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The Whole Five Inches (Review: Noothgrush / Suppression Split)

Well, well, well, what do we have here? A forgotten relic from the golden days of late 90’s powerviolence, finally unearthed and distributed on a dainty little 5” disc (the needle drop for this one is an operation that requires military precision – kids, don’t try this without an adult present!) by the fine folk at Fuck Yoga Records.

Let’s not beat around the bush - “Flee From Hunger And Disease” is classic Noothgrush. This track was recently exhumed on ‘Live for Nothing’, the band’s Southern Lord issued live compilation, but this is the first time its studio counterpart has been unleashed on the general public – and what a beauty it is! Every slow, punishing note is imbued with that crippling weight and unmistakeable sense of malice that has always marked this band out as one of sludge’s finest practitioners, who are somehow able to sound enormously energetic even whilst churning away on the most lethargic of sluggers. The song ends with the trio riding one of those gloriously fucked up but boldly groovy trademark riffs into a fade out that always leaves me clamouring for more!

I’ll ‘fess up that I was totally unfamiliar with Suppression before hearing this split; needless to say, I’d be kicking my own arse right now if these guys hadn’t just beaten me to it and blasted my posterior into a bloody pulp. These guys sound pissed, not in the sense of “hey, let’s down a few beers with our buddies and play some fast tunes” pissed, but the kind of “I haven’t eaten in days, I’ve just been laid off, my house has burnt down, and slamming on these six strings is the only thing stopping me from going postal and wiping out as much of the world’s population as I possibly can” pissed that few bands are able to function under. After a quick bit of brain cell rearranging noise, the aptly titled “Amputated Brain Stem” bursts out of nowhere and absolutely destroys all in its path. This song has floored me every time I’ve spun it, and is a strong contender for the nastiest, most righteous slab of powerviolence I’ve heard this year. Considering said tune barely reaches the 40 second mark, that’s quite an accomplishment!

Don’t baulk at the size, as this is no mere novelty record. The short running time may be an enormous tease, but both these bands are on the top of their game here, and it would have been a most heinous crime if this tantalising morsel had been lost in the mists of time forever. It’s not every day a release boasts the best of sludge, noise and powerviolence and then delivers all that and more in the space of three minutes, and for that reason alone this little beauty deserves a cherished space in your collection.

Noothgrush Facebook

Suppression Facebook

Fuck Yoga Records Website

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