GRVD – “Revenge” Album Review

a1420073171_16Whoa… where in the world did this come from?  Ok, this actually came to me out of nowhere via email straight from the artist; the sole guy behind GRVD as unexpected but pleasant surprise.

From Bandcamp, “This is an album about trauma and abuse.
This is not a glorification or exploitation of such subjects.
Rather, it is an album of progression and acceptance with the ugliness of life.”  

If that’s the case, this album proves successful.

To say that Revenge is simply a noise release is not entirely accurate.  Yes, there are moments of harsh noise but there are also elements of sampled recordings mixed in (which completely add to the effect I might add), dark ambiance and possibly some found objects or field recordings.  Moreover, one of the cool things about this release is the fact that it’s not a developing single track.  Rather, it is 10 separate tracks which make it easier to grasp the dynamics in short bursts.

At 3:54 of the first track, “Swan Dive from the Family Tree,” the abrasiveness comes to an abrupt end and an old school blues track appears. This track is then brought to an abrupt halt at 6:00 where the abrasive noise starts again.  As an art history graduate, I can appreciate the use of found art (an object, found by an artist, which – with minimal modification – is then presented as a work of art) in one’s own work.  In this case, the found art are the samples.

Moreover, abruptness and abrasiveness are both marks of a great noise piece.  Revenge has both of these and all of the hallmarks we listen for in great noise albums; harsh barrages, black ambient backgrounds, dynamics, ear-piercing highs and gut-rattling lows, sometimes repetition mixed with improvisation and on and on.  Some tracks employ more sounds than the others.  But this proves not only the dynamics of this release but also the diversity.  Ex:  track 4: “The Lost Years of Scorn” presents what appears to be a haunting piano loop backed by a steady stream of consistent but appropriately mixed harsh noise.

The point is this… Revenge is a bloody brilliant work of noise.  It’s brutal, abrasive and abrupt at times; uncomfortable but yet dynamic in many ways.

Revenge is available as a “Name Your Own Price” digital download via bandcamp or as a ltd. edition double CD (50 copies) through Big Pharma Records.

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