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Cuntroaches Jared Dix , February 21st, 2024 09:20

Nearly four years on from their split with Guttersnipe, the debut album from the noisome Berlin trio is weirder, uglier, bigger, nastier, finds Jared Dix

Cuntroaches have got personality. You can tell they’re going to provoke irritated, dismissive responses as much as make friends. Dissolving their influences into a sticky bin juice of genre, they breeze past the cerebral – or even emotional – to something almost purely physical. An emetic response to the horror of the world. A filthy visceral convulsion. Noise as joyful purge and liberation.

Opener ‘Borborygmus’ is named for the squirming chorus of your intestines. It begins with feedback whistles and alternating bass blurts, like the sluggish footsteps of an approaching giant. Those sounds are overtaken by dubbed-out insect clatter, bringing a momentary atmospheric pause before everything collapses in. It’s hectic and blown out, particularly the monster vocals. Around midway those ominous footsteps return before the all-out chaos kicks up another notch. It’s a perfect introduction and has a silly puppet horror video to go with it, just in case you thought they might be taking themselves too seriously.

While ‘Borborygmus’ is their best, most realised tune, they don’t allow you time to reflect, piling directly into ‘Ill’, a snorting, stamping beast throwing blocks of sound left and right. Pounding drums kick off the compact ‘Gordian Knot’, which has a strong black metal-meets-Killing Joke aftertaste. It’s noise, but it isn’t just formless scree, permanently in the red. What remains of structure is what gives it bite. There’s a powerful rhythm section under all that distortion. The drumming has swing and bounce to it – even on ‘Erbium:YAG’, the first half of which is almost a grindcore blast. It then becomes a drone so quiet you think the track is done, zoning out to the midpoint. It sets the scene for the creeping build of ‘Gravity System’’s post apocalyptic goth.

The thrilling sensory overwhelm of a loud live show can be tricky to channel through laptop speakers, which might help explain the time it’s taken this self-titled debut to crawl out from behind the stove. It’s almost four years since their split with Guttersnipe and both those tunes are reworked here. Possibly it’s taken time to capture the magic. The mix is impressively clear and crisp. But they’ve also continued mutating. While their earliest recordings are more obviously rooted in hardcore; these are weirder, uglier, bigger, nastier.

Sure, the stuff on which this abomination feeds is forty years old. That’s why it’s so great to hear it writhing with such wayward life, not worn and third-hand, choking on museum dust. This is music of potential ritual power, a folk form for the looming end of all things. Beyond language or reason, beyond fury or terror, an all out sonic battery as a psychic defence.