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 Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Altered States of America

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Starom
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PostSubject: Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Altered States of America   Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:05 pm

Agoraphobic Nosebleed. Not exactly a household name. But they are a band that definitely attracts a fair bit of press, presumably for their extreme style and rather unusual lyrics. After discovering them, and their history, I was eager to find out if they'd live to all of the hype. They certainly did.

I got hold of their album 'Altered States of America' only recently and the 3" mini CD looks bizarre enough - but it's after listening to it that you get the biggest insight into this truly unique group, mainly centered around noise veteran Scott Hull (of Anal C**t and Pig Destroyer fame). I have to admit, this album lacks any concept of melody whatsoever, nor does it provide a particuarly listener friendly speed. Also, clear, easy to handle vocals are a distant dream. But if you want a band who have a generally decent message and an eye catching way of delivering it, give them a listen.

The first track on the album, Spreading the Disease, is a bit of an oddity in that it is 56 seconds long, something rarely seen on an album with 100 tracks in 20 minutes. It does, however, give you a very clear message for the tone of the album - blistering, raw grindcore with ludicrously fast drums (sadly, provided by a drum machine) and screamed vocals.

The album progresses through several shorter, heavy, grindcore tracks, the highlights probably being "Living Lolita Blowjob", "Neotropolis Euphoria" and "Freeze-Dried Cemetary", other tracks covering a range of lyrical themes - mostly political - including the Nerve Gas attacks on the Tokyo underground carried out by the Religious Cult "Aum Shinrikyo" (in the tracks "The Tokyo Subway Gassing" and "Aum Shinrikyo").

From tracks 19-34, the style of the album rapidly changes from this driven thrashing grindcore to a spacey, trance type sound, with the use of synth and distorted vocals, the track lengths still remaining short. The songs all seem to flow, at this point, into one another, providing a different aspect to ANb's mad style.

By track 35, we see a return of the rapid grindcore, in the song series "The Days of Sodom" - 35 is the "First Day of Sodom", 36 is the "Second Day of Sodom", 37 is the "Third Day of Sodom" etc, through until 46, which is the "Twelfth Day of Sodom" - each song leading into the next, the style remaining very similar throughout. Notably these songs seem even shorter than the rest, the longest of the twelve only clocking in at 7 seconds.

Track 47, Poland Springfield Acidbag, sees another apparent change of pace, the bass sounds forcing their way through, leading their way into a series of spoken songs, using samples from various sources, to discuss the ethics of bombs.

We see similar sound progressions right throughout this album, songs getting slightly slower, some a bit longer, others ridiculously (and even impossibly short), only reaching lengths of 4 seconds. Despite people's initial reactions to the earlier tracks, this album does contain a decent amount of variation, providing a good ear-ache for any devoted hard-core punk lover.

Should you, however, not find yourself falling into this category, I would hasten to add that this album probably isn't for you. But if fancy trying drums reaching speeds of up to 1000 beats per minute, screamed, frenzied vocals, thrashing guitar and bass and a good political heart, then this is the band for you!

6/10
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PostSubject: Re: Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Altered States of America   Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:15 am

Got this review posted on the front page of the site if you want to check it out
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PostSubject: Re: Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Altered States of America   Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:24 am

Nice one ^^ And thanks a lot Very Happy

Does this count for your Job App? I noticed on the front page you were looking for columnists/reviewers and I enjoy writing them. So, if I fit the bill, I'd be more than happy to take part!
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PostSubject: Re: Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Altered States of America   Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:40 am

sending you a pm now regarding your question
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