Anderson Cook has been busy. Having been introduced to the various projects he’s involved in, I consistently find myself enjoying the fruit of all of it, no matter how bitter it may seem to others.
Last we heard from his outlet for antipathy Pornography was through an assembly of his efforts thus far in This Is A Collection, which I reviewed not long ago. It was a strong display of his work with multiple split mates and newer inclinations which left me patiently waiting for word of his next step in this form.
Well here it is: CVLT NATION is premiering material from a new lathe-cut 7″ single housing two new abrading compositions, featuring friends and collaborators Tyler Coburn (Yautja) on drums and Jared Moran (54R, Yzordderrex, Uzumaki, etc.) on bass to assist in its execution.
Together they make this recording special, as Anderson’s discontents flow into the ruinous constructs “Hex” and “Golden Sunshine” to produce one further notch forward in his gouging, alienated gloom.
Read on and listen to the exclusive stream below!
So let’s get right into the ground that Pornography treads in these eight minutes. You wouldn’t know it hearing the dense and cohesive corruption that it was fabricated separately by Anderson and his collaborators in multiple improvised spaces: basement, twenty-foot tall foyer, and an amp shrine known as The Tomb for Jared’s bass while Shibby Poole (Yautja) assisted in some recording. This, to me, bodes well for Anderson’s senses when giving the final mastering touches, as you’ll soon recognize as well.
“Hex”. Of the two compositions here, the first is my favorite. It is beautifully menacing, the barely hinged self-loathing expressed clearly is given added structure via the help of friends. Really the warm participation and cooperation belies the sullen outbursts that result.
Pale strums bathed in rising feedback atomize into a soothing distortion cloud, strokes repeat into a wonderful daze. Like a plume of acrid vapor, it hangs for a few seconds in anticipation of drop like a boulder into the start of palm-muted stomp. Anderson capitulates in the first devastating words pried from his throat, severing tissue with his yells.
I HAVE SPENT THE LAST DECADE WANTING TO DIE
I DON’T HAVE A FUTURE
I HAVE TO BE STOPPED
THE WORKS I HAVE DONE WILL SPEAK FOR ME
AND I WILL DIE ABSOLUTELY UNKNOWN
This builds in staggers, lacing the slow rise from sedated stretching chords while the percussion remains more fleshed out and vibrant than in Pornography’s recent past, in spite of the overcast vibe. Undoubtedly Tyler’s presence here is strong and welcome while the performance crushes from a creeping pace.
Each word in line with a vaporizing strum from both Anderson and Jared, with Tyler’s processional drumming the one deviation when sprinkling cymbals or lone tom between the gaping holes and wavering impetuous sustains. When in step, each corresponding pound cascades with shaking guitar, bass and soldiering distraught shouts to such a rewarding coalescence within the overall brooding tone
This is best shown as Hex approaches the final third. As the fourth line begins digging a deeper pit, it is prefaced and skewered by a climax that wraps melancholy and cacophony so well, the texture change is a bit surprising. A momentary and sickly reverie.
Discord is briefly lifted in the revelatory tone, but once the last line begins its slow march that stumbling grief reappears, interrupted by feedback. More haggard from the eruption moments ago but still hacking into the soil to a blunt end.
For the second song, “Golden Sunshine,” all melody lays clattering in favor of the raw and brutal angularity heard in previous recordings, with tweaks to intensity as a result of added collaborators. Tyler is more active here, and the slab-like muted riffs return. Lyrically, the pitch remains steeply downward in odium.
At a sudden start with ringing chords and big cymbal hits by the time the screams tear through. The measured pace with every blow, each reel, hypnotizes especially by the fourth line. At that point, the spell has clasped fully. It’s just after this that Tyler manages to break out of the trance and blast in a moment of hysteria that shatters with harmonics and vitriol.
The pulverizing resumes on a slightly more anxious high, but relaxes into a rhythm it started from while the drumming is more colorful. There’s a momentary gasp of breath to be had with the degradation of this one moment, each sway increasing the intensity until the final lyrics disrupt the calm. This is the final creaking cliff of the record.
While both songs are objectively short, as is the case with Pornography’s style they dilate tremendously, enough to increase the depth of the jutting melancholic textures. Each one takes time to course through the bloodstream like venom with the initial pulse of “Hex” being the strongest of the two, the end result is still death.
I was privileged enough to get my teeth into this release early and as with Anderson’s past explorations in aching musical disharmony, I find Hex b/w Golden Sunshine to be consuming and cathartic, stinging in both purging acts. With the incorporation of two fine musicians in the performance of Hex b/w Golden Sunshine the sound comprises an augmented and noticeable new potency.
A great surprise gift in 2014 and automatic recommendation to anyone who’s reading. It will be handled by a new label: Rot Iron based out of Birmingham, Alabama (no page currently) and curated by Kevin Wright who’s a part of Holiness Church of the Valley and Knoll.
I have been informed that there is not going to be a pre-order. However do contact Anderson (email@example.com), watch Tapes of A Neon God and Pornography’s bandcamp page for news on when this will be physically pressed. All the art, lyrics, and arrangement was handled by him so it’s a safe bet there would be some info to lurk on eventually on those pages.
I will undoubtedly update this article and make a notice once I learn it is available because I want a copy no question, and I want those of you who dig it to get one too.