THETAN - Laughed At By The Gods
July 9, 2014, a year ago
(Anti-Corp Records/Burnt Bridges Records)
For a 15-minute EP, Thetan sure are making me work hard at writing this review. Every time I listen to this I like it more and more and have to keep rewriting this. My first version ended with a snide comment about how you should not expect me to listen to this again. Here I am, listening to it over and over again, still unsure on what my feelings really are about the sounds contained within, but definitely aware that something's up... which is a good thing. Thetan are a two-piece grind/powerviolence band featuring just bass and drums, the sound on this 15-minute EP alternating between quirky, noisy angular bass-driven (that was easy) powerviolence and a more straight-up near-d-beat/near-crust/near-grind sound. Oddly, you'd be hard-pressed to realize that there's no guitar here much of the time, the bassist doing a good job holding down the stringed-instrument side of things. And it's just such a racket, everything clanging and bashing and nagging, with about half the amount of satisfying payoff that grindcore and powerviolence usually carries with it. So, colour me confused, slightly angered, and, of course, a bit impressed at the whole situation, given that I do appreciate audio terrorism and expectation-destruction of such lofty heights. This is not easy to listen to, and at most times of the day and while in most normal moods, it's not really enjoyable to listen to. But I'm pretty convinced there is a time somewhere mid-morning where this and a cup of coffee might make me feel like I can totally kill it all day long. Plus, killer raw production with the snare clinging and clanging and generally just getting under your skin, which is more or less what Thetan does in general. And, curse them for making me work so hard to get to this point, but I can certainly appreciate that.