what passes for law enforcement in Australia (which I understand is mostly made up of half-naked guys with football pads and mohawks in souped up cars screaming across the desert fighting over "juice", according to a trio of documentaries I saw in the '80s) will track down duo thedowngoing to find out more about that exorcism they surreptitiously taped and tried to pass off as their Untitled EP. Because I guarantee you no healthy human can/should be able to make those kinds of noises without demonic assistance.
Guitarist/exorcisee Mathias Huxley turns in what is easily the vocal performance of the year, and his spiky, chaotic, just-short-of-random riffing seethes and swarms like a herd of suicidal Gadarene swine. Then suddenly the chaos will smooth, however briefly, and a Pig Destroyer- style hook will breach the surface of the chaotic noise soup just long enough to impale your ear holes just before diving back to the lightless depths of the id. Not to discount the drumming, which is the adrenaline-jacked beat of a full-blown fight or flight trip, but Untitled EP rides on Huxley's dynamism as a guitarist and singer.
At a tidy nine songs and 10 minutes, the adorable little 3-inch CD is perfectly proportioned. Anything more would have defeated the effect by diluting the chaos with sheer repetition. However, this is a perfect example of perfectly balanced economy in action. Previous offering I Am Become was a perfectly serviceable outing, but Untitled EP shows the band reaching new, dizzying artistic heights. There's something demonically magical going on in the land of Oz.
[Full disclosure: The band sent me a review copy.]


Alex Layzell said...

My mind is still blown at how intense/inspiring/destructive this release is despite listening to hundreds of times. And I still stick to my original conviction that
Untitled EP > Orphan

Andrew Childers said...

i still say that's going a step too far. however, untitled ep definitely deserves a prominent place among the best of the year in a ridiculously good crop of grind.

gamefaced said...

those pigs weren't suicidal, they were murdered.

Andrew Childers said...

more importantly, did all that lovely bacon go to waste? surely there was some unkosher bastard around to pig out (ha) on the leavings.