With many of the Mutant League bands seemingly missing in action at the moment (Inerds recently played their last ever show, and, unless I just haven’t been paying enough attention, things seem unnervingly quiet over in the Hoglust and Bestower camps), last month’s awesomely reverb-drenched live EP from Buffalo duo Water Torture was met with a large sigh of relief and a joyful exclamation of “oh fuck yes!” The handful of new tunes aired on this recording served as a particularly tasty appetiser for this, their second EP, and what a main course it is!
After a brief introduction consisting of a series of twisted synth emanations, ‘For Nothing’ kicks in with a triumphant depth charge that’ll have you kicking over your desk and marching around your room like the meanest one-man circle pit to ever walk the face of the Earth. ‘Complete Collapse’ destroys all in its path with a corpulent groove and that same overwhelmingly chunky bass tone that made their debut such a great listen. And, just like their debut, the pair lose none of their fury when they embrace the sludge, and they definitely know exactly when to slow down before ramping up the BPM. Indeed, the intensity levels never really let up, as the devastating pulse of ‘Self-Preserve’ gives way to a short blast of unrestrained fury, only to be bettered by the shorter, faster & louder micro-explosion that comprises all of ‘Medicate’s 3, count ‘em, 3 seconds!
Don’t expect nothing more than the standard blast’n’chug combo here though, as there are more than a few surprises along the way. During the 15 seconds of ‘Drowning’, the bass blurs into a sheet of white hot noise, to startling effect, and ‘Blackout’ is a dense, nasty sensation, somewhat similar to having all the air in your lungs slowly squeezed out by a descending slab of concrete, but in slow-motion. ‘Resistant’ ends with drummer/vocalist Thomas Leyh yelling “Everyone I knew is fucking dead to me!” before the song abruptly transforms into a late night free-form keyboard freakout. These noisy little noodlings bookend the EP nicely, but unfortunately almost feel like a bit of an after-thought here. Even so, it’s great to see these guys playing around with some different sounds, and it’ll be interesting to see how they incorporate these elements on future releases.
One of the cool things about Water Torture is their progression of the whole powerviolence shtick; rather than regurgitating the same old Infest riffs, the duo definitely seem to have found their own voice. As a big fan of their self-titled release, it’s telling that on the first listen of this EP, the material on here sounded fresh and energising but also comfortingly familiar – not in the sense of “oh, I’ve heard this all before” but rather “damn, Water Torture are back!” ‘Shellfire!’ may not surpass the self-titled, but it certainly gives it a run for its money and quite frankly, it’s awesome just to hear these two shredding it up again. Once again, the EP is available for free through Grindcore Karaoke, so if you have any interest in powerviolence, grind and/or sludge you really have no excuse not to get this and blast it loudly and repeatedly. Even if you hate all the genres mentioned above and have somehow stumbled across this site whilst searching for more extreme pesto recipes, give it a go, and you may well find yourself converted!