Brand new and sealed. Yellow/Green/Black Cosmic Colour Vinyl.
The first album was a remixed collection of the bands early tracks, a melting pot of influences as they set out to inhabit their own space. Now with Abyss the band are very much defining what that space is. Once again, the album was produced by Jun Morino in Osaka, and mixed in London by Wayne Adams (Pet Brick, Green Lung, Cold In Berlin) and is an uncompromising beast of a record. Recorded under a full moon over 3 intense days, the album has the off the leash abandon of Fun House era Stooges and is marked by a fat dose of doom meets slowed down hardcore punk; filled with loud, ultra distorted guitar, and yet, a surprising amount of melody as well. In fact, Yuko has said that the bands name is a combination of Black Sabbath and Stereolab, well here on Abyss is where that strange mix begins to make musical sense.
The band havent lost their love of lo-fi or Riot Grrrl attitude. The guitars are loud and heavily gnarled to the point of chaos. Vocals go from shoegaze melodic to hardcore screams (in fact rarely has a vocalist in this genre screamed so musically as Yuko does) and underneath all this, Chia batters the skins, all rolling and tumbling thunder amidst the riffs. Yes there is a smattering of Sabbathy Wizarding of course, but submerged within dark, deep fuzz and punk rock crank and grind. In truth the vibe is closer to both the arty heaviness of early Boris, and the sweet savagery of My Bloody Valentine, than any kind of doom tropes. Its a sound that is undoubtedly BlackLabs own. So over 8 tracks, clocking in at around 42 mins, you get the current Blacklab world view.
Insanity creeps in with a sound familiar to doom lovers. Then over the course of eight minutes manages to motor into its own riff time continuum, fuelled by heavy fuzz, pounding drums, and vocals that run the gamut from surly, to sweet, to full on throat- shred. Fade and Melt is quirky, odd even, but heavy too, marrying a sweet Japanese melody to a dense, rolling barrage of distortion. Weed Dream is driven by chugging, barely under control guitar and grunge punk swagger, and its here that Yuko most obviously channels her inner Stereolab. Amusement Park Of Terror. The title sounds like some cheapo 60s bug movie, or a grade B slasher flick from the 80s. Well to be honest this short instrumental interlude would be the perfect soundtrack to either. Both Forked Road and Chained are cut from the same cloth, a mash up of Stooges meets Comets On Fire mayhem and loping Sleep - esque riffs. Sleepless Night is all throbbing distortion and understated threat, albeit with a curiously catchy chorus and coda. Then you have Sun an underscore to any number of nihilistic apocalypses. It crashes in with a guitar tone so huge itll threaten to demolish your speakers. Abyss is an album that is as raw and alive as it gets. Its refreshingly free of artifice, and it doesnt arse around.Say hello to the Osaka underground.