Noise is quite an interesting “genre” as it is like black metal in my mind: it can encompass multiple other genres yet still be solely in the main genre. (Post-black metal, I’m looking at you kid, although you do carry a lot of fucking gold.) Now, when I think of noise, I think of bands from Amphetamine Reptiles (I am fucking old), KEN Mode, Today Is The Day (their early records and later records are so much tits that conventional lingerie has trouble holding that shit in), and Fashion Chic. You know, musicianship where there is a musical know how to break rules, a driving rhythm section of doom, and lyrics that hint at possible hilarity but lead to an idea that there is pain and anger. And then comes along CHRMR with their self titled EP. This album…let’s talk about this album’s bandcamp first shall we?
This bandcamp page explains a lot actually. Hailing from Rochester, NY (I used to hang out there all the damn time, and it was…interesting), this band describes itself as “metal…noise rock post-metal sludge metal” according to the genres it listed. Now, that is a mighty fine list of damn good music types. And yes, the band does hit those genres, but hit the bulls-eye with post-metal, where as the rest are only touched upon, and sometimes just barely. It troubled me because when I hear the name CHRMR, I think of the album “Charmer” by Breather Resist, who tried to incorporate everything but the goddamn kitchen sink in their music.
But that doesn’t mean this is bad. It is actually quite good. The album reminds me of the production values of a Breather Resist album, but reminded me more of Quicksand, Breather Resist, and bands like Tool and, dare I say, some Chevelle into the mix, or even Karnivool. It is different, but, goddamn, it works…for the most part.
There is a lot more good than bad. The dude can sing, the guitar work is good and fits the type of music that the band is going for. The band can write and the solos are delay drenched and awesome and well done. The music sounds like Tool during their undertow days. This is not a bad thing like I said, as it is done well, well written, and a good album overall. I like this post-metal and the repetition of riffs that can allow time to become displaced and return back to normal (you can fight me on this but The Cars “Just What I Needed” is a great example of this. Come at me bro.)
The bad…is this is done before. It is Tool from “Undertow.” It is sludge songs from Breather Resist mixed with Tool’s “Undertow”. It is amazingly produced and processed and clean sounding, like Chevelle’s “The Red”. It feels like it has that budget to say “let’s try this, and all it is is a knob turn that does something amazing, but is processed and desolate enough to sound great and mournful. It is not so much angry as pensive and mid-90’s progressive. It is a throwback to when I was young and in high school. It is well written, but to others it may be too repetitive or processed, and is fucking short, only being 4 tracks. It is just a thing, but not a bad thing to some.
I seriously enjoyed this album but not as much as I wanted. I really wanted to like this more but man…I kind of am stuck on what it is. It is good music to do something, anything to, but because it goes in to the background. When you listen to it, you can here the nuance and the various technical aspects of the music, but only when you listen to it will you hear it. Without listening and knowing, it will ultimately pass by.
Label: Self released via Bandcamp
Release Date: April 8, 2017
For Fans Of: Tool, Breather Resist, more Tool, Post-Metal, Quicksand.
Favorite Track: The Spiral