Review: Knurl – “Sycamine”

The latest offering from noisemaker Alan Bloor takes an interesting premise – that an instrument forged from found stainless steel can shatter eardrums as readily as amp-fueled hardcore – beyond its logical conclusions.

So, alongside the highly distorted but still percussive claptrap of metal-on-metal, we get the buzz and wail of aching speakers and the endless reverberations of a scrap yard being hauled three-quarters of the way to hell.

This is a vicious, relentless record.

On “Exteroceptor,” the pounding transcends into a seven-minute cacophony of white noise and battlefield chaos.

On the album-closing “Panasomiasis,” the machinery almost sounds like it’s shrieking in agony.

It’s a fascinating, experimental exercise – industrial-metal in the truest senses of the word – but a lack of variation keeps this 46-minute disc from sounding genuinely inspired.

It’s on tracks where listeners sometimes can isolate the shifting spaces between Bloor’s metallic tools and the environmental noise they breed (as on “Perparaphy,” a horror-film score just waiting for a murder sequence) that the premise works best. – Punk Planet, Marc/April 2007

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