Cream Abdul Babar/Kylesa (At A Loss)
by Craig Regala
Round and round we go, where the punk drops, nobody knows. Not conversant with either of these units, so I called up Tag and he said “Yeah, it’s no surprise, you’d like it” and “as little as you know about such things, you don’t have to know anything to dig it” (honest fucker, eh?). Well, yeah, but to contextualize it, I do. So I asked him WTF? (“What the fuck?”) “Both units are in the down-line of bands working from the peace punk/crust lineage up. By absorbing what they needed or felt necessary to use regardless if it sounded congruous to death metal or ambient grind-vom. And avoiding the more strident ‘Soy! not Oi!’ bickering, they’ve developed a stronger, emotionally powerful music.”
Cream Abdual Babar heave a noisecore scum grind inflected brick through punk rock toodling in a way that’d put’m in front of High On Fire or Mastodon’s audience and make believers out of a bunch of’m. The opening off-kilter guitar cuts like some dizzy ass-on-fire unit opening an Unsane show. The physical ungh! of the tempo surge harkens to Big Black in the ’80s and Craw in the ’90s, and they’re similar to Kylesa in a drifting, Neurosis/industrial way. There’s a trombone on here somewhere; now I dunno if it’s supposed to make trombonely (I hear no traditional-style slide honks) noises or trip a sampler or what, but count me in whatever its role. Tag’s gonna do the Kylesa half. He loves’m.
Sounding like a mixture of Neurosis, Carcass, and Dystopia, Kylesa beat out a sound that’s completely their own. The dual guitars dance around each other as the two vocalists go from straight singing, to shouty gargles, growls, whispers, and chanted choruses. Especially nice is when Laura Pleasant veers between the two so effectively. Their four-part “The Curse of Lost Days” functions as a mini-epic. Complete with an acoustic-based spoken bow-out that’ll leave you ready to dig out the past couple Amorphis discs ’cause you’re sad this is over.