Thursday, January 26, 2012

Zhenia Golov - Proscription

This is the band that brought me back from anti-social life to return to New Brunswick basement shows. Unapologetically political, musically interesting and nice people to boot, I had good reason to start going back to the low ceiling confines of the basements.

The snarling bass tone stands at the forefront of this record, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. It works in translating some heavy sounds to tape and, in a strange way, the low gain guitar and drums are complimenting it well. Zhenia Golov threw their hand in approaching a variety of hardcore styles on this record. It goes everywhere from rapid blast beats to slow, drawn out sledge, and even walks on some experimental ground (see parts of "Pole of Inaccessibility").

"Proscription" opens the record with a fast paced rev of hardcore and punk that breaks 44 seconds in to drop down to a nice double track vocal spoken word ring out that sounds right out of 1995. From there, the band takes us on journey addressing a myriad of topics and experimenting with everything in the hardcore and punk playbook. The music breaks for a spoken word track entitled "Fortune Smiled" which is backed by some unsettled feedback to emphasize the discomfort of the words. They revisit the spoken word approach on "I'll Still Be There" and at the end of "Privilege/Honor". I can't help but be reminded of 90's hardcore when they go this route. "Fulmination" brings you back to the intensity with it's quick drums fills and stomping mid tempos. The song even gives you some melodic sensibility to end the tune. "Damnatio Memoriae" begins with the band entering a balancing acting between a melodic/introspective verse and some classic rock style guitar noodling. The song brings the record to a close, sticking to the melodic end and presenting with something similar to Tragedy mixed with Majority Rule.

This was the last release by the band and one hell of a way to make an exit before splitting up. Members of this band went to start Black Kites, Natural Law, Host and a slew of other bands.

Have a listen here.