His Electro Blue Voice
Styles: punk rock, industrial, noise pop, 90s
Others: Ministry, Blank Dogs, Hawkwind, Killing Joke, Godheadsilo, Unwound
DOOM BAP, DOOM BAP, RATTLE RAGE, SMASH N GRAZE, FLOSSY VEIN STRETCH SNAP, CORROSION IN TIME LAPSE, FUCKED-UP FACE-WINKING TINY BROKEN GLASS, EMBEDDED LORE, BEDSORES FROM WASTING TIME, HEAD CHEEZ BLOSSOM, BUSY DOING NOTHING, SPIDERWEBBED NEVER TO SHATTER, STRAINED NEVER TO MATTER, STRESS AND SUMP PLUMES, HIGH ON FUMES BUT PINING FOR A GASBATH, ROCK & ROLL HAIRSHIRT, BLISTER POP, FIST-BUMPING BRICKS, MISSED THE POINT AND POINTED EYEWARD, PUSHED TOO FAR TOO CLOSE TOO OPEN AND SHUT TO PULL UP AND SCREAM LOVELY, LONELY MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, LOW LIGHTS HINGING, HORIZON BINGE, STUPORIFIC COLLAPSE’D CRINGING, POROUS AND LANGUROUS AND ALL FOR US.
NEVER READY. NEVER TAKING TIME. NEVER GETTING AROUND TO IT. NEVER MAKING NEVER OK. NEVER LIKE THE WORD. NEVER AS THE DESCRIPTOR. NEVER AS ILLUMINATION. NEVER AS EVER. NEVER AND NEVER. HERE, HOLD THIS. HERE, JUMP. HERE, PULL THE CORD. HERE, PUSH THE BUTTON. HERE, LET GO. HERE, FALLING. SAME AS EVER.
Why is blood so aesthetically pleasing? ‘Cause it doesn’t smell as bad as other bodily fluids? ‘Cause Iggy? ‘Cause vampires? ‘Cause it’s not waste, yet we can lose it and still make more? Spunk is like that, but nowhere near as delectable a rock trope as the red stuff. But His Electro Blue Voice is indeed delectable. They just got a shit band name. And a cummy album title. And they’re on a label that can feel a little like a nostalgia factory. However, despite harkening back to a time when my psyche was assaulted by that “Happiness in Slavery” video, there’s something undeniably vital to everything this band has released. As a lover of threshold-baiting, yet drivingly melodic noise rock with a hearty helping of atmosphere, I have heard nothing better.
Not sure what he’s Jorgensening about (the way he says “firewatah” in “Sea Bug” gets me every time), but the singer rises to the heaped on miasma of the material in a toe-curlingly perfect fashion. The tried ‘n true pop melodicism is perhaps a bit underwhelming as you first settle into “The Path” or the Pixies-aping on the track that follows it. You will shrug. You will pfft. But after a minute or so, you will be checking the track list to make sure it’s not the same song. And it will be! These guys can’t sit still, and their choices are as challenging as they are familiar. This isn’t so much a case of having one’s cake and eating it, but a situation wherein the anthem is given a chance to amble. There’s nary a song that ends the way you’d expect, and Ruthless Sperm’s vast sprawl is cleverly illusory, as the record is just over a half hour. I’ve yet to hear a band deftly apply as many ideas as touchstones the way HEBV have managed.
Their accessibility is consistently undermined with swimmy, tempo-shifting instrumental passages and craven, Smeagolesque mutterings. Not to mention the truly shocking opener that plays like the soundtrack to a gigantic drill boring into an icy mountain side. Still and all, Ruthless Sperm is not a tough sell. If you sleep on this or any HEBV material, I feel sorry for you. This is some of the most vital shit happening right now for the central fact that it expands on punk and industrial tropes rather than just throws their hat in the ring. This is next-level good, and you can’t say no one told you so.
01. Death Climb
02. Spit Dirt
03. Sea Bug
05. The Path
06. Born Tired
07. Red Earth