Brisbane’s Idylls deliver a half-hour of concussive noise metal in their third full-length record, The Barn.
Since 2011, this Australian quartet have been perfect their chaotic craft through a handful of splits, EPs and two hellacious full-length releases. The most recent of these aforementioned full-lengths, 2014’s Prayer for Terrene, sat at the apex of this evolution of madness: unleashing a maelstrom of off-kilter mathcore awash with noise and spiced with zany saxophone accompaniment. It was like a fiery collision between the most frenetic of Converge‘s material and the erratic weirdness of John Zorn’s Naked City. In short, Prayer for Terrene was insanity incarnate.
On The Barn, however, Idylls opt for a slightly different approach. This half-hour of aural Hell retains much of the angularity, noise and volatility that characterized the material that came before it, but The Barn sees the Aussies delving deeper into their noise rock roots, while the more hardcore-tinged aspects of their music is given the back seat. The guitars and bass clang together like rusted scrap metal in a modern display of AmRep worship, while keeping the bands penchant for off-kilter rhythms and odd riff shapes intact. The erratic drumming and dizzying sax return in full force as well, and the vocals have shifted from hardcore shrieks to scuzzy noise punk snarls. With their mathcore leanings on the back-burner, Idylls still manage to keep the intensity alive with their vicious new brand of noise metal.
The one-two punch of “No Virility” and “Neuroqueering on Shift” bulldoze the listener with tumultuous noise and set the stage for the album. “No Virility” revolves around steady, off-kilter grooves that morph from pummeling chords, to atonal melodies, to jangly riffs throughout this ugly tune. The riffs will often culminate in a wall of dissonance, allowing for the saxophone to come blazing through with a barrage of serpentine solos. “Neuroqueering on Shift”, in contrast, offers a faster, more hardcore approach that delivers a devastating array of dissonant punk riffs and cacophonous bursts of noise.
More “punk” moments can be found in shorter tracks like “Learnt Young”, “Choke Opportunity” and “Glare From the Shallow Basin”. These tracks hark back to the material of its predecessors with their affinity for hardcore riffs and rhythms, but those are soon marred by the band’s love dissonant ugliness and grime. Then there are more steady-paced tracks like “Maslows Dogs” and the nine-minute closer “In the Barn” that fully embrace the noise rock and unorthodox aspects of their sound, resulting in lengthy assaults of jagged guitar riffs, unexpected swells of violent noise and Jesus Lizard-esque, venomous crawls.
Whether they paint with shades of hardcore, mathcore or noise rock makes no difference because Idylls will make the most intense, ugly racket they can with whatever musical avenue they decide to explore.
Release Date: September 29, 2017
Label: Holy Roar Records
Favorite Tracks: “Neuroqueering on Shift”, “Learnt Young”, “On My Chopping” and “In the Barn”
For Fans Of: The Jesus Lizard, Daughters, Naked City and Pissed Jeans