When hearing a band describe themselves as psyche/noise/improv rock, I can’t help but be filled with dread; I’m more of a three-minute pop fan and would do anything to avoid a confrontation with intellectual distortion.
Battery Face however interest me, having listened to their 2011 single ‘Lurch’ I thought here is a band that can satisfy my melodic needs but with the freshness of freefalling anarchy.
Their new album, what’s what stuff, is three, ten-minute plus songs of instrumental music: good golly.
Opener ‘Justin Bieber Sausage’ gets straight to business, not so much as inviting you in, but hurling you into the back of a Lamborghini for a drug fueled drag race.
Droning guitars transform into steady riffs guiding you through a cosmic landscape populated only by Pagan rhythms and tantalizing bursts of blues.
‘Formacuealicue’ follows, initially with a different feel from the opening, the almost samba beat soon develops into menacing rock introducing the synthesizer and a more distinct guitar part.
Closing the album ‘Under The Canvas of the Electromagnetic Jungle’ begins with a macabre tone that would not be out of place if Hammer reissued Dracula with an indie Score.
The track builds into a staggering frenzy of crashing drums, feedback and synthesizer.
I’m not a massive fan of instrumental albums but Whatswhatstuff works, the four elements contribute an equal amount, each adding an individual flavor but never swamping the style or atmosphere of the album.
The stripped back production is a testament to the versatility of the traditional four-piece set up; the album is captivating and enjoyable without relying on effects or self-indulgent guitar tapping.
Whatswhatstuff won’t give you goose bumps but it is refreshing and affecting, probably more so than the ten tracks of fuzz pop I had bargained for.
Words: Peter Johnstone