22 Nov 2019 - Thorsten
Noise | Corpse Flower Records | Release date: 22 Nov 2019
We are who we are. But we are also what we are made to be, this “what” can be a lot of things – our circle of friends, our job, our upbringing or also the place where we live. We are the way we are because where we are.
To put it into a musical context: Everybody can come up with an example of a band that could only come out of this specific region or city; Sonic Youth could never have become who they were if they hadn’t had their roots in NYC, a first class avantgarde melting pot. Outkast wouldn’t have been Outkast if they hadn’t had access to The Dungeon where Organized Noize laid the beats. Nirvana wouldn’t have become one of the biggest names in modern rock if they hadn’t sprung from an area so remote that no real genre-specific scene held them back.
Now, with Luggage this idea of being who we are because of where we are is quickly supported. This sound, so clean, so sparse, so far away from any kind of over-production – it must come out of Chicago. The sound is clearly identifiable as Electrical Audio because of its brilliant clarity, its ability to be really noisy and distorted and yet still simply clean and sharp. Luggage clearly have taken a lot from Shellac, not only the producer.
But their musical style is much more rooted in post-punk than Shellac’s, the similarity is the use of discordant, unharmonious guitar parts that whirl through the songs like abruptive lightning through warm late summer evenings. The three-piece has refined their songwriting skills since they formed in 2014, taking a lot of the city urban sprawl and laid-out, symmetrical geometry channeling it into songs with a feel of driving along long avenues passing block after block before encountering a hard stop in form of an accident blocking everything else from view.
The repetitiveness of Helmet with their mathy schemes combined with Shellac’s feeling for implementing discordance harmoniously into a sound that is clearly more post-punk than noise. For all people who love a bridge between Shellac, Jesus Lizard, Slint and Gang of Four – this is a band you will love. All of the old heroes in a band so urgent in appeal that it is blissfully mesmerizing – the classical noise record of the year.