The latest serving of blood spattered ear candy from Converge maestro Jacob Bannon’s cutting edge Deathwish label is UK based “post everything” act Bossk’s “Audio Noir”. Sharing their name with an obscure Star Wars character isn’t Bossk’s only nod to the otherworldly though, as “Audio Noir” brims with spaced out prog rock head trips that grind against groove laden head banging passages. Of course such post hardcore sorcery brings to mind the dual bladed attack of the almighty Deafheaven, but rather than exploding out of ambient and atmospheric soundscapes into a blackened scorched earth Satyricon meets Trap Them assault as DH does, Bossk assumes a decidedly 90’s feeling stoner sludge guise channeling riff god swamp lords Crowbar and Eyehategod, and the results are as refreshing as they are devastating.
“Audio Noir” splits the difference on most tracks between the agro and mellow, as on Sabbath worshiping doom throwdown “Heliopause” and the shades of Angelo Badalmenti’s immortal Twin Peaks theme on “Relancer”, but Bossk comes on strongest when they blend the styles on single songs, like the record anchoring epic “Kobe”. We gotta be metal dorks though, with our favorite being the aptly named crusher “Atom Smasher”. Still, the mosh ready bangers carry even more weight butting heads against the melancholy dirges, not that they really need the help, powered by the band’s tight instrumentation and the menacingly vague, techno-brooding, nihilistic sci fi lyrical flavor delivered with an ear shatteringly raw hardcore wail.
As we’ve stated before, and with no complaints whatsoever, genre twisting seems to be the order of the day in thinking man’s heavy music. With a million bands out there seemingly throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks, fatigue is bound to set in at some point, but Bossk is the exception that proves the rule, showing that there’s still a world (hell, a galaxy) of deft experimentation out there to be done and done extremely well.
“Audio Noir” is available now on Deathwish.