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Aerosol Jesus
Survive Tom Coles , April 21st, 2021 07:56

Brigton's Aerosol Jesus teeter on the very brink of noise, barely holding back – and all the sweeter for it, finds Tom Coles

It’s easier than ever to make a tight metal record these days, given the increased ease of access to recording studios and experienced engineers. Whilst the idea of making something crisp and clear is naturally alluring to many folk, it’s exciting to see bands turn their back on this to make something rawer and messier. Aerosol Jesus’s new offering Survive is one such example, drawing on shaggy, gruff hardcore and the catharsis of extreme metal to push their sound to the experimental fringes.

Survive exists in the ill-defined hinterland between sludge, hardcore and noise, no longer concerned with speed but with creating intensity from dramatic, barely-held-together loud music. At every turn it feels like it’s geared to collapse into angry noise – and sometimes it does, floating in ambience with little flecks and sparks of static filtering through.

The record feels like it could fall to bits in the low-energy moments too. Tracks like ‘Others’ trudge through gloomy passages, held together through a loose bass riff, gathering bile before exploding into throaty spite and dissolving into awkward, jagged stabs of guitar noise. The tension is dragged into tracks like ‘Just’, which engage with a foreboding ambience – by this time we trust them to deliver, and when the wave breaks it crashes down, the noise changing to a wash of harsh static.

At its peak it feels like it aches towards something similar to really good grindcore, the type of music that’s on the edge of raw noise but just holds itself back. This is a few clicks back from that total surrender of control, but not any less hectic or emotionally raw. The control allows them to hammer in some beastly riffs, and being pummelled into oblivion in a more conventional way lends the record a crunchy, satisfying tone.

This engagement with noise is the logical endpoint of music like this. Survive aches to collapse away from structure and form entirely, and by holding themselves back and using more conventionally destructive methods they make the formless elements sweeter when they hit. This has an additional effect: by the end, the riffs feel gross and corrupted, like they dragged themselves through the record and they fucking hated it.

Heavy music is hopelessly conservative as often as it is wildly inventive, so it is pleasing to find a band who take a few risks, engaging with the extremes of noise to make something truly baleful.