DECAYCAST Reviews : SHADOWS “Bruce Spills The Pills” Cassette (Polar Envy, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews : SHADOWS “Bruce Spills The Pills” Cassette (Polar Envy, 2018)

Cleveland, OH mainstays SHADOWS continue with their darkest Knight investigations of the conceptual underpinnings of Batman interpreted as dense noise, beats, industrialized rhythms and haunting spacial decay. Shadows is the duo of David Russell and Wyatt Howland (Skin Graft) and the sound on “Bruce Spills The Pills” represents aspects of both of their sonic styles well, however it gels to create a sound still different than either of their solo output. Composition wise, this cassette oscillates between more formalized sharp, cutting, harsh rhythmic works that Russell has become known for as COLLAPSED ARC and the DAVID RUSSELL SNAKE, mixed with Howland’s crude, disgusting, fuzzed out blasts of high pitched noise and squelching feedback. With three tracks on the A side and three on the B side, all offering their own take on the sonic mayhem contained within Of “Bruce Spills The Pills”. Personal favorite would be “Freak” from the middle of the A side.

Despite being a “noise” album in some instances, there are clear distinct tracks on this each with their own breath of sonic investigation, and despite their uniqueness and form and sonic palette, they flow together quite well, never leaving the listener bored or annoyed, rather on the edge of the speaker cone begging for bleeding frequencies to ooze from the cave into the inner ear. Shadows is highly recommended for all of your crude and dirty noise and industrial needs.

DECAYCAST Reviews: SHADOWS “KnightsEnd” Cassette (Polar Envy / SKSK, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: SHADOWS “KnightsEnd” Cassette (Polar Envy / SKSK, 2018)

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SHADOWS “Knight’s End” (photo: Polar Envy / ASR)

Cleveland, OH mainstays SHADOWS is David Russell and Wyatt Howland (and at least for this release are assisted via the sonics of Roman J. Leyva) crafting their  dark, horrific, take on the legacy/story of Batman  through mastered techniques of harsh noise, drone, percussion and dynamic  mixing and editing techniques. The sound of SHADOWS seems go evolve with every release and “Knight’s End” is no different. Beginning with a murky, distorted rhythm we are  quickly whisked away into a harsh symphony of ringing, clanging, scraping; attack on  the ear and the “fearless”? The sound of shadows is physically manifested through the  black clad, pointed eared upside down man of the night. “KnightsEnd” fuses longer drone sections, which contain a rather cinematic arch to their presentation, slowly beginning as a low, slow sine wave and over the course of a few minutes, escalate into a cavernous,  yet detailed sonic explosion of harsh noise, voice, and percussion, a masterfully blended evil sonic stew leaving the listener with a tense, uneasy feeling, which for my ear canal is just perfect.

.The B side “KnightQuest”  follows a similar compositional format, beginning with stark, alienating percussion, resembling the swaying of an old, cursed sinking ship with hundreds of  piezos placed within it’s weakest structural support system and signing a hum of the  druid through mangled cassette tape, as it creaks and rips apart all whilst bombs fall from an unknown sky above.  We hear a parade of  dissonant sounds slowly dragging themselves closer and farther away to the ear canal, like a slow, pulsing infectious disease spreading through an unknown human cavity, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. The blending of all of the different sonic elements that compose the sound of SHADOWS is perhaps one of their strongest elements as the  tension seems to build throughout in a subtle, yet  important way, dragging us down and down into the sea of sonic mayhem until the  last air bubble pops at the  surface, the ship has sank, their are no survivors, only the harsh, alienating tortured sounds of Shadows “Knight’s End” As of the time of this review, according to the label’s bandcamp page there’s just, ONE copy left and you should GO HERE AND BUY IT.

POLAR ENVY 

SHADOWS 

DecayREVIEWS : DAVID RUSSELL “Futures EP” CDr (ASR, 2012)

DAVID RUSSELL “Futures EP” CDr (ASR, 2012)

“A new direction for Cleveland,OH noise renaissance man David Russell. with this new disc Russell delves into a insane mix of broken beats, precise industrial and at parts, dare i say IDM. This disc blends thwarting bass programming, trebelly stabs, and warbling midranges which hybridize into concise yet dense electronic compositions. A new, yet focused direction of “post-noise” or just doing something different/similar with a ne w emphasis. This lacks the rawness and emphasis on freejazz like hammering persuccion and custom wind instrumentation that has become
a staple on select solo works,but takes a cleaner more “programmed” approach yet that still retains a visceral edge. Ya knowwwwwwwwwwwwwww it’s got chops and screws that he’s so well known for, as well as well um, almost dance music….

Some tracks take a more minimal approach to the rhythms and background textures similar to an early slowed down Oval while other tracks resemble a more put together instrumental Skinny Puppy. time and time again this dude busts out new sonix tricks from up the sleeve. Never saw this one coming, o ya, WHERES THE EMCEE? I say go for It.!!!! This is a really varied disc (for just an EP) and it has a wide appeal, covering all of the moods and emotions, articulate and vast-a great collections of more structured pieces that gel together quite nicely- not just for noise heads, by any stretch, just so ya know. Plus some great cover songs to boot, don’t wanna spoil them, but you should just check it out for yourself. One missing item again is vocals; could take this album to a whole new direction, and we know he’s got the pipes! Packaged in a slimline DVD case with classic Polar Envy style artwork, clean, dynamic, and dense, Layout by DR himself.
Overall : 8.6 / 13
Written by : malo
2/15/12

DAVID RUSSELL
POLAR ENVY